Let me wake up dead.
A thousand times I’ve watched her say those words, her face pale and gazing out from behind the glass plate of her cell phone, her expression dulled by the pixelation and distortion of the electronic eye. In my mind’s eye, her cheeks are ivory petals, and her eyes are jewels that shine deep, brown, liquid, bright, startled and startling. Her dark brows swoop up across her forehead, her hair falls in platinum pleats around her shoulders. I hear her voice, fresh and clear. She is seventeen.
Cell phones, hard drives, surveillance clips, Polly’s endless diaries and notes, and interviews conducted by me and Marcellus form the story—the parts of it I don’t know personally. I met Dana Hamlet in school four years ago. I avoided the mistake of talking about her, because I knew how people would have talked about me. Well, of course they would have been right in a way, but I admired her, too—I admired her above all. She was intuitive about science, I love that in a girl. I beat the hell out of my speed bag every night when she started going out with Phil Polonius, the son of Mr. Hamlet’s operations manager—but every morning I’d brighten to another day of her boundless trust and arm-punching affection.
To get one mystery out of the way, I’m—well, I know I’m not bad-looking, especially from the waist up. I’m buffed to the max because I need upper-body strength, and I’d be over six feet tall standing up. Everyone in my family has nice features. A vertebral bone fragment that broke off under the pressure of my motorcycle (hurtling down on me from an insane height after I skidded up an embankment) crushed my spinal cord just above my belt the summer before I met Dana. I’ve been in a wheelchair since. My name is Horst.
ELSINORE CANYON is a modern retelling of Shakespeare's Hamlet, suitable for adult and sophisticated teen readers.
KIRKUS REVIEWS: "The strength of this sort of adaptation lies in showing how powerful and relevant the original story remains, a challenge the novel tackles wonderfully. The modernization works nearly seamlessly, transposing the politics of medieval Denmark to a Southern California corporate and Catholic school culture. What’s more, the embellishments to the characters make them truly come alive."