One of the best books from Margaret Drabble. Opens with the fascinating life of a Korean crowd princess and her unhappy and unhinged husband with court politics and intrigue from centuries past. Then moves to modern day acedemic lecture circuits and the everyday drama of different lives without a change in pace and still keeps a theme intact throughout. "Clever" doesn't even come close to describing it. A marvel of narrative technique and a really enjoyable story as well.
Loved the first half, POV the Crown Princess... but after only a few pages of the second half I quit. The third-person POV is very awkward... the idea, I think, is that it is the Princess's ghost observing. Didn't work for me. :(
Couldn't get into this oddly-constructed tale of a 20th-century academic and her fascination with (or possession by) the diary of a late 19th-century Korean princess.
Margaret Drabble is a fine novelist and the Red Queen carries on this tradition. The book is divided into two distinct parts of one story, each part told in completly different styles and feelings and yet they meld comfortably. There is terror and palace intrigue in the story of the Korean princess of 200 years ago, humor and understanding in the story of the modern day professor. I found it written quite convincingly, often had to remind myself that is was fiction.
Margaret Drabble at her best writing.