Dunbar is a modern retelling of Shakespear’s King Lear. It’s been quite a long time since I read Lear as an undergraduate and I wondered how much of what I remembered would affect what I read. To a casual reader, it is easy to see how Lear makes the skeleton that the book is built on. Dunbar ruler of an empire divides his corporation between his daughters to avoid taxes and in the process, the daughter’s plot against him with the help of Dr. Bob. Dunbar finds himself medicated and trapped in a mental health facility. His only friend is a depressed, alcoholic comedian who helps him escape.
Dunbar has three daughters. Two daughters, Abigail and Megan, are plotting to manipulate the corporation’s leadership and standing in order to make a huge profit. Their ally, Doctor Bob, has his own plans and entertains the reader with his self-medication and affairs with the two sisters. They are despicable characters but with enough backstory to make them interesting. The third daughter, Florence, is more attached to her father as a person than his riches. She wants no part of the empire. Florence is environmentally conscious — does not want to fly in the corporate jet, lives in Wyoming, worries about her carbon footprint.
This is a book where the evil characters seem to be more likable and definitely more interesting than the good. Florence although only wants to do good seems boring when compared to her sisters. Dunbar has rage issues, is power hungry, and his life had been his empire and nothing else. There are plenty of similarities between Dunbar and King Lear to keep a Shakespear fan interested in matching plot and the characters. For those who have not read Lear, it is a modern tycoon story that fits in well with American politics and business today.
This book was received from bloggingforbooks.com in exchange for a review.