The Tempest was the first Shakespeare play that I ever saw live (in The Globe in 2011). I've since read the original play and when I saw that Margaret Atwood was writing a Hogarth Shakespeare based on it, I had to read it (after previously enjoying The Handmaid's Tale). But I previously read My Name Is Shylock (based on The Merchant of Venice) from the same series, and it was not a great success.
I liked Hag-Seed a lot more. The story is much lighter but very enjoyable. A theater director is disposed and after years of solitude he starts directing Shakespeare plays in prison for the Literacy through theater project. When they are performing The Tempest, there is a great chance for him to finally get his revenge.
I don't think it is necessary to have read The Tempest, but it will help in finding all the parallels between the play and this story. It was a great read, with very nice characters, and I finished it in a day. I would certainly recommend Hag-seed!
Thanks to Blogging for Books and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!