Friday, 20 July 2012

Who doesn't want to rewrite a classic story?

There's a lot of fuss going around the world about Total-e-bound's new Clandestine Classics line. If you've been under a rock and haven't heard, it's a line of classic novels with added scenes. You know - the erotic and sexy bits that were missing! I love the idea! Here's Jimmy Kimmel's take on it:

Maybe it's because I was always meant to be a writer, but there are so many books that I've read throughout my life that I would have loved to have rewritten. Who didn't want to smash that vial of poison out of Romeo's hands before he killed himself?  Who didn't want Scarlett O'hara to be less annoying so Rhett wouldn't leave her?

What a fun concept!

As a few of my fellow authors have pointed out - there is a long line of "rewritten" classics around already, especially of the movie variety.  It's all about entertainment - and creating a different spin on the classic. It's meant to be fun!

And you know what? It might get a few more people reading :-)  That can only be a good thing right? Unlike most of the books on the list below, the Clandestine Classics contain the original author's prose as well as the new scenes which stay true to the era and the characterizations. 

The following list is taken from Michael Sullivan's Blog so I take no credit in compiling it...but it's a great list and gives you an idea of what's already been retold:

Frank Cammuso. The Dodgeball Chronicles. [Knights of the Lunch Table] (Scholastic, 2008)
[Retelling of
The Story of King Arthur and His Knights, by Howard Pyle]

Neil Gaiman.
The Graveyard Book. (HarperCollins, 2008)
[Retelling of
The Jungle Books, by Rudyard Kipling]

Stuart Gibbs.
The Last Musketeer. (Harper, 2011)
[Retelling of
The Three Musketeers, by Alexander Dumas]

Tim Green.
Pinch Hit. (Harper, 2012)
[Retelling of
The prince and the Pauper, by Mark Twain]

Michael Mucci.
Dracula. [All-Action Classics] ( Sterling , 2007)
[Retelling of
Dracula, by Bram Stoker]

Tim Mucci and Rad Sechrist.
Tom Sawyer. [All-Action Classics] ( Sterling , 2007)
[Retelling of
Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain]

Rodman Philbrick.
The Young Man and the Sea. (Blue Sky Press, 2004)
[Retelling of
The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway]

Michael Sullivan.
Escapade Johnson and the Phantom of the Science Fair. (PublishingWorks, 2009)
[Retelling of
The Phantom of the Opera, by Gaston Leroux]

Doug TenNapel.
Bad Island. (Graphix, 2011)
[Retelling of
The Mysterious Island, by Jules Verne].

Doug TenNapel. Ghostopolis. Graphix, 2010.
[Retelling of
The Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum]

J.R.R. Tolkien, illustrated by David Wenzel. The Hobbit. (Random House, 1990)
[Retelling of
The Hobbit, or, There and Back, by J.R.R. Tolkien]

Jane Austen & Seth Grahame-Smith. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. (Quirk Books, 2009)
[Retelling of Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen]

A.C.E. Bauer.
Gil Marsh. (Random House, 2012)
[Retelling of
The Epic of Gilgamesh by Anonymous]

Libba Bray. Going Bovine. (Delacorte, 2009)
[Retelling of
Don Quixote, by Miguel De Cervantes]

Timothy Carter.
Evil? (Flux, 2009)
[Retelling of
The Crucible by Arthur Miller]

Carl Deuker.
On the Devil's Court. (Little, Brown, 1988)
[Retelling of
Faust, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe]

Gareth Hinds.
Beowulf. (Candlewick, 2007)
[Retelling of Beowulf, by Anonymous]


Gordon Korman. Jake Reinvented. (Hyperion, 2003)
[Retelling of
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald]

Barry Lyga and Colleen Doran.
Mangaman. (Houghton Mifflin, 2011)
[Retelling of
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare]

Mahiro Maeda and Yura Ariwara.
Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo. (Ballantine Books, 2008- )
[Retelling of
The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas]

Christopher Moore.
Fool. (William Morrow, 2009)
[Retelling of
King Lear, by William Shakespeare]

Donna Jo Napoli.
The Wager. (Henry Holt, 2010)
[Retelling of
Faust, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe]

Daniel and Dina Nayeri Nayeri.
Another Faust. (Candlewick, 2009)
[Retelling of
Faust, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe]

Kenneth Oppel.
This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein. (Simon & Schuster,

[Retelling of Frankenstein, by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley]

William Shakespeare, illustrated by Emma Vieceli.
Hamlet: Prince of Denmark . [Manga Shakespeare]
(Harry N. Abrams, 2007)
[Retelling of
The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, by William Shakespeare]

William Shakespeare, illustrated by Sonia Leong.
Romeo and Juliet. [Manga Shakespeare] (Amulet
Books, 2007)
[Retelling of
Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare]

So it seems I'm not alone :-)  Why not retell a classic story in a different way or add extra scenes? Just for fun!

And for all those who love the originals? So do I, and you know what? They're still the same as they ever if a retold classic is not your cup of tea, no problem. You can still read the originals :-)

I know I'll be checking out the Clandestine Classics when they come out at the end of the month.

What about you?


Marie Sexton said...

It is funny how they want to imply that it's never been done before. Give me a break. ;-)

Interesting list, too!

Heather said...

An interesting list. Having recently reread Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, I was interested to see an offering on GoodReads the other day for a YA/Horror take on the classic novel called TEN.

Bellina said...

I think it's a compliment to the author that someone thinks enough of their work to want to "tinker" with it. Thanks for posting that Jimmy Kimmel link, Maggie. Perfect!

Maggie Nash said...

Hi Marie - absolutely - so they never watched West Side story? Or maybe they didn't get it?

Heather - yep, it seems a new one is released every day.

Naomi - I agree. It's a huge compliment. And you're welcome! I should put it on here too :-)

Morticia Knight said...

I'm super excited about this line Maggie - I am so proud to be a part of the company that came up with this great idea ;-)

Caleb Pirtle said...

Somebody came up with a brilliant idea. I appreciate your passing it on. Maybe I'll go back and write "To Kill A Hummingbird."