How many times have you read your favorite classic novel? The pages tattered, the cover bent and the novel lovingly abused by your desire to consume it time and time again? Well, a new trend of reinventing classic novels has hit the literary world, giving you even more exposure to the book you love (and said book a temporary break from the abuse!). From Little Women to Pride and Prejudice to Mansfield Park, read on to find out how these classic tales have each been given a new spin (new characters, different plot lines and fun surprises) that will be sure to make you love the original even more.
The classic: Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
The spin: Little Women and Me, by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Emily is sick and tired of being a middle sister. So when she gets an assignment to describe what she’d change about a classic novel, Emily pounces on Little Women. After all, if she can’t change things in her own family, maybe she can bring a little justice to the March sisters. (Kill off Beth? Have cute Laurie wind up with Amy instead of Jo? What was Louisa May Alcott thinking?!) But when Emily gets mysteriously transported into the 1860s world of the book, she discovers that righting fictional wrongs won’t be easy. And after being immersed in a time and place so different from her own, it may be Emily — not the four March sisters — who undergoes the most surprising change of all.
Bottom line: It’s fun to see someone give our favorite Little Women a little shake up.
The classic: Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
The spin: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Seth Grahame-Smith
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.” So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton — and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers — and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield. Can Elizabeth vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you’d actually want to read.
Bottom line: Elizabeth Bennet battling zombies is a literary mashup at its best.
The classic: Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen
The spin: My Jane Austen Summer: A Season in Mansfield Park, by Cindy Jones
Lily has squeezed herself into undersized relationships all her life, hoping one might grow as large as those found in the Jane Austen novels she loves. But lately her world is running out of places for her to fit. So when her bookish friend invites her to spend the summer at a Jane Austen literary festival in England, she jumps at the chance to reinvent herself. There, among the rich, promising world of Mansfield Park reenactments, Lily finds people whose longing to live in a novel equals her own. But real life problems have a way of following you wherever you go, and Lily’s problems accompany her to England. Unless she can change her ways, she could face the fate of so many of Miss Austen’s characters, destined to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.
Bottom line: More exposure to our favorite Jane Austen novels is always a good thing.