Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Remakes are a funny thing. You take a movie/television show that’s already been made and attempt to update it and recapture that old magic. Occasionally, it even works.

You see it often in movies and television (Hollywood prefers things that come with built-in audiences), but not as much with books. However, we do have a good one with the updates of the classic fairytales Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood that take the form of CINDER and SCARLET by Marissa Meyer. Although the original stories aren’t novels by a long shot, the result is in the same spirit of the greatest remakes: fresh, its own creature, full of echoes of the original.

Another “remade” book is WICKED, done by Gregory Maguire to show the other side of the Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (he’s also got MIRROR, MIRROR, a retelling of Snow white). Yes, fairy tales do seem to be popular stories to remake.

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES by Seth Grahme-Smith is a good book, but I’m not sure it qualifies as a true remake. It’s a parody, a rewrite with a specific idea in mind to change the original, rather than a reworking of the original material. There’s also the I-can’t-decide-if-they-really-suck-or-are-actually-okay Frankenstein “sequels” by Dean Koontz. They aren’t true remakes since they take place after the original book is supposed to, but a great deal of the original story was changed to fit what he wanted. However, it doesn’t have much spirit of Mary Shelley’s novel. I don’t think they count. It doesn’t help that I’m leaning towards “they suck” right now.

I think the success of CINDER and WICKED means book remakes will only become more popular. Whether they’ll be good, though, remains to be seen.

Do you guys know of any book remakes? What do you think of them, yay or nay?


  1. I can't think of any others either...

  2. I don't mind them so much, however it can get to the point of being overdone. I mean, how many more versions of Snow White do we really need? And then I read a book like Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem and was really surprised how good that was. I say if you can do a fitting retelling, go for it (but seriously, there are other Brothers Grimm stories SCREAMING for a retelling). :)

  3. Well, Bridget Jones's Diary was a retelling of Pride & Prejudice, at least according to Helen Fielding. To a certain extent, all stories are retellings of others. And fairy tales are kind of amalgams of stories developed in French salons (I'm probably remembering this wrong, and I'm not in a go-and-look-it-up frame of mind). So, I'm not against it per se.

    Sorry, brain is in pain, so I'm not thinking straight right now...

  4. I can't recall who said it, but it's been said that there are only a handful of actual ideas out there, and the stories that get told are just variations on those few ideas.

    I have read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies though. I wonder what Jane would have made of that...


Please validate me.