Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Things I'm tired of

I have been spending a lot of time coming Amazon for interesting books and I have run across a lot of trends that are starting to annoy the crap out of me.

I have done my utter best to avoid acknowledging the existence of 'mash-up' novels like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and it's slew of imitators. But this trend of bastardization keeps on going! Where has originality gone? How hard is it to rewrite other people's (better) novels?

OK- I haven't read any of the titles mentioned above, and I don't want to. I like authors who create their own worlds, rely on their skills and plot their own books.

But, in either an attempt to one-up the mash-ups OR an attempt by publishers to cash in on a trend comes--- I don't even know what to call them so I'll call them this Historic Figure is actually demon/vampire/werewolf Slayer. These at least have the possibility to be original, maybe even interesting, but there are too many of them out there to make me care. And you know what? I like history for what it was. It's not necessary to turn every head of state/famous author into some kind of undead or undead slayer. FYI: The only exception to this Kim Newman but he did it first and better!

AND to one up the Historic Figure is actually demon/vampire/werewolf Slayer comes the Modern Retelling of Literature because what was wrong with it in the first place? Books like Jane http://www.amazon.com/Jane-April-Lindner/dp/0316084204/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1285728602&sr=1-1 This is why there are 3 versions of King Kong each one worse and longer than the one before it. People equate classics with boring so by God someone out there needs to make it all modern/better/now with computers and cell phones and things the KIDS can relate to.

Lastly there are the "sequels" to great books which honestly are fanfic-lit-wank.

I guess I just don't understand this need to bastardize everything. Is it because the original wasn't interesting enough? Is it because the authors were hurting for an idea? I like Jane Austin as much as anyone but I don't feel the need to steal her books and insert vampires. I have my own ideas, my own worlds, that I want to get out on paper. I don't need to beg, borrow or steal from anyone. Certainly other authors inspire me but to make Anna Karenina a steampunk rewrite with robots? No thanks. I have a few other things up my sleeve.


  1. Great post! I totally hear what you're saying, and I loathed the idea of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies...then I read it, knowing I would have to throw it down in disgust any second. The weird thing? I actually liked it, and Jane Austen's P&P is one of my favorite novels. There are lots of bastardized titles that I don't care for because the voice just feels wrong, but P&P&Zombies dealt with the manuscript with a skill and humor that I didn't expect. Crazy, but it worked for me.

    That said, I see what you're talking about it terms of originality flagging, and it's hard to watch classics being turned into farcical works.

  2. To me it just seems both lazy and disrespectful to steal 90% of omeone else's book and then cash in on it instead of writing your dang book!

    I don't think I will ever read P&P&Z because I love Austen and hate zombies (in the minority here). I just hope the craze dies down.

  3. I'm sure the zombie craze will die down (tee-hee) eventually :)

    PS--Another thing that's kind of disturbing is that my stepdaughter reads some of the new books and won't read the actual classic novel...I tell her, "You're not even getting the right perspective!"...something's messed up about that, but part of me is glad she's reading at all. *Sigh*

  4. I'm not opposed to the idea of story mash-ups as long as it is good. I've not read P&P&Z; I've heard lukewarm things about it at best.

    Though I do agree with you about messing around with a specific piece of work. However there are the occasional exceptions; I really enjoyed "Shadow of the Vampire" which was a sort of skewering or deconstruction of an existing piece. I think that was handled pretty wisely, and even though they were having a laugh, also handled with respect.

    I wholeheartedly approve of the idea of mashing two GENRES together... Again, as long as there is a solid execution.

  5. I'm with you. I tried to read P&p&Z and didn't get past the first page. It's the same story with insertions of zombies, I just don't get these books!

    I do plan on reading Tom Holland's the vampyre (which posits that Lord Byron is vampire) purely cause it a good while ago (and I bought the book lol)

  6. Jess- yeah your stepdaughter only reading the newer updates is depressing. Classics SHOULD be forced on the young! Love them or hate them you'll discover something- but I actually liked "The Scarlett Letter" in HS and read Beowulf in it's entirety after English class had us read

    -n8- Film is it's own animal and doen't really compare to books. Every film, based on something or not is it's own original creation made from the ground up. But stealing 90% of your prose from another (inevitably better) author is...lazy at best.

    Emily Cross-Thank you for commenting :) The historic figure tossed into paranormal is nothing new- I just object to the current glut of them which seem to be an attempt to cash in on an already saturated UF market.