Do you get tired of Cinderella losing her goddamn shoe? Are you tired of hearing universally acknowledged truths about single men in possession of a large fortune? Does the tale as old as time seem a little too old and overused to you?
Well say no more! I have the perfect solution!
You read that right, my friend. Retellings.
Retellings are basically our canonical classics that have been rewritten in a different setting, era, format, perspective etc. Writers retelling these tales take the plot of the original story and make it their own. And if you have already read (and by read I mean fallen in love with, obviously) these classics, a retelling is a great opportunity for you to relive that magic, with a couple of killer robots here and there. Imitation is a form of flattery and these retellings are proofs that these stories are indeed classics and are timeless tales that will no doubt survive our future tense.
So here are some retellings that will make you laugh, cry, cringe (maybe, just a little bit) and drown you into the wholesomeness of nostalgia.
Jane Austen Retellings
1.Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Graham-Smith
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains”
Crediting Jane Austen as a co-author, author Seth Graham-Smith integrates our typical zombie apocalypse into the classic that is Pride and Prejudice. In this version, Mr. Bennet trains his daughters in martial arts; whereas, even in this unrealistic, imaginary version, Mrs. Bennet is hell bent on finding her daughters a suitable suitor, and our beloved introvert, Mr. Darcy is a zombie slayer.
2.Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Ben H. Winters
In an alternate universe, where a phenomenon known as ‘The Alteration’ pits humans against sea monsters, the Dashwood sisters try to find their true love and try to make sense of their emotions. Their father, a sea monster hunter, was murdered by a hammerhead shark, (yes, you read that right) Col. Brandon is part human, part squid (yes, you read that right. Again.) and Marianne falls for Wiloughby when he saves her from the killer octopi.
From bonnets to bullets, these books are bound to make Jane Austen turn in her grave. Nevertheless, these retellings, though they sound farfetched and ridiculous, are a perfect marriage of critique of society and the ridicule of pop-culture.
3. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
Not your average fairy tale, The Lunar Chronicle, recounts the lives of Cinder(Cinderella), Scarlet (Little Red Riding Hood), Cress(Rapunzel), and Winter(Snow White) in a dystopian future. Earth is being plagued by a terrible disease, life on the moon has been established, and the humans on the moon have been modified into these terrifying mind-controlling monsters, and their tyrant, the Lunar queen is wreaking havoc upon Earth by making life miserable. Moreover, the queen has the cure but refuses to pass it on to humans. It is up to our cyborg Cinder(ella), farmer Scarlet, programmer/hacker Cress and Princess Winter to overthrow her and bring peace and equality between the residents of Earth and the moon. Better than your average Young Adult fantasy, this book will be hard to put down.
4. All Men of Genius by Lev Ac Rosen
This retelling is a mash up of The Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare and The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. Set in an alternate universe, our character, Violet Adams, lives in a Steampunk Victorian England. She aspires to study science at the exclusive Illyria school, but as this is the Victorian era, women are not allowed to do so. So Violet (a la Viola) disguises herself as her twin brother and gets in! Laced in the time-tested magic school tropes, this book may be the only one on this list that does no justice whatsoever to the canonical texts of Shakespeare and Wilde.
5.Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
‘Reader, I murdered him.’
Throughout her childhood, Jane had been labelled a liar and had been called wicked. In this version, these accusations are true. Our (new) Jane is a ruthless, cold-blooded killer. Nevertheless, she has a soft side and falls in love with Mr. Thornfield, her dilemma being as to will the mysterious Mr. Thornfield still love her when he discovers the bloody trail she leaves behind? It is said to be a very faithful retelling as it captures the romance and the theme of female independence.
6. Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufmann and Jay Khristoff
Set in the year 2380, the ‘Goldenboy’ (Tyler)of an interstellar military academy, finds himself grouped with a bunch of misfits(very reminiscent of ‘The Guardians Of The Galaxy’, by the way). This ragtag bunch ends up finding an abandoned spaceship with our protagonist Auri (like Aurora from the Sleeping Beauty) kept in cryo-sleep for the last two centuries. What happens next, you will have to find out for yourselves when you read this page-turner!