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Adam Sockel

Re-tellings and re-imaginings

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Adam Sockel    33

What are your thoughts on the trend of modern day versions of well known stories? Do you have a favorite?

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Loretta    2

They say there's only 6 stories in the world, so I should be able to come up with bunches. The only one that comes to mind immediately is Beauty and the Beast/50 Shades of Grey. Turned into a Beast by an evil witch, all alone except for servants, acts all gruff and growly, can't control his rage, until a beautiful maiden slowly tames him and banishes "The Beast" with "Love". Actually that's the basis for at least half the romances out there.

I do love the stories that pay homage to, and play with, the great myths. Kevin Hearne has a jolly romp with this: banging heads, swords and mugs of ale with Russian demi-gods, German witches, the Olympians, Coyote and probably Lu-Shin and Quetzalcoatl. So much fun.

 

 

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Claudine    1

I am a tremendous fan of anything related to Austen’s works that is thoughtful and well written as well as connected to the themes that she also explored in her stories. 

The image I am posting describes one of the biggest reasons that I just adore “Pride & Prejudice.” 

44FEB9A6-6998-4C58-8624-C6F70553307C.jpeg

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Here are my three favorite retellings, from a SciFi and Fantasy buff:
 
1. Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. "Inferno"
 
I first read Dorothy L Sayers translation of Dante's Inferno in high school, and loved the her version's attempt to combine readability with the rhyming pattern in the original Italian.  The SF writing team of Niven and Pournelle have retold the story as a fantasy novel.  N&P's "Inferno" is a modern day (well, 1970's, anyway) version - same old Hell, but it is amazing how modern foibles fit nicely into all the same slots.  Told with humor and insight, and gives you pause for thought about how things we don't ordinarily regard as particularly evil can literally drop you into deep s**t in the afterlife.  It also gives the reader pause, and a new take on what the purpose of Hell is, in a universe of a loving Creator. 
 
2. Orson Scott Card. "Enchantment"
 
As a retelling of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale, Card's novel has a modern young scholar (and long distance runner) return to a place glimpsed in his childhood, where he rescues a sleeping princess and travels back with her to medieval Russia.  A beautiful and robust love story - of both the romantic and parent-child kind.  And it has a deliciously evil witch, who gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "a wicked sense of humor".
 
3. Sherry S. Tepper. "Beauty"
 
Also based on the Sleeping Beauty tale, this novel sweeps through time, Earth and Faerie, rolling up most every fairy tale - Cinderella, Snow White, The Frog Prince - along the way.  (The real fairy tales, that is, not the Disney silliness).  This book is as beautiful as its title suggests, and is extremely well written and conceived -- what the TV/Netflix series "Once Upon a Time" would be if its writers were, like, about 100 times better than they actually are.
 
In a similar vein, Lacy Williams has a "Cowboy Fairy Tales" series, the first of which, "Once Upon a Cowboy", is available free on joining her web community. While not retellings of anything in particular, these novels are set in the the modern day and include princesses, assassins, Navy SEALS and cowboys.  With all those in there, what's not to like?

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Ursula HF    3

I also enjoy retellings!   I have read Enchanted, but I also liked Uprooted by Naomi Novik,  because who doesn't love the most awesome witch of all, Baba Yaga?

I think retellings area great chance to explore stories we love from other perspectives. Some times retellings can also just be reading the same story at a different point in our lives. 

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SammieK    0

I've really enjoyed the retelling trend, although I often find that some adaptations are of a better quality than others, in my opinion. I have loved many YA adaptations of Pride and Prejudice, and even enjoyed Pride and Prejudice and Zombies a bit. I have found some other retellings to be not nearly as fun or enjoyable. One I wasn't crazy fond of was Alice in Zombieland (the Nickolas Cook version, I haven't read Gena Showalter's version yet). It just wasn't as entertaining. I'm not a zombie fan, but some retellings along that line are at least fun. I think in some ways the trend has been a bit oversaturated, but I still find little gems I enjoy. I get very excited for Austen retellings and buy them whenever I come across them.  

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