Most classics- in particular fairytales- have had numerous retellings since their original release, both verbally and on paper.
Others still have been reproduced on stage and screen.
While most elements of the story usually remain the same, sometimes a new author may put their own literary twist on the tale, using creative licence to slightly alter the story that we’re familiar with.
Do you enjoy reading these new adaptations of old classics? What are some of the books you have read that follow this ideal? Were they any good? Or do you prefer the originals?
I enjoy reading adaptations, particularly when they're fairy tales, because I like to read different interpretations of familiar stories. If you want to read a variation of The Wizard of Oz, you can't go past Wicked by Gregory Maguire (which the musical is based on). Danielle Paige has also written a great series about Dorothy's adventures.
Alice in Wonderland has also had some great rewrites, by Gena Showalter and Christina Henry, and Beauty And The Beast was recently rewritten as Hunted (another well-written and interesting book) by Meagan Spooner.
Another oldie (but a goodie) is Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber, where she rewrites popular fairy tales with a new slant.
I've really enjoyed reading all of these adaptations. I can't say they're better than the originals, because they are so different, but I think that's what makes them so compelling to read.
Great question! Thankyou for reminding me about The Bloody Chamber. There is a copy on my shelf that has been sitting there for years and I've never read it. Must get around to it.
Oh and I thought of another- Nalo Hopkinson's Skin Folk has some fairy tales with a Carribean flavour, including some of European tales she has changed to fit the setting. I love her style, and it makes a change to read fantasy with some people of colour as main characters.
Sometimes I do. I suppose it depends if they are well written. I enjoyed Gregory Maguire's Wicked, though I haven't gotten around to the sequels yet. I have read some terrible fairy tale retellings (one that stands out- a version of Hansel and Gretel featuring sodomy and paedophilia- why?!), but also some terrific ones. I really like Angela Slatter's more feminist versions of fairy tales in her anthology A Feast of Sorrows. There's a great version of the Little Mermaid in there, and a dark but beautiful version of Rumplestiltskin. Spindle's End by Robin McKinley is a fun take on Sleeping Beauty.