I really, really need to plan a trip to London. I’d be sure to go on the Charles Dickens Walking Tour. This video gives you an idea about what the tour would be like. It takes us to the George and Vulture, the home away from home for Pickwick in The Pickwick Papers.
In honor of Halloween I put together this list of five classic novels that have been rewritten with a different twist. What happens when classic literature crosses with the horror genre? You get titles like . . . .
Jane Slayre, our plucky demon-slaying heroine, is a courageous orphan who spurns the detestable vampyre kin who raised her, sets out on the advice of her ghostly uncle to hone her skills as the fearless slayer she’s meant to be. When she takes a job as a governess at a country estate, she falls head-over-heels for her new master, Mr. Rochester, only to discover he’s hiding a violent werewolf in the attic–in the form of his first wife. Vampyres, zombies, and werewolves transform Charlotte Bronte’s unforgettable masterpiece into an eerie paranormal adventure that will delight and terrify.
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”
So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield.
Heathcliff: Vampire of Wuthering Heights starts with a mysterious letter. Lockwood, a law clerk in London and amateur vampire stalker, must investigate, no matter the peril to himself. Traveling into the misty moors of Yorkshire, Lockwood finds the strange owner of Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff, and becomes trapped in the evil enveloping all of Yorkshire. Driven nearly to madness by his unrequited love for Catherine Earnshaw, Heathcliff roams the moors and is transformed into one of the undead, a vampire. But when he returns to claim his beloved, he finds that she too is forever changed and cannot become one of the undead. Heathcliff begins a cycle of madness that might satisfy his blood lust, but never his heart’s desire. Now he reveals the history of carnage and revenge to his most unwilling listener and next victim…
Heaven knows, we need never be ashamed of our wolfish cravings. . . .
In Grave Expectations bristly, sensitive, and meat-hungry Pip is a robust young whelp, an orphan born under a full moon. Between hunting escaped convicts alongside zombified soldiers, trying not to become one of the hunted himself, and hiding his hairy hands from the supernaturally beautiful and haughty Estella, whose devilish moods keep him chomping at the bit, Pip is sure he will die penniless or a convict like the rest of his commonly uncommon kind. But then a mysterious benefactor sends him to London for the finest werewolf education money can buy.
Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters expands the original text of the beloved Jane Austen novel with all-new scenes of giant lobsters, rampaging octopi, two-headed sea serpents, and other biological monstrosities. As our story opens, the Dashwood sisters are evicted from their childhood home and sent to live on a mysterious island full of savage creatures and dark secrets. While sensible Elinor falls in love with Edward Ferrars, her romantic sister Marianne is courted by both the handsome Willoughby and the hideous man-monster Colonel Brandon. Can the Dashwood sisters triumph over meddlesome matriarchs and unscrupulous rogues to find true love? Or will they fall prey to the tentacles that are forever snapping at their heels? This masterful portrait of Regency England blends Jane Austen’s biting social commentary with ultraviolent depictions of sea monsters biting. It’s survival of the fittest—and only the swiftest swimmers will find true love!
We’ve added some fun features to the site for the month of October!
- Random Spooky Quote – Visit this page to see a random scary quote from our quotation collection.
- Daily Quote – Our daily quote page will be featuring a different spooky quote every day!
- Scary Tweets – We’ll also be tweeting a different Halloween-worthy quote every day.
- Halloween Quote Cards – Check out our gift shop for Halloween cards with some of the creepiest quotes from our collection. We’ve also made all of the quote cards into graphics that you can use on your Facebook page. Watch the blog as we post them throughout the month.
Are you a fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald? Then check out the F. Scott Fitzgerald Society. Their website proclaims, “Anyone interested in the works and life of F. Scott Fitzgerald is welcome.”
The site has resources, frequently asked questions and a great biography section. The biography, written by Matthew J. Bruccoli, captures the euphoric highs and the heart-breaking lows of the life of Fitzgerald. It ends with this paragraph:
F. Scott Fitzgerald died believing himself a failure. The obituaries were condescending, and he seemed destined for literary obscurity. The first phase of the Fitzgerald resurrection — “revival” does not properly describe the process — occurred between 1945 and 1950. By 1960 he had achieved a secure place among America’s enduring writers. The Great Gatsby, a work that seriously examines the theme of aspiration in an American setting, defines the classic American novel.
This morning NPR had an interesting story, Put Down Your E-Reader: This Book Is Better in Print. Click on the link to read or listen to the whole story. Here’s an excerpt:
Gillian Cross’ new retelling of Homer’s The Odyssey is aimed at kids 8 and up, and like many children’s books, it’s brightly colored and beautifully illustrated. But the artwork in this book — illustrated by Neil Packer — seems sophisticated for a kids’ book. These are not your standard depictions of gods and goddesses with chiseled features in flowing gowns. The images are stylized, multi-layered, richly colored and a little edgy.
The article goes on to question if such a book would ever make a good eBook. Are some books destined for print? What makes a book a good fit for an E-Reader?
You’ll also want to be sure to check out the book in question. The illustrations for The Odyssey are truly beautiful.
Fans of Little Women will be very interested in Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House. Alcott wrote Little Women there and the home is also the setting for the classic novel.
I only wish that I lived closer so that I could attend some of their events. The annual holiday program looks especially fun!
Baroness Emmuska (Emma) Orczy, the author of The Scarlet Pimpernel, was born on September 23, 1865. Her parents were the composer Baron Felix Orczy de Orczi and Countess Emma Wass von Szentegyed und Czege.
And interesting fact about Baroness Orczy is that in World War One she founded England’s Active Service League. Members pledged, “to persuade every man I know to offer his services to the country, and I also pledge myself never to be seen in public with any man who, being in every way fit and free for service, has refused to respond to his country’s call.”
While the organization fell short of its goal of enlisting 100,000 women, 20,000 women joined the cause.
Yesterday NPR interviewed Salman Rushdie about his new memoir, Joseph Anton. In the book Rushdie talks about the experience of living in hiding after a fatwa was issued calling for the death of the author and anyone associated with the book’s publication.
Where does the title come from? In the interview Rushdie states:
“The police asked me to come up with a pseudonym, partly because I needed to rent properties and so on, and obviously couldn’t do it in my own name,” he says. “And I was asked to make it not an Indian name. And so, deprived of one nationality, I retreated into literature — which is, you could say, my other country — and chose this name from the first names of Conrad and Chekhov: Joseph Conrad, Anton Chekhov equals Joseph Anton.”
The interview is fascinating. Rushdie draws parallels between his situation and Alfred Hitchcock’s film The Birds. Not only that, he suggests that his experience might have been a sort of foretelling of the 9/11 attacks.
Moby Dick Big Read is an innovative website. Every day the site features a chapter of Moby Dick read by a different celebrity. The chapters are accompanied by images from the world of complementary art. Fun!! The site started releasing just this week so head on over today.