I was in a small book shop in Wood Green, London, the other day and as I was perusing the books when I noticed something a bit odd: a book titled Alice in Zombieland. I was overcome with bemusement, annoyance, and an unhealthy urge to rip the book to shred so that no soul shall ever have to bear the weight of reading this. But it got me thinking. For several years now there have been some ‘shockingly’ silly pieces of literature that have surfaced. Stuff that ought to be floating on the internet as some piece of pathetic fan fiction; yet it’s mass produced and somehow making money!? I mean what happened to literature? So here we go. I’m going to list a few books of recent years that I find completely and totally redundant and for no reason whatsoever feel that they should exists.
Sherlock Holmes is a homosexual in this X rated retelling of Doyle’s classic A Study in Scarlet by Sarah Masters. The only thing Sarah is a master of is not having an original thought. Really, must she do this with Holmes? Can she not write an original story of her own or does she just want to toss in kinky sex scene in between Holmes and Watson moving in at 221b and learning what Rache means. She’s also doing this with Pride and Prejudice. Feels a bit lazy and redundant.
“Dead men tell no tales”. Can I just say ‘booo’. We’re pretty much looking at a toned down Davy Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. Again, why? Why is this needed? It’s really not. The original story is dull enough without sea monster mucking it up. I mean what’s next Nazis in space…oh wait!
Vampire this, vampire that. I’ve skimmed this book and even saw the film. Don’t ask me why. I was bored. However, out of all these weird mashups and retellings this appears to be the only one that is only ever so slightly ‘worth it’. Why? Because it’s fun to tinker with history a bit. And it’s an ‘original’ story in that someone didn’t just take someone elses story and go ‘INSERT CRAZY SEA MONSTER/ZOMBIE/SEX SCENE/WHATEVER HERE!’
Zombie. Maybe Seth Grahame-Smith felt bad for pointlessly adding zombies to this tale already horrific tale (if you can’t tell I already don’t like Jane Austin and don’t see how adding monsters will help her out) and that’s why he did Abe Lincoln Vampire Hunter.
First off, this looks strikingly similar to Tim Burton’s film which put me off because that really was a royal stinker. Then I read the title and wanted to throw the book into the fires of Mordor. Has the world has lost all originality? We just seem to jump between Vampires and Zombies and erotica nowadays. Why not have a Vampire-Zombie who is in love with a Zombie-Vampire..of the game gender?! Or even better, have none of it and do something original?!
There really is some stinky “literature” out there. Stuff that I don’t understand how it has a market. Personally I think I’m just going to write a love story featuring a dwarf and a leprechaun and see how well I do! So tell me people have you stumbled upon a ridiculous ‘mashup’ book or ‘retelling’ with an unnecessary slant? If so do share. I can’t be alone in thinking this is all pointless!
I should like to add that I have no issue with parody writing. It can be quite fun and entertaining, which is why I point out that Abe Lincoln Vampire Hunter was the most enjoyable because it was better than these others. A mere insertion of monsters or sex doesn’t necessarily mean good or enjoyable parody. I simply look for good parody and found these, overall, to be quite redundant.