Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer Reading: Retellings

My summer reading journey continues. This week I'm finishing up The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman. He also wrote Coraline, which I finished a few weeks ago. Here's the blurb:

The Graveyard Book is the story of Nobody Owens (called "Bod" for short). At the start of the story, Bod is a toddler who witnesses the murder of his family by a mysterious man known as "Jack". Bod escapes from the family home before the murderer reaches him and stumbles into a nearby graveyard where the resident ghosts and other supernatural creatures "adopt" him and protect him from the evil Jack and his associates who continue to hunt for Bod.

I confess that the ghoulish take on The Jungle Book was intriguing. Have you read any retellings lately that you enjoyed?

47 comments:

B.E. Sanderson said...

I totally didn't get that it was a retelling of The Jungle Book until you said that. D'oh.

Jonene Ficklin said...

I read The Graveyard Book last fall and was quite intrigued with the unique premise. I'm laughing now that I know it's a take on The Jungle Book. It must be true - there really are no new stories in the world, just rewritten ones. It's the writer that makes it new.

Linda Gray said...

Okay, I admit to not knowing what the heck is going on in the writing world I thought I was part of. I keep seeing posts where people say they're writing xyz, a retelling. Is this a hot new genre?

Carol Kilgore said...

Not that I was aware of. The Graveyard Book sounds like something I'd like.

Rachna Chhabria said...

I had heard about The Graveyard Book, but didn't know much about it. Thanks for letting me know more about it. I will surely try to read it.

ensouling said...

Do you follow Gaiman's blog? http://journal.neilgaiman.com/

He's super active on Twitter too, and fun to follow: http://twitter.com/neilhimself

I confess to being a major fan of fantasy. And it's what I write. I can't think, offhand, of any retellings that I liked.

Although I will say I generally detest sequels by people other than the original author.

Angie Paxton said...

Right now I'm reading Entwined by Heather Dixon which is a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses and so far I'm liking it. My favorite retelling of all time though is Beauty by Robin McKinley. I haven't read any of Neil Gaiman's stuff, but this book sounds kind of fun. I might have to try it.

Bossy Betty said...

Whoa! I want to give this book a look-see when I go to the bookstore!

Erin Cole said...

This book is on my to-read list at Goodreads.

I wasn't aware of its retelling of The Jungle Book, but I like the idea that even popular authors have to (or want to) retell other stories.

Alleged Author said...

I loved this book. I haven't read any retellings, but I HAVE been watching "Sons of Anarchy" and some claim that is a retelling of "Hamlet." It's soooooo good!

Jadi said...

I'm the biggest sucker for retellings.

Entwined by Heather Dixon, as someone mentioned already.

The Sleeping Beauty by Mercedes Lackey and Fairest by Gail Carson Levine are both off Snow-White

I've read a bunch of fairy-tales-gone-wrong/fairy-tale-jokes lately too, but those aren't actual retellings.

Carol Riggs said...

I read and enjoyed that book too! But I enjoyed his NEVERWHERE even more; you might give that one a try!! ;o)

Suze said...

Why is there so much murder in literature, these days?

Heather said...

I actually am not a fan of retellings. Not sure why, they just don't appeal to me, unless I felt the original story needed improving in the first place. ;)

Lydia K said...

Linda, retellings are hot, hot, hot. Whether or not people enjoy them or not is a different question!

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

I haven't read any retellings lately, but I read THE GRAVEYARD BOOK when it first came out (I really liked it). And, there are a few retellings in my to-be-read pile. Happy reading!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I haven't read the book I'm sorry to say, it sounds good so may see if the library has it,

Yvonne.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Haven't read that one. I liked his Stardust though.

Krispy said...

OMG, it's a take on the Jungle Book?! I haven't read it yet, but I'll keep that in mind when I do. Haha.

Connie said...

I haven't read the book--it looks deliciously scary. I'll have to try it.

I just finished reading Paranormalcy, which I loved.

Suzie F. said...

I'm a major Neil Gaiman fan! He's incredibly creative and talented, and writes for both children and adults (he recently wrote an episode for Dr. Who if you're into that). I loved both Coraline and The Graveyard Book.

erica and christy said...

Last summer I very quickly read through Coraline at the library, but haven't read The Graveyard Book. And unless the books specifically mentions its a retelling, I don't always catch on (or haven't read the original).
erica

Meredith said...

I loved Coraline! I must read this one. I didn't know it was a Jungle Book retelling.

Matthew MacNish said...

No re-tellings, no, but I love me some Neil. Neverwhere is one of my absolute favorites.

storyqueen said...

I had not seen that cover for the Graveyard Book. Love it.

And I love the story, too.

(Not surprising since Rudyard Kipling is one of my faves, too.)

Shelley

(But Coraline is too creepy for me!)

lbdiamond said...

Hey, this is neat...and quite interesting considering I'm working on a "remake" of my own. Hmmm...

Old Kitty said...

I love this book!! Yay!! The only example of fab re-telling I can think of at this time is West Side Story's re-telling of Romeo and Juliet! LOL!

Take care
x

K.V. Briar said...

Oooh that sounds awesomely spooky :) I haven't read any good retellings lately but I have a few on my TBR list. There's been a lot of Little Red Riding Hoods lately. Personally I prefer retellings of myths. There's one of my list that the retelling of Persephone's story. SO excited to read it!

Leslie Rose said...

ASH by Malinda Lo was a paranormal Cinderella retell that had me riveted.

M Pax said...

I enjoyed his Neverwhere a lot.

Can't recall any, but there maybe retellings in disguise in my pile.

Jennifer Hillier said...

I'm embarrassed to admit I haven't read anything by Gaiman. But this book sounds so intriguing that I think I'll start with this one!

Emy Shin said...

I admit I stopped in the middle of THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, but I do remember loving Gaiman's way with words, so it must've come at the wrong time for me to enjoy.

Retellings -- the last one I read was ICE by Sarah Beth Durst, which was a retelling of East of the Sun, West of the Moon, and was a very nice read.

Phoenix said...

I love, love, love Neil Gaiman, so I'll add this to my list! I don't read many re-tellings, but I've heard Wicked and Son of a Witch are both excellent. Have you read either one of them?

Chris Phillips said...

Like the premise. Can't think of any good retellings.

Slamdunk said...

No I have not, but I like the blurb that you included. Very creative.

D. U. Okonkwo said...

So funny because my friend has one of this guy's book. I've never read any of his work but I started following him on Twitter. Doesn't make any sense, I know, but I was curious :o)

Stephen Tremp said...

I haven't read any remakes lately, but they are fun to see a different twist on a classic. Enjoy!

E. Arroyo said...

Hm...I don't think I've read a remake. But I wasn't exposed to much literature as a child, so I would't know one if it hit me square upside the head. Well, except the Disney creations. LOL.

Cold As Heaven said...

We used to have retelling books in English class in elementary school and jr high, so-called "easy readers", simplified versions of the Jungle Book, Robin Hood and Tom Sawyer with a vocabulary limited to 500 or 1000 words. I never liked them, preferred to read the original versions, and rather use the dictionary from time to time >:)

Cold As Heaven

notesfromnadir said...

Atmospheric cover.
Yes, I just read THE HUNGER GAMES. I read that it was based on a series of Japanese books [Battle Royal] which I might read later.

Ghenet Myrthil said...

I've been meaning to read this as I've heard nothing but great things. Thanks for the reminder to pick it up! :)

Karen Lange said...

The latest retelling sort of story I read would be one about a woman who left the Amish. (Don't know if that's the kind you have in mind or not.) It was pretty interesting.

Happy 4th weekend!

Connie Arnold said...

Sure doesn't seem anything like Jungle Book!

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Tamara D Hanson said...

I haven't read this one. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. :)

Nick Thomas said...

A great read

Michelle Teacress said...

I just finished this one. I loved it. :) Happy 4th to you too.

 
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