Tuesday, May 4, 2010
That Was My Heart You Stabbed
Besides--I love JANE EYRE, just as I love PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, and I learned long ago that letting other writers have their way with someone else's characters just leads to heartbreak. Call this the lesson learned when I eagerly picked up Alexandra Ripley's so-awful-it-could-have-triggered-another-Civil-War SCARLETT. What can I say? I was twenty-one at the time. I should have known better. But what can excuse the scene where Rhett and Scarlett go sailing..? Sailing?????? Just a few years ago I fell for the trick again--there sat RHETT BUTLER'S PEOPLE on the library shelf, and I checked it out. Listen up, people: reading follow-ons written by different authors is like getting back together with your high school sweetheart decades later and expecting to feel sixteen again. It. Just. Doesn't. Happen.
So those whole tables of Austen derivatives? You know what I mean--MR. DARCY'S DIARY, MR. DARCY TAKES A WIFE, MR. DARCY GETS HIS FIRST PEDICURE (kidding about that one)--I walk on by. Don't even read the back covers.
What about the original mashups, you ask? You know, where the author got started and either dropped it or dropped dead, and someone else had to finish? Wouldn't know. Never read any Brian Herbert working off of Frank Herbert or any of the "finished" version of Twain's #44, THE MYSTERIOUS STRANGER or Dickens' THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD. They might work. I, for one, can't tell where Mozart keeled over, when I listen to his unfinished Requiem.
Would love to hear from you all on this one. Has anyone every read a completion, or follow-on, or mashup that they thought approached the charm of the original?