Yesterday, as I was rifling through the mound of galleys that publishers oh-so-kindly sent our way, I came upon a book that made me sigh. No, not Heidi and Spencer Pratt’s How to Be Famous. That book made me scream. Instead, I became immediately fatigued upon finding a copy of The Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy, by Sara Angelini – a 2007 novel (newly in paperback) that’s billed as Legally Blonde-meets-Pride and Prejudice.
Why, you ask? Because I completely, 100 percent supported the trend of Jane Austen mash-ups – until now. Can you say oversaturation? Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was hysterical, and wholly original. But the novelty has worn thin, with dozens of authors jumping on board to sell their updates of Austen’s work in every genre from romance to mystery to sci-fi. How many more supernatural remixes will we find (see: all those Prejudice-themed vampire books)? How many more chick-lit updates?
Because, really, there are hundreds of other identifiable, classic authors whose work could use an imaginative update. Let’s leave Austen alone for once. Why not desecrate the work of John Steinbeck, Louisa May Alcott, or, hell, even Dante? Tell me, Shelf Lifers, are you as tired of the Prejudice trend as I am? And whose work do you wish contemporary authors would update?