Buried Under Books

REVIEW: ‘Eligible’ by Curtis Sittenfeld

‘Pride and Prejudice’ meets ‘Sex and the City’. Here’s the short version: if you love P&P, you’ll be fascinated (and possibly outraged) by some of the modern adaptations Sittenfeld has introduced. If you like chick-lit, you’ll likely enjoy this regardless of your knowledge – or lack of knowledge! – of the inspirational text. What’s it […]

‘Emma’: a modern retelling by Alexander McCall Smith

So. Why retell Austen at all? Having read and reviewed Joanna Trollope’s ‘Sense and Sensibility’  (mildly amusing but ultimately unconvincing) and Val McDermid’s ‘Northanger Abbey’  (much more entertaining but still a little daft in places), I’m fast reaching the conclusion that it’s purely in order to shift a few books with minimum effort by appealing to […]

‘Northanger Abbey’ as imagined by a teenager reared on ‘Twilight’ and other fantasies

‘Northanger Abbey’ reimagined: could this stately family pile really be home to Twilight-style vampires? * Perhaps the least popular of Austen’s six completed novels, ‘Northanger Abbey’ is, nonetheless, a clever and entertaining parody of contemporary Gothic and Romantic novels. This makes seasoned crime writer Val McDermid an interesting choice to ‘update’ the novel, since she […]

Revisioning Jane Austen – The Austen Project II

My initial response to The Austen Project was the mental equivalent of a head-shake and an eye roll. WHY spend time rewriting the classics? Surely the whole point of a classic is that they are, in some ways at least, still relevant in contemporary society and culture? If a book is no longer relevant to […]

Rewriting Jane Austen – The Austen Project I

‘Sense and Sensibility’ – by Joanna Trollope? Doesn’t sound right, does it? How about ‘Northanger Abbey’ – by Val McDermid? Meet The Austen Project: six well-known authors are ‘reworking’ Jane Austen’s six completed novels. Why? Erm…because they can? This isn’t a new phenomenon by any means, and there are still fewer rewrites of Austen than […]