Skip to main content

As You Like It

Literary news, book reviews
and more…   rss-icon 

Fractured classics that feel just right

by Emma R | Aug 31, 2016

Sometimes, when it comes to our literature/films/etc, we like to go mainstream. Everyone’s reading the Star Wars spinoffs, or the Star Trek spinoffs, or the World of Warcraft spinoffs? We’re in.

But sometimes we want to push the envelope a bit; we want to put on our hipster glasses and shake up the status quo. Everyone’s watching the Marvel/DC universe films, or the James Bond films, or the Harry Potter films? We’re not in.

And sometimes our taste in literature/films/etc has never been mainstream. Everyone’s digging into Fifty Shades of Gray? We’ve got our noses stuck in anything Jane Austen. Everyone’s relishing The Walking Dead or World War Z? We’re still watching Night of the Living Dead.

So next time the same old just feels…well, old, here are some books and films that have gotten a little less love -- but still keep you in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries! And for those of us who prefer to stay in the olden days, here are some books and films that will keep you in your sweet spot -- while bringing you a little closer to modern times!

Tin Man
 Tin Man, film (2008): A sci-fi twist on The Wizard of Oz. So maybe little girls with puppy dogs and pigtails and dresses aren’t your thing: D.G is a rebel in jeans and a jacket, riding a motorcycle over the speed limit in her tiny Kansas town…until bad guys show up at her house, and her parents insist that the only way to escape them is to jump into a freak tornado. Tin Man has all the same loveable characters, just on steroids. This is, largely, an okay film for group watching; a few scenes might be considered too violent/inappropriate for children though, so parental guidance is encouraged.
 The Looking Glass Wars, by Frank Beddor (2006-2009): Alice in Wonderland gets a makeover. Alyss didn’t get sucked into Wonderland; she was born there. She ends up in London when her jealous-for-the-throne aunt goes on a killing spree, and getting back home won’t be as easy -- or as safe -- as falling down a rabbit hole. The Looking Glass Wars gives the innocent characters of Alice in Wonderland a brutal edge in a brutal world, but you’ll still know who they’re supposed to be!
 Looking Glass Wars
 Pride Prejudice and Zombies
 Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Seth Grahame-Smith (2009), film (2016)Pride and Prejudice on every kind of steroid you can think of. The Bennet girls are still single; the Bingley gang still comes to town; and just as things are going just the way Austen planned them…you get zombies. All the romance of an Austen novel with all the gore and violence of popular zombie movies: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a great read or a great watch. Since this film contains large amounts of gore, it may or may not be a good choice for family movie night.

Shakespeare and Smythe Mysteries, by Simon Hawke (2000-2003): Shakespeare gets a series…and a sidekick. When Tuck Smythe runs into William Shakespeare on the road to London in the late 1500s, these two wanna-be actors tag team their way to the London theater scene. But things never seem to go their way. This series offers an interpretation of Shakespeare as a person and his entrance into theater—but with mysteries and a fellow detective.



 Dying by the Sword
 Musketeers Mysteries, by Sarah D’Almeida (2006-2008): Another mystery twist on an old classic, The Three Musketeers, gets a hint of spice. D’Artagnan arrives in Paris, but gets sucked into a different kind of drama than Dumas fans are used to. The three musketeers encounter mysteries of a personal sort in the early days of their friendship with D’Artagnan, but they’ll find that there’s as much trouble in these mysteries as there is in more political matters. Sarah D’Almeida’s mysteries recreate the musketeers in a unique way, while still offering recognizable characters; the mysteries themselves will suck you into the aspects of the musketeers Dumas glossed over. Several scenes within this series contain adult situations.


Emma did a complete 180 late in high school, abandoning dreams of a degree in Music Performance to pursue a degree in English Literature. She finished her B.A. in December 2015, and now she’s working on her MLS while working in Material Support Services. When she’s not working at the library or on her degree, she spends time with her parents, her siblings, her boyfriend, and her two cats.
  • Readers Advisory
  • film
  • Emma R
  • book suggestions
  • Book Reviews
  • As You Like It
  • ACPLadultblog