Tuesday, 5 March 2013

You all deserve to die

Not YOU, my faithful reader(s). I'm talking about the people in the publishing world who really, really annoy me. The ones whom, if I were ever so slightly more psychopathological than I am, I would wish to die in creatively horrible ways. Like being sandwiched in a very large slush pile that's due for the shredder...

Here's my list. What really gets your goat?

#1 - Books starring Jane Austen, remakes of Jane Austen, retellings of Jane Austen

Jane Austen has been a vampire. She has been turned into an erotic kinkfest. Her life and works have been pawed over, warped, twisted, worn threadbare, turned into every flavour of pulp. Zombies and sea monsters have been added to them. They've been placed in a modern setting minus all the best descriptions and language of their creator. The wonderful characters who leapt off the page have been flattened into stupid, cardboard, lifeless versions of themselves in absolutely pointless "modernisations". (Oo, what if we did Persuasion, but in a school? And an office! And in space...)

Keira Knightley has overbitten her way through Elizabeth Bennet. Miniseries have been written in which someone else gets Mr Darcy. For Mansfield Park's sake, they have BROKEN up the MOST ROMANTIC COUPLE in ENGLISH LITERATURE! I am saddened to report that even "decent" authors are getting on the bandwagon. Now that P.D. James and Colleen McCullough have had their turn, they're putting out six new retellings of the novels by the likes of Joanna Trollope and Val McDermid.
Can't you see the woman's exhausted?

No more.

#2 - Twilight readalikes

If I have to give a list of books similar to this series, you'll be reading all day. Ingredients include: paranormal love triangle (involves anything from werewolves to vampires to sexy giant squid - I actually came across a gryphon the other day. Still don't get the humanoid dragon thing, and falling in love with something that's half bird, half lion is just agin' nature.)

Second ingredient: boy who seems to hate the girl, but really burns for her despite her possessing no apparent personality at all.

Third ingredient: a girl who's new to town, who doesn't have any real friends except the one totally hot guy who's keeping a secret...

Sounds familiar? Oh, it's only about 300 recent books...(The Gathering Dark is one.)

Please don't make me buy any more. I'm begging you.

#3 - Titles that are a play on the character's name

Things like Grace Under Fire or Honour Among Thieves or Saving Faith or Hope Rises or April Showers...Maybe not April Showers, it sounds like a certain kind of movie. (Actually I just checked, there is one. But it's not what you think.)

You know what I mean, anyway - books where the main character is actually called Grace, or Faith, or Hope, or Victory, or whatever. Vomitorious.

#4 - Celebrity children's books

Some celebrities can write, apparently. I'm told the Hank Zipzer books by the Fonz aren't too bad, and nor are Jamie-Lee Curtis's. On the other hand - there are Madonna and Jordan, aka Katie Price. At least Jordan doesn't actually write hers. Hilary Duff did write Elixir, starring a young woman struggling with fame, and I mean this nicely, Hilary, but please go back to reading other people's lines. Even Whoopi Goldberg, Steve Martin and Weird Al Yankovic are guilty of some crimes against literature. Funny people, but not good writers. Fifty Cent has written a book. And has anyone read Modelland by Tyra Banks?

Here's the blurb: "Awkward fifteen-year-old Tookie De La Creme is invited to join the most exclusive modeling school in the world, where she must survive the beastly Catwalk Corridor and the terrifying Thigh-High Boot Camp in order to uncover Modelland's sinister secrets."

I'm putting on my fierce face.

Look out - coming up next, Monica Seles' new series about - yep, a tennis academy. Foul.

#5 - Titles that riff on other titles (that riff on OTHER titles)

We've had Fifty Sheds of Grey, Fifty Bales of Hay, Fifty Shades of Play, Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray, Fifty Shades of Feminism, and my personal favourite, Fifty Shades of Chicken.  

Give it a bone, will you? This turkey is well and truly cooked.


syfygirl21 said...

Oh yes I so agree with these and I would also add...

Authors who keep churning out the same books year after year (usually several a year) and yes I'm looking at you James Patterson & Co. Come on now don't you think it time to retire or do something fresh.

Scriven said...

Seconded. Much as I regret Lindsey Davis's decision to write about Falco's adopted daughter rather than him, I fully support her right to do so. Authors should stretch themselves.