I did a post earlier in the year about how certain classic novels might have been marketed if they’d been written by women. It was a lot of fun (for me, which as we know, is all that matters). Now it’s time to get less gender-specific and more trend-specific. How might some of the great classics of old look, if they were being unleashed on the general public today by eager publicity machinists?
1. JANE EYRE
Author: Charlotte Brontë. Publ. 1847
Modern Genre: Domestic Noir
Prim and proper Jane has worked hard to put her past as a hot-headed scrapper behind her. But when she gets a new job working in Thornfield Hall for the affluently brooding Mr Rochester, the past threatens to catch up with both of them. Jane knows that at least one person in the old mansion isn’t telling her the truth. But can anyone mansplain to her what is happening in the attic in the dead of night? And can it be that every time Mr Rochester is horrible and abusive, he’s really saying ‘I love you’?
Author: James Joyce. Publ. 1922
Modern Genre: Sit-Down Comedy
One man goes for a walk; another for a kidney – and all of history falls into step with them. A laugh-out-loud, glorious triumph of words over paper you WON’T want to miss.
A piece of rare genius: entirely incomprehensible, and just as important – Jeremy Paxman
Completely pissed myself reading this – Johnny Vegas
3. BLEAK HOUSE
Author: Charles Dickens. Publ. 1852
Modern Genre: Literary Crime (with orphans)
What happens when chaos turns out to be more organised than you think?
A starving illiterate orphan, cheery in his hopeless misery. A wise-cracking cop, determined to get his man – or is it woman? A bored and beautiful aristocrat who can’t let go of the past. Do-gooders and ne’er-do-wells. More orphans, but fully-clothed and educated this time. Lots more orphans. Really, there are orphans everywhere. Hundreds of seemingly unrelated people prove to be connected in ever more incredible and coincidental ways. And when they come together, it’s MURDER.
4. ROBINSON CRUSOE
Author: Daniel Defoe. Publ. 1719
Modern Genre: Survivalist Non-Fiction
Join Robinson Crusoe in the true story which spawned a million copycats as he takes you through the finer points of making fire; building shelters; growing crops; animal husbandry; cannibalism; godly colonialism; God; and the triumph of the godly common man over nature.
He taught me everything I know, except humility – Bear Grylls
***SPECIAL OFFER*** Free Man Friday with the first 50 limited edition copies
5. PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
Author: Jane Austen. Publ. 1812
Modern Genre: Chick-Lit (duh)
Spirited, ‘fine’ Elizabeth Bennett doesn’t want to get married, no matter what her pushy mother says. So why is she getting proposed to every sixty pages? Her beloved bland sister Jane should be the one sewing her trousseau. Even younger sister Lydia would be much better suited to marital duties, and she’s a total slut. Is being really, really intelligent and witty a fatal flaw in the modern girl? Or can our Elizabeth understand in time that a rich husband is the right ticket to a happy ever after?
6. ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN
Author: Mark Twain. Publ. 1884
Modern Genre: Young Adult
Fourteen-year-old Huck Finn doesn’t fit in. He knows there’s something different about him, and it’s not just his abusive alcoholic father. When things get rough, Huck has to pull off the scam of a lifetime to escape. Will Huck be able to single-handedly bring an end to slavery? Is he the boy an entire nation has been waiting for? And if so, does it matter that he sure steals a heck of a lot?
If Huck Finn had a YouTube channel, he’d have 10 million subscribers – Some Vlogger
But he can’t because he literally died ages ago – Some Other Vlogger
7. MRS DALLOWAY
Author: Virginia Woolf. Publ. 1925
Modern Genre: Women’s Fiction
Women will love this story of women and their thoughts, penned by a real woman with thoughts and words. Join Clarissa Dalloway as she goes about her day thinking about women’s issues, such as love, life, and death.
The best book for women written by a woman this year – Literary Prize Committee
8. MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS
Author: Agatha Christie. Publ. 1934
Modern Genre: Cosy Mystery
When celebrated detective Hercule Poirot boards the famous Orient Express, he little suspects a crime will be committed in the cabin next door. Who killed Mr Samuel Ratchett? Will Poirot find out in time to enjoy the comforts of extortionate luxury train travel before the police arrive and disrupt the cosiness of his investigation? And how many unreliable narrators are too many?
9. SILAS MARNER
Author: George Eliot. Publ. 1861
Modern Genre: True Story
Who really was Silas Marner? Ungodly thief? Society outcast? Person voted most unlikely for an entire village to think the best candidate to raise a foundling child? Find out in this shocking account by local journalist George Eliot – a man – complete with never-before-seen interviews and letters from this story which shook an entire, albeit very small, community.
10. ANIMAL FARM
Author: George Orwell. Publ. 1945
Modern Genre: Buzzfeed Article
These Animals Were Left Alone, And You Won’t Believe What Happened Next