The Sunday Symposium is a weekly feature in which I'll be discussing various bookish topics and asking for your commentary, as well. This week's topic is retellings and reimaginings.
This post is inspired by the fact that I recently started Ironskin by Tina Connolly, which is a reimagining of Jane Eyre. I've been told to forget what I know of the original in order to properly appreciate the retelling, but that's almost asking too much of me. I'll admit, I didn't get very far into the book before putting it aside for other reads that were better able to hold my attention, but even so, expecting me not to compare the two novels goes against my very nature.
I'm always iffy when starting a novel that's based even partly on a story I've already read, simply because I will make those comparisons. I try not to nitpick a retelling to death, but I do like to see how the nuances of the original novel manifest themselves in the new version. That's part of the fun of a retelling.
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I also like to read multiple retellings of the same story and then compare those to the original. I know...I'm all kinds of nerdy up in here. :) Seriously, though. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is considered a masterpiece and rightly so, and therefore it behooves me to read works based on this novel and make the necessary assumptions about those books in comparison to their predecessor. I've started The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein series by Kenneth Oppel, which is kind of a prequel story, and it's very intriguing, seeing how this young man dabbles in the dark arts and where it leads him. But I'm also very interested in checking out The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna, which I didn't even know was based on Frankenstein until I started seeing interviews with the author pop up before the book's release.
So, how do you feel about retellings? Love 'em? Hate 'em? Complete and total indifference? :P Have you read any of the ones I mentioned? What did you think? Got any you'd recommend? Wanna win one? Then stop back by tomorrow because I'll be giving away a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses as part of the Happily Ever After Giveaway Hop!