Last week I had some down time and decided to check out a phenomenon I’d heard about on Twitter: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. I was immediately hooked. What an innovative way to retell this timeless story! I totally neglected my reading the past week, instead watching 10-12 episodes every night after my kids went to bed. The creators did an excellent job modernizing the story while keeping its original themes and staying very close to the characters. And it got me thinking …
Some stories just never get old.
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE is one of them. I re-read it for the thousandth time earlier this year and posted about why it stands the test of time. I’ve read a number of books based on P&P, and I watch every adaptation they make, whether it’s a straight interpretation or something more liberal like Bridget Jones’s Diary or Bride and Prejudice (the Bollywood version). It’s surprising it took me so long to watch this, but I’m glad I waited until it was over and could go through the whole series. I can’t wait to see what the producers do next!
So then I started thinking about other stories that get retold over and over without getting old. For me, Cinderella is one of those. I have at least five movie versions, and I’ve read countless books based on the fairytale. Who doesn’t love a story about a girl who rises from the dust and falls in love with a prince? Even better if she does it on her own and just happens to end up with the prince. If you’ve been following my blog, my love for Cinderella stories is no surprise. My favorite middle grade (SEEING CINDERELLA) and young adult (CINDER) novels from last year were both based on it.
Another one that comes to mind is TAMING OF THE SHREW. 10 Things I Hate About You is one of my favorite adaptations, but there are numerous movies, plays and even a musical. Shakespeare had such a great understanding of human nature, so it’s no surprise his works are continually remade.
Then there’s the Chosen One story. We know it so well–a character born to save the world, usually requiring the ultimate sacrifice and often a resurrection. Harry Potter, Buffy, Neo, Katniss, and countless others follow the pattern. We love a hero who puts others above him/herself. It’s why THE HOLY BIBLE is the best-selling book of all time. (And just for the record, I’m a Christian, so Jesus is more than a story for me.)
What stories will you read/watch over and over again? Are there any I’ve missed?