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Classics With a Twist


A recent trend in publishing in the early 21st century has been the release of books that serve as retellings or reimaginings of classic works of fiction, or parodies of such well-known works. One of the most well-known examples of this literary art form would probably be Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Seth Grahame-Smith, which takes Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice from 1813, throws in some undead characters and retells the story…with a twist. Though this book went on to inspire two sequels, and many similar works by other authors in the past few years, these titles are just the latest in a long tradition of “Classics With a Twist.”This list focuses primarily on the novels which retell the well-known stories, but with changes or different viewpoints. Pure sequels, by other authors, either authorized or unauthorized, are a slightly different category of reading, and one which we may create a separate booklist for in the future!

[Note: In addition to this list, please check out Elementary — for additional parodies, pastiches and sequels to Arthur Conan Doyle’s “Sherlock Holmes” stories; and In Want of More Jane Austen — for sequels, parodies and pastiches of the various works of Jane Austen.]





book cover Emma
Jane Austen
janefairfax-mini Jane Fairfax: The Secret History of the Second Heroine in Jane Austen’s “Emma”
Joan Aiken

Retelling of “Emma” from Jane Fairfax’s point of view – Emma’s rival in Austen’s original novel.

book cover Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, and Othello
William Shakespeare
late 1500s to early 1600s
twistedtalesfromshakespeare-mini Twisted Tales From Shakespeare
Richard Armour

Six of Shakespeare’s best-known plays (Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, and Othello) are re-told with hilarious twists.

odyssey-mini The Odyssey
eighth century B.C.
book cover The Penelopiad
Margaret Atwood

“The Odyssey” as told by Penelope and the 12 maids that were killed upon the return of Odysseus.

book cover The Lord of the Rings trilogy
J.R.R. Tolkien
book cover Bored of the Rings
Henry N. Beard and Douglas C. Kenney

In this parody of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” Boggie Frito Bugger and a band of misfits including Goodgulf Grayteeth and Arrowfoot or Arrowshirt must carry the Great Ring to Fordor and throw it into the Zazu Pits to save Lower Middle Earth.

book cover Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll (a.k.a. Charles L. Dodgson)
book cover Looking Glass Wars
Frank Beddor

Alyss Heart is a real girl, and heir to the throne when her Aunt Redd goes crazy and tries to kill her. She escapes through the Pool of Tears just to end up in Victorian London where she runs into a writer who retells her tale as “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”.

book cover Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen
book cover Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife: Pride and Prejudice Continues
Linda Berdoll

Sequel to “Pride and Prejudice”, starting immediately after the Darcy’s wedding. Originally titled “The Bar Sinister” this sequel to “Pride and Prejudice” picks up after the Darcy’s wedding, but includes flashbacks to their earlier courtship. In this novel we meet a man that may be Darcy’s son who develops a fixation on Elizabeth.

book cover Little Women
Louisa May Alcott
book cover March
Geraldine Brooks

This is the untold story of March the absent father of the Little Women. The novel explains how he leaves the family and is attached to a hospital unit for the Union army.

book cover Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll (a.k.a. Charles L. Dodgson)
book cover Alice in Zombieland
Nickolas Cook

Alice follows a black rat down an open grave and falls into a land filled with zombies and monsters.

book cover The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Mark Twain (a.k.a. Samuel Clemens)
book cover Finn
Jon Clinch

Follows the life of Huckleberry’s racist and ruthless father Pap Finn.

book cover Robinson Crusoe
Daniel Defoe
foe-mini Foe
J.M. Coetzee

After she is rescued and returns to London, Susan Barton finds an author to tell the story of Robinson Crusoe but instead he tells a different story.

holybible-mini The Holy Bible book cover The Red Tent
Anita Diamant

The story of Dinah – daughter of Jacob and Leah from the bible.

book cover Goodnight Moon
Margaret Wise Brown
book cover Goodnight iPad: A Parody for the Next Generation
Ann Droyd

Parody of “Goodnight Moon” for the electronically enabled.

book cover Stone Soup
Marcia Brown
book cover Bone Soup
Cambria Evans

Parody of youth classic “Stone Soup” though this time it’s a hungry skeleton going around and asking for food.

book cover Jane Eyre
Charlotte Bronte
book cover The Eyre Affair
Jasper Fforde

When the character of Jane Eyre is stolen from Bronte’s classic of the same name Thursday Next is on the case.

book cover Beowulf
between the 8th and 11th centuries A.D.
grendel-mini2 Grendel
John Gardner

The monster from Beowulf tells his side of the story.

noimage various nursery rhymes, folktales and bedtime stories
various sources
various dates
polcorrectholidaystories Politically Correct Bedtime Stories and other volumes…
James Finn Garner
1994 and 1995

James Finn Garner hopped on the bandwagon of “political correctness” parodies in the mid-1990s with several volumes which retold classic tales in a more…progressive…tone.

book cover Lake Wobegon Days
Garrison Keillor
book cover The Zombies of Lake Woebegotten
Harrison Geillor

Parody of novel “Lake Wobegon Days” by Garrison Keillor in which the dead come back to life. After dead people and animals begin coming back to life, Lutheran pastor Daniel Inkfist and Catholic priest Father Edsel band together to form the Interfaith Anti-Zombification League.

book cover Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen
book cover Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Seth Grahame-Smith

The story of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy from “Pride and Prejudice” with some additional undead characters thrown into the mix. This novel has a prequel – “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls” by Steve Hockensmith – and a sequel “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After” also by Steve Hockensmith

book cover Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen
mrdarcyvampyre Mr. Darcy, Vampyre
Amanda Grange

Another spin on “Pride and Prejudice”, though this time it’s vampires. The story picks up where “Pride and Prejudice” leaves off. Darcy and Elizabeth get married and go on their honeymoon. Darcy becomes even more distant and Elizabeth learns that there is a dark curse attached to his family.

book cover various nursery rhymes and folktales
various sources
book cover Whatever Happened to Humpty Dumpty? and Other Surprising Sequels to Mother Goose Rhymes
David T. Greenberg and S.D. Schindler

Sequels to 20 Mother Goose rhymes.

book cover The Hunger Games
Suzanne Collins
book cover Hunger Pains: a Parody
Harvard Lampoon

Kantkiss Neverclean takes her sister’s place on the Hunger Games – the second-highest-rated reality TV show – while simultaneously having to choose between dreamy hunk Carol Handsomestein or Pita Malarkey.

book cover Twilight
Stephanie Meyer
book cover Nightlight: a Parody
Harvard Lampoon

Belle Goose meets Edwart Mullen in Switchblade, Oregon. Soon she becomes convinced he’s a vampire and tries to convince him to transform her. The only problems are that Edwart finds girls repulsive and he may not be a vampire after all.

odyssey-mini The Odyssey
eighth century B.C.
book cover Ulysses
James Joyce

Classic novel with ties to characters in Homer’s epic poem “Odysseus”.

book cover The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
late 1880s to early 1900s
gameisafoot-mini The Game is Afoot: parodies, pastiches and ponderings of Sherlock Holmes
edited by Marvin Kaye

More stories of Sherlock Holmes ranging from parodies of classics to new original adventures.

book cover The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
common folklore
1400s or earlier
book cover Hood
Stephen R. Lawhead

A spin on Robin Hood, Bran’s father – the king – is murdered so Bran hides out in the woods and becomes king to others who have taken refuge there.

book cover The Aeneid
first century B.C.
book cover Lavinia
Ursula K. LeGuin

Explains the life of Lavinia – a character from “The Aeneid” by Virgil – who marries Aeneas during the Trojan War.

book cover The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
L. Frank Baum
book cover Wicked
Gregory Maguire

The “true story” of the Wicked Witch of the West. Elphaba is born with green skin and shark teeth. When she grows up she’s shipped off to Shiz University where she’s forced to share a room with Glinda, a popular girl only interested in clothes and money. Elphaba learns that the Wizard of Oz is corrupt and makes it her life’s goal to stop him.

book cover Little Women
Louisa May Alcott
book cover Little Vampire Women
Lynn Messina (a.k.a. Lynn Ann)

Like “Little Women” but this time the little women are vampires. The March family are humanitarian vampires, refusing to drink the blood of humans. Although vampires are supposed to live forever a strange illness has arisen taking over Mr. March and Beth.

book cover King Lear
William Shakespeare
early 1600s
book cover Fool
Christopher Moore

Retelling of “King Lear” but focused on the king’s fool “Pocket” and his dumb apprentice “Drool”.

book cover Moby Dick
Herman Melville
book cover Ahab’s Wife
Sena Jeter Naslund

Story of Una, Ahab’s wife, growing up, her marriage to Ahab and watching his obsession take over, then life without Ahab.

book cover Gone With the Wind
Margaret Mitchell
book cover The Wind Done Gone
Alice Randall

Story follows the half-sister of Scarlett O’Hara – Cynara – the daughter of Captain O’Hara and nursemaid Mammy. Growing up she didn’t receive the same amount of attention as Scarlett and ends up being sold and working in a brothel that’s frequented by Rhett Butler.

book cover Goodnight Moon
Margaret Wise Brown
book cover Goodnight, Goon: A Petrifying Parody
Michael Rex

A parody of the classic children’s book “Goodnight Moon”, this time a young monster wishes other monsters goodnight.

book cover Jane Eyre
Charlotte Bronte
book cover Wide Sargasso Sea
Jean Rhys

Tells the story of Rochester’s crazy wife Bertha from the novel “Jane Eyre”. Antoinette Cosway (Bertha) is the daughter of former slave owners. Her family arranges a marriage for her with a young gentleman who is never named but we know him as Mr. Rochester.

book cover A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens
book cover I Am Scrooge: A Zombie Story for Christmas
Adam Roberts

“A Christmas Carol” meets Richard Matheson’s “I am Legend” – The world has been run over by zombies and the new and improved Scrooge must choose if he will go back to his evil ways, return to Christmas past, and kill patient X who may or may not be Tiny Tim.

book cover The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
L. Frank Baum
was-mini Was
Geoff Ryman

A very dark retelling of “The Wizard of Oz”.

book cover The Giving Tree
Shel Silverstein
book cover The Taking Tree
Shrill Travesty

In this parody of “The Giving Tree” the tree doesn’t like the boy and gets upset when he takes her branches to taunt his sister, her acorns to throw at old people, her branches to build a house and then burn down to get the insurance money and decides to fight back.

book cover Hamlet
William Shakespeare
early 1600s
book cover Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
Tom Stoppard

Tom Stoppard brings to life Shakespeare’s unnecessary characters Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in this retelling of “Hamlet”.

book cover Cinderella
book cover Godmother
Carolyn Turgeon

After Cinderella’s godmother Lil falls in love with the prince she takes Cinderella’s place at the ball and is banished from the magical underwater world. Years later she meets Veronica who has the bad habit of falling in love with all the wrong men. Lil sees this as her second chance and hopes that finding Veronica her soul mate will bring her redemption and she can return to the magical kingdom.

book cover Hamlet
William Shakespeare
early 1600s
book cover Gertrude and Claudius
John Updike

A prequel to “Hamlet”, this tells the story of Gertrude and Claudius from Gertrude’s marriage to her first husband, through her secret affair with Claudius, to her husband’s death and then on to her marriage with Claudius.

book cover A Game of Thrones
George R.R. Martin
book cover A Game of Groans
George R.R. Washington

A parody of George R.R. Martin’s “Game of Thrones”.

noimage Various Titles
Various Authors
Various Dates
franklyscarlett-mini Frankly, Scarlett, I Do Give a Damn! Classic Romances Retold
Beverly West and Nancy Peske

Tired of reading tragic endings to great romances, well, tragic endings for females, West and Peske re-wrote 12 classic love stories as funny parodies

book cover Anna Karenina
Leo Tolstoy
book cover Android Karenina
Ben H. Winters

This classic love story now takes place in a dystopian world full of robots and space travel.

book cover Sense and Sensibility
Jane Austen
book cover Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters
Ben H. Winters

The Dashwood sisters are evicted from their childhood home and sent to live on a mysterious island full of savage creatures and dark secrets


The following titles, not currently owned by the Lincoln City Libaries, are available to check out through our InterLibrary Loan service from other libraries around the country:

  • “The Da Vinci Cod: A Fishy Parody” – Don Brine
  • “The War of the Worlds, Plus Blood, Guts and Zombies” – Eric S. Brown
  • “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: 30 Postcards” – Chronicle Books LLC
  • “The Meowmorphosis” – Cook Coleridge
  • “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Zombie Jim” (Blood Enriched Classics) – W. Bill Czolgosz
  • “Alice in Deadland” – Mainak Dhar
  • “Through The Killing Glass: Alice in Deadland Book II” – Mainak Dhar
  • “Grave Expectations” – Sherri Browning Erwin
  • “Jane Slayre: The Literary Classic… With a Blood-Sucking Twist” – Sherri Browning Erwin
  • “Robin Hood and Friar Tuck: Zombie Killers: A Canterbury Tale” – Paul A. Freeman
  • “Romeo & Juliet & vampires” – Claudia Gabel
  • “Barry Trotter and the Shameless Parody” – Michael Gerber
  • “The Chronicles of Blarnia: The Lying Bitch in the Wardrobe” – Michael Gerber
  • “Isaac: a modern fable” – Ivan G. Goldman
  • “Little Women and Werewolves” – Porter Grand
  • “Wuthering Bites” – Sarah Gray
  • “What to Expect When Your Wife Is Expanding: A Reassuring Month-by-Month Guide for the Father-to-Be, Whether He Wants Advice or Not” – Thomas Hil
  • “Emma and the Vampires” (Jane Austen Undead Novels) – Wayne Josephson
  • “Wuthering Heights and a Werewolf…and a Zombie too” – Ralph S. King
  • “Boshblobberbosh: Runcible Poems for Edward Lear” – J. Patrick Lewis
  • “Mary Reilly” – Valerie Martin
  • “Mansfield Park and Mummies: Monster Mayhem, Matrimony, Ancient Curses, True Love, and Other Dire Delights” – Vera Nazarian
  • “Northanger Abbey and Angels and Dragons” – Vera Nazarian
  • “Heathcliff: Vampire of Wuthering Heights” – Amanda Paris
  • “Emma and the Werewolves: Jane Austen’s Classic Novel with Blood-curdling Lycanthropy” – Adam Rann
  • “Snowball’s Chance” – John Reed
  • “Star Warped” – Adam Roberts
  • “Ophelia joined the group maidens who don’t float: classic lit signs on to Facebook” – Sarah Schmelling
  • “Thornfield Hall: Jane Eyre’s Hidden Story” – Emma Tennant
  • “The Undead World of Oz: L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Complete with Zombies and Monsters” – Ryan C. Thomas
  • “Mermaid: a twist on the classic tale” – Carolyn Turgeon

Compiled May 2013 Carrie K. | Adapted and expanded for the Web September 2013 sdc | Last updated June 2016 sdc