Marysville Library Blog

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dusty Classics, Spookily Re-imagined


Students in high school English classes are all assigned old classics to read. But why are they all so old and seemingly ponderous? Can't they be made more modern and exciting? Here are some moldy classics, remade into something modern yet still creepy and exciting.

Railsea by China MiĆ©ville 
Think Moby Dick: On board the moletrain Medes, Sham Yes ap Soorap watches in awe as he witnesses his first moldywarpe hunt: the giant mole bursting from the earth, the harpoonists targeting their prey, the battle resulting in one's death & the other's glory. But no matter how spectacular it is, Sham can't shake the sense that there is more to life than traveling the endless rails of the railsea--even if his captain can think only of the hunt for the ivory-colored mole she's been chasing since it took her arm all those years ago.

Another Jekyll,another Hyde by Daniel Nayeri 
Think Jekyll and Hyde, of course: Thomas is given a designer drug called “W” by a girl at a club, and his growing addiction to the pills coincide with increasing blackouts. Soon he is hearing a voice in his head: Edward Hyde, Nicola’s son, who wishes to be reborn through Thomas’ body and begins to take physical control of it in order to do some very ghastly things.

The house of deadmaids by Clare Dunkle 
Think Wuthering Heights prequel: When Tabby becomes the "Young Maid" at Seldom House, she finds herself in a strange world, where she is expected to do little other than look after a bloodthirsty, nameless little boy, the "Young Master." Seldom House and the neighboring village have no church, and dead maids haunt Tabby. Creepy spooky.

iDrakula by Bekka Black 
Think Dracula as told through a series of text messages, instant messages, e-mails, and Web browser images: Eighteen-year-old Jonathan Harker comes down with a rare blood disorder after meeting mysterious Count in Romania. His girlfriend Mina and pre-med student Abraham Van Helsing investigate the source of the disease, learning that the Count is a vampire.   

Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay 
Think Romeo and Juliet: For seven hundred years, the souls of Romeo and Juliet have repeatedly inhabited the bodies of newly deceased people to battle to the death as sworn enemies, until they meet for the last time as two Southern California high school students.

The thin executioner by Darren Shan 
Think The adventures of Huckleberry Finn: In a nation of warriors where weakness is shunned and all crimes, no matter how minor, are punishable by beheading, young Jebel Rum, along with a slave who is fated to be sacrificed, sets forth on a quest to petition the Fire God for invincibility.

This dark endeavor by Kenneth Oppel 
Think Frankenstein: When his twin brother falls ill in the family's chateau in the independent republic of Geneva in the eighteenth century, sixteen-year-old Victor Frankenstein embarks on a dangerous and uncertain quest to create the forbidden Elixir of Life described in an ancient text in the family's secret Biblioteka Obscura.