Whether you like fairy tales, be it Grimms’ Fairy Tales, which were originally published in 1812 and gave us such classics as Cinderella, Snow White, Repunzel and many others, or perhaps you’re a fan of the Hans Christian Anderson Fairy Tales such as The Princess and the Pea or The Little Mermaid, many old and beloved fairy tales we all grew up with that are now getting a make-over.
You can find a list of Popular Fairy Tale Retelling Books on GoodReads but there are even more than on that list. And it’s not just books who retell classics, if you love television shows and fairy tales you probably already know about the show Once Upon a Time. Or, if you like the classic horror stories there’s always the Showtime original show Penny Dreadful.
Classics are something we all love. We know the characters and the stories. But, we grow up and we know there’s more to romance or revenge and we want to know these stories from an adult world view. We want them to take on adult themes, adult paths. I remember the shock of Anne Rice’s Beauty trilogy.
It’s based off the old Sleeping Beauty tale originally written by Charles Perrault. But, Ms. Rice sent Beauty down some dark and erotic paths. Deeply erotic.
If you go to Amazon and search for fairy tales and romance you’ll get a very interesting and eye-opening list of re-told tales. And if you love movies with this theme IMDB has a list for you of movies with re-told and re-imagined re-makings.
Recently I read a Dean Koontz book called Innocence. To me, Dean Koontz is a thriller and horror writer, but as I read the back of the book before reading it I could see the thread of Beauty and the Beast. I love that story. I know it well. So, I was intrigued to read this story again, but through the storytelling of Dean Koontz, with a new set of characters in a different time, but still with that promise of an old story re-told. I read it and could not put it down. I finished it and thought about it for a long time afterward.
So, in a way a re-telling is a promise of what you will get from a story. The author knows the story. The reader knows the story. And, together they agree it will be a new story, but with similar elements to the original.
We can connect with our favorite childhood stories, but in a new “adult” way and this kind of retelling has been popular for years.
If you’d like to take a peak into a re-telling of an old horror classic, something along the lines of Penny Dreadful, but not exactly that re-imagining, you can download Time Out of Darkness for free right now. The first story in this four-part anthology is entitled Mary Shelley’s League of Supernatural Hunters.
What is your favorite all-time re-telling of a classic story?