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Sequels, Prequels, and Parodies

August 20, 2015 | Kate | Comments (0)

Have you ever fallen so in love with a character that you don't want your book to end? If you're lucky, you're reading Ed McBain's 87th Precinct series which includes 54 books plus short stories, not to mention all the movies plus a comic book series; or J.D. Robb's In Death series including 40 novels, 11 novellas, a crossover novel between J.D. Robb and Nora Roberts (actually the same person!) with another novel coming out in September (Devoted in Death - put a hold on it now!) and another novella in November.

But most books are not part of endless series like this, so we have to say goodbye to our favourite characters when we turn the last page. Until the recent release of Go Set A Watchman, fans of Scout and Atticus Finch had to be content with just reading To Kill a Mockingbird over and over again. And maybe watching the movie.

 Go set a watchman - harper lee     To kill a mockingbird - harper lee     To kill a mocking bird - movie

So here are some short lists of books and movies that expand on beloved can decide whether or not they do justice to the originals!

Book Sequels That Maybe Weren't Entirely Necessary

The starlight barking      Messenger - lois lowry      As time goes by - a novel of casablanca - michael walsh









The Starlight Barking by Dodie Smith

Yes, Disney's 101 Dalmatians was based on a book, and while both the animated and live-action movies have sequels, neither were based on this book sequel written by the original author. Maybe because it was too weird. In this book, the dogs wake up to find that every other living thing on the planet is asleep, and the dogs can now communicate telepathically and fly. While they're enjoying their new powers, they get a visit from an alien dog who wants to talk to them about nuclear war. Unfortunately this book doesn't circulate, so you'll have to visit the Osborne Collection of Early Children's Books or North York Central Library's reference collection to take a look.

Messenger by Lois Lowry

I don't want to imply that this wasn't a great addition to the world of The Giver, but here's the thing: one of the wonderful things about The Giver is the ambiguous ending. The fate of the main character could be good or bad, depending on your interpretation, and that (to me) was one of the most interesting parts of the book. It was like Inception before Inception! Having sequels removes the ambiguity of the ending, because now we know for sure what happened to Jonas.

As Time Goes By by Michael Walsh

This one is interesting as it's a book sequel to a movie that wasn't based on a book. As Time Goes By picks up where Casablanca left off, following the characters after the events of the movie and filling in some of their backstories. This one's on the list because, honestly, Casablanca has such a classic ending! Why mess with a good thing? On the other hand, if you can't stand the idea of Rick and Ilsa being apart, pick up this book.

Parodies and Spoofs

Pride and prejudice and zombies - seth grahame-smith

     The wind done gone - alice randall      William shakespeare's star wars-verily a new hope - ian doescher









Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith

This book is pretty much exactly what the title says. Grahame-Smith basically just re-wrote Pride and Prejudice and added zombie scenes. It's silly and hilarious, so don't expect anything too serious and you'll love it. Of course if zombies aren't your style, you can check out any number of Pride and Prejudice parodies and homages; see this list from Goodreads! And if you like the mythical monsters thing, you can check out Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter or Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters!

The Wind Done Gone by Alice Randall

This biting satire is the story of the classic Gone With the Wind from the perspective of one of Scarlett O'Hara's slaves, Cynara. This book provides a great counterpoint for those who feel that the portrayal of slaves and slavery in Gone With the Wind was too simplified, negative, or damaging.

William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope by Ian Doescher

I'm sure you've always wondered, what if Shakespeare had written Star Wars? Well, now you have the answer! Doescher recreates the action, excitement, and classic lines written by George Lucas in the iambic pentameter of The Bard, giving us great lines like "True it is,/ That these are not the droids for which thou search'st", and some hilarious asides from R2D2. He gave the Shakespeare treatment to both trilogies, with the 6th (Tragedy of the Sith's Revenge) coming out in September.

Film Sequels With Very Dedicated Actors

Wall street money never sleeps      Tron legacy     The odd couple II

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

The original Wall Street movie came out in 1987, telling the story of Gordon Gekko and the cutthroat world of the stock market and insider trading. 23 years later, in 2010, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps was released, with Michael Douglas reprising his role as Gekko. He's older and apparently wiser, having reformed after a stint in prison for insider trading.

Tron: Legacy

The original Tron came out in 1982, and was one of the first movies to make use of computer animation. Watching it today, the movie looks like a strange mix of dated and awe-inspiring. You can see how it developed into a cult classic! In 2010, 28 years after the original, Tron: Legacy came out with both Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner reprising their roles of Flynn and Alan/Tron. The new movie follows Flynn's son as he investigates a pager message 20 years after his father's mysterious disappearance.

The Odd Couple II

The Odd Couple is a classic film from 1968 with a simple premise: two men with completely opposite personalities try to live together. Much of this film's charm comes from the chemistry between Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon as slobby Oscar and fastidious Felix. With a whopping 30 years between movies, both Matthau and Lemmon return in The Odd Couple II in 1998 - one of the longest gaps between sequels where actors reprise their roles!

The Record-Breakers

Fantasia and fantasia 2000            Bambi 2








The gap between the release of Fantasia in 1940 and Fantasia 2000 (actually released on the last day of 1999) is almost 60 years, making it the longest gap between original and sequel which were both released in theatres. The honour of longest gap overall goes to Bambi and Bambi II (a direct-to-video release), released in 1942 and 2006 respectively, for a gap of 64 years! 


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