Burn, Rewrite, or Reread | Book Tag

I was tagged by the awesome Rami Ungar (with an A) to participate in the Burn, Rewrite, or Reread tag. Participation is simple:

  • Randomly choose three books.
  • Choose which of these three you would burn, rewrite, or reread.
  • Do three rounds of this, and then tag someone to do the book tag as well.

Round One:

Burn: Johny Got His Gun by  Dalton Trumbo. I read this for school, and to this day the scene where he dreams the rats are chewing on him haunts me – and not in a good way. I’m aware of the message the book is pushing, but it was one I didn’t need as I already agreed with it, and it only served to make me ill.

Rewrite: Twilight. I think there are some interesting ideas here (sans the glitter) but it needs a LOT of work – like removing the glitter, and fixing HUGE plot holes (for instance they live in Forks because it is so cloudy there, but they move every four years, so where were they before this? They can’t come back to the cloudiest place after they leave it, so aren’t they wasting it on a quickie stay?) Not to mention Bela needs a complete overhaul and… yeah. This would be a major rewrite.

Reread: A Candle in her Room by Ruth M. Arthur. This is one of the few books I read multiple times – and don’t own! I had to check it out of the library, but that was years ago, and now it is impossible to find anywhere for a semi-sane price. I will eventually have to break down and pa the $60 for this. Half horror, half coming of age, it tells the stories of three girls who all come to own the evil doll Dido.

Round Two:

Burn: Flowers for Algernon Daniel Keyes – in ALL it’s incarnations. I can;t count the number of times I was forced to read the short story in school (at least once a year from seventh grade on) and then we were subjected to the novel and finally the movie – my teachers loved this thing. The story is about a men with mental disabilities who is happy, he thinks people like him, and lives in a child like world. Science  – after experimenting on Algernon the mouse – gifts him intelligence, and soon he is so smart that he’s a literal genius. As a genius he discovers that his previous world was just a soap bubble of deception and that people he thought were being nice were not. Then Algernon, the super smart mouse, starts to lose his intelligence… you can see where this is going as it follows the decline of his brilliance.

Rewrite:Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. This is where I admit I never finished the book because it was so mind numbingly boring. I know, it should be an amazing story, but it wasn’t. The illustrated kiddy version (complete with a beautiful illustration of Dr. Frankenstein’s wife strangled to death and spread across his bead, her skin discolored) was MUCH better.

Reread: Don’t Bite the Sun by Tanith Lee. My Father-in-Law gave me this sci-fi story about a crazy society half future and half alien, who are so lost in technology that they spend their lives doing exactly what they want to all of the time, which leads to a listlessness. There is apparently a second book to this, but I haven’t read it – I need to.

Round Three

Burn: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. Another classic – in case you haven’t guessed my burn books aren’t badly written, but upsetting to me. I’m sure this is amazing, and had some sort of fantastic impact and all of that, but mainly I think George just failed Lenny. He should have packed him up and taken off rather than killing him at the end. But then it shows something fundamental about my personality and my ideas of loyalty.

Rewrite: Dracula by Bram Stoker. I know. I’m killing the classic horror, but it needs some help. As we all know from a billion versions of the story, it’s good – but the way Stoker wrote it brings tears of boredom to a lot of people. I slogged through it. I didn’t find the language off putting, rather the complete lack of action because it all is told to you after the fact, you’re never a part of it. Sherlock Holmes vs Dracula is a much better version. (And it’s fun!)

Reread: House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. This slide down the rabbit hole has stuck with me since I first read it (and yes, I took the time to decode his mother’s crazy messages in the appendices). Layers of stories on top of one another, the main narrative concerns the Navidsons and the mysterious house they buy that starts changing size and shape, eventually revealing a mysterious hallway and staircase that goes down and down forever. The story on top is about Johnny, who tries to piece things together and compile the notes of an old guy concerning the Navidson’s story. Johnny is partially the inspiration behind my character Patrick. This is just a hard book to explain.

And those are my choices. What do you think? Agree? Disagree?

As for tagging someone… If you’re reading this and haven’t done it, consider yoruself tagged!

 

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11 Comments

  1. Excellent job, Joleene! And I agree, Twilight needs a lot of work (though I’d burn it, personally). Also, that one about the doll Dido sounds interesting. I might have to try to find it.

    Reply
    • It’s not the vampires I found interesting in it, but the werewolves. I might take the Cullen’s out altogether Lol!

      Reply
      • Thank you! Honestly, the vampires in Twilight have possibly ruined vampires for the mainstream for a generation.
        It’s up to authors like us to fix that problem, Joleene. Someday I hope to write a vampire novel, and hopefully then we can make it so that vampires aren’t seen as insipid pretty boys.

        Reply
        • Yes!!!! Amazon, based on my keywords of vampire, paranormal, dark, thriller, horror, violence… Classified my book as YA because “those keywords usually mean a YA book.” WHAT?????? 😮 I’ve also had people say to my face, “oh, you write vampires. If you ever wrote anything real let me know.”

          Reply
          • My mouth is hanging open as I read this comment. Seriously? No one would classify Anne Rice as YA or say what she writes isn’t real! What makes us different?

            Reply
            • sadly when people think vampires now their first thought is not Anne Rice – but Twilight. If you say the word “vampire” Edward Cullen is what pops into the collective consciousness. It’s a bit disgusting, really.

              Reply
              • Yeah. Well, with zombies and dystopian fiction going through the same sort of craze that vampires went through (which is annoying for me, because I have to compete against Hunger Games and Divergent), so when I finally get around to writing this vampire novel, some time will have passed in the public consciousness and no one will start comparing my work to bloody Stephanie Meyers.

                Reply
                • That will be good. The sad thing for me is I wrote Shades of Gray and Legacy of Ghosts in 2005/2006 before Twilight was big. Sadly, it took me a couple years to decide to do anything with it.

                  Reply
                  • I was writing vampire stories before they were popular as well. I just decided to move onto other subjects before I (*makes a dramatic pose*) made my debut. Now I have to wait…5 years? 10? Longer? Or until my mood shifts me towards vampires. Whichever comes first, I guess.

                    Reply
  2. Agreed on rewriting Twilight. I miss the time when vampires weren’t all glittery and romantic. I also agree on burning Of Mice and Men. I was so pissed off at the ending of that book I never read another book by John Steinbeck after that.

    I haven’t read the other books you mentioned.:)

    Reply
    • I’m glad I’m not alone! When I read the end of Mice and Men I threw the book across the room (one of the few times I have done that) and then bawled for an hour. I’ve never read another one by him, either.

      Reply

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