Monday, 12 March 2018

Book Blogger Hop - Do you enjoy reading retellings?

I spotted this Book Blogger Hop over at Every Free Chance Books this week and thought it would be fun to join in.

This week's question (9th - 15th March 2018) is:
Do you enjoy reading retellings of, or 'sequels' to, classic novels? Why or why not? (submitted by Maria @ A Night's Dream of Books)

I've enjoyed reading some retellings and sequels, and not been so enamoured of others. I think, for me, a retelling has to have a strong new idea in order for it to keep my attention. Otherwise it just feels like I am reading the same story all over again. Likewise with sequels to classic original novels. The new author might be the world's biggest fan of a particular classic, but if they haven't really got anything extra to say then their sequel probably won't appeal to me.

I have a retellings tag on Literary Flits so you can see all those books I have featured. My favourites of the ones I've actually read are these two below. Click their titles or cover images to visit my book reviews.

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsiea retelling of Sophocles' Antigone

Isma is free. After years spent raising her twin siblings in the wake of their mother's death, she is finally studying in America, resuming a dream long deferred. But she can't stop worrying about Aneeka, her beautiful, headstrong sister back in London - or their brother, Parvaiz, who's disappeared in pursuit of his own dream: to prove himself to the dark legacy of the jihadist father he never knew.

Revenants: The Odyssey Home by Scott Kauffman, a retelling of Homer's Odyssey

A grief-stricken candy-striper serving in a VA hospital following her brother’s death in Viet Nam struggles to return home an anonymous veteran of the Great War against the skullduggery of a congressman who not only controls the hospital as part of his small-town fiefdom but knows the name of her veteran. A name if revealed would end his political ambitions and his fifty-year marriage. 

I've got another Odysssy retelling to read soon which I am particularly looking forward to: Margaret Atwood's The Penelopiad. I've heard good things about it so fingers crossed!

What do you think about retellings? Which are your favourites?

The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer from Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and ended on December 31, 2012. With Jennifer's permission, Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer relaunched the meme on February 15, 2013.

Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end on Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop's purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.


  1. I enjoyed that these were both retelling of old Greek stories and not fairytale retellings. While I love fairytale retelling, I'm glad to see that there are opportunities to branch out more:)

    1. I enjoy seeing ancient stories transposed to a modern setting. It's surprising that people haven't changed much over thousands of years!

  2. I haven't read these retellings. I do enjoy retellings, but they have to be done well.

    1. Good retellings are a difficult art, I think. The author doesn't have to invent the underlying narrative, but does need to make the story their own.