Trend Alert: Mash-ups get spiced-up

Do you remember a few years ago, a trend hit publishing where classic novels were rewritten to capitalize on the popularity of the paranormal in fiction? It was a trend that brought us titles like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (M) (subtitled “the classic Regency romance, now with ultraviolent zombie mayhem”) and Android Karenina (M), a version of Tolstoy’s “classic love story set in a dystopian world of robots, cyborgs, and interstellar space travel”. Or, more recently, The Meowmorphosis (M) in which “One morning, as Gregor Samsa was waking up from anxious dreams, he discovered that he had been changed into an adorable kitten”. (Actually I’m surprised that one wasn’t more popular!)

Trend Alert: Mash-ups get spiced-up These books—sometimes called mashups—were in many peoples eyes a fun way to bring classic literature into the modern mainstream. They were a craze for a year or so, and then began to fall from the limelight. But now it appears they are back, this time fusing with a new fiction trend : the rise in interest in erotic romance following, you guessed it, Fifty Shades of Grey. Get ready for erotic mash-ups of your favourite classics.

Trend Alert: Mash-ups get spiced-up Dear reader, I present to you Jane Eyrotica (M) by Charlotte Bronte and Karena Rose, in which the young Jane Eyre discovers “upon accepting a governess position at Thornfield Hall, a world of passion, desire, and sex explodes before her naive eyes in the form of the brooding, dashing master of the house: Mr. Rochester,” and, coincidentally, Jane Eyre Laid Bare (M) by Charlotte Bronte and Eve Sinclair, which (unsurprisingly) has a similar plot description and promises “only one thing is certain. Jane Eyre may have arrived at Thornfield an unfulfilled and tentative woman, but she will leave a very different person…”

Although Jane Eyre may have seemed the perfect place to start with these mash-ups, it won’t be where it finishes: Fifty Shades of Mr Darcy (M) by William Codpiece Thwackery has just been released (although it calls itself a parody) and Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray (M) by Oscar Wilde and Nicole Audrey Spector is due in January. I suspect this is just the beginning. Reaction to the books seems to be a mixed: like the paranormal mash-ups there are many who are eager to see this latest incarnation of the old classics and there are those who are find this treatment of great novels an insult. You’ll have to decide which camp you fall into.


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