Groovin’ to the Classics

HarperTeen recently had the clever idea of drawing on the signature look of the Twilight series covers to make the classics more appealing to teens. Both Wuthering Heights (“Bella and Edward’s Favorite Book”) and Pride and Prejudice got the treatment.

Wuthering Heights
Emily Bronte
Retail Price: $8.99
Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen – (2009-10-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0061962252 / 9780061962257

Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen
Retail Price: $8.99
Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen – (2009-10-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0061964360 / 9780061964367

Now comes the news of a parody of Twilight by the Harvard Lampoon, which also plays on the distinctive Twilight covers.

According to the publisher’s press release, the book,

…follows a “pale and klutzy” girl named Belle Goose, who moves to Switchblade, Oregon, and meets Edwart Mullen, a “super-hot computer nerd with zero interest in girls.” The vampire-obsessed Belle becomes convinced Edwart is one of the undead after witnessing events she considers otherworldly (”Edwart leaves his Tater Tots untouched at lunch! Edwart saves her from a flying snowball!”).

Nightlight: A Parody (Vintage)
The Harvard Lampoon
Retail Price: $13.95
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Vintage – (2009-11-03)
ISBN / EAN: 0307476103 / 9780307476104

As for the classics, they continue being rewritten and mashed up.

Coming in January is a “Pride and Prejudice for the 21st Century that reveals the underlying, scandalous sexual longings of the story’s main characters,” according to the publisher.

Ann Herendeen
Retail Price: $14.99
Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks (2010-26-01)
EAN: 9780061863134

Other publishers have looked to the success of Quirk Book’s mashups, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.

PP&Z‘s author, Seth Grahame-Smith, is at work on Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter for Grand Central; Del Rey Books just bought Little Women and Werewolves; and Kensington acquired the brilliantly-titled Wuthering Bites.

Even though the Quirk editor responsible for starting this trend, Jason Rekulak, was recently quoted by the Boston Globe, saying the “genre feels exhausted to me,” it seems Quirk Books is not out of the mashup business [UPDATE: be sure to note clarification of this remark from Jason in the Comments section]. Jeffrey Gegner, Popular Material Specialist at Hennepin P.L., spotted two as-yet-unnamed Quirk Classics titles recently on Title Source 3:

Quirk Classic 3; Paperback; $12.95
ISBN: 9781594744549
Publish Date: 2010/03/03

Quirk Classic 4; Paperback; $12.95
ISBN: 9781594744600
Publish Date: 2010/03/03

One Response to “Groovin’ to the Classics”

  1. Jason Rekulak Says:

    Hi — Jason Rekulak, editor of “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” here with a clarification: I was referring to vampires, not monster mash-ups, when I said that the “genre feels exhausted to me.” Like Neil Gaiman (and others), I feel like the vampire genre has reached a sort of saturation point, which is why Quirk opted to employ giant squids for our most recent literary mash-up, “Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.” Thanks for this very entertaining piece on monsters past and present!