Guys Messing about With Girl Books

According to Mr. Grahame-Smith, who confessed to being “bored to tears” by “Pride and Prejudice” in high school, the idea was mostly to sell resistant readers on the joys of Jane while having a bit of fun.

From  “I Was A Regency Zombie“, about the latest Austen variant complete with zombies.  For some reason the above quote by the creator of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies made me think of Frank Beddors who also was inspired by a negative experience with another classic book,  Alice’s Adventures in WonderlandSays Beddors:

… I hated the books growing up. A lot of people have mirrored that thought, in interviews. We come to a point where we’re supposed to like them. I respect the wit, writing, and imagination, don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t enjoy them like I enjoyed Treasure Island or “The Hardy Boys” or “Johnny Quest.’ I didn’t think the book was cool, I thought it was a girl’s book.

And so he wrote the The Looking-Glass Wars and its sequels, video-game-like stories filled with reinvisioned Wonderland characters.

What strikes me is that both these guys had very hostile reactions to books that are very much seen as girl/woman books and pushed back hard. (Now I don’t see Alice as particularly girly at all, but Beddors clearly does.)  I wasn’t a fan of the Beddors’ book, but will wait to see how the Austen zombies play out as I am not entirely down on playing off classical books and characters.  Jasper Fforde (still another guy!) does it wonderfully well, for example.




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4 Comments

Filed under Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

4 responses to “Guys Messing about With Girl Books

  1. No, Beddors completely lost me when he scrapped Carroll’s humor. You can have an adventure story and still be droll. He was far more interested in the potential of blood and gore, however. Not a great book series.

  2. hope

    As far as I could see, the only thing the Beddors had going for it was something someone else wrote. I wasn’t a big Carroll fan, either, but I didn’t think that was because it was a “girl book.” Maybe that is because I was a girl.

    p.s. I am tired of zombie jokes, too.

  3. Having taught Alice for a billion years I can say with assurance that it is definitely not a girl book in the sense that Beddors suggested. In my experience, boys tend to like it as much and even more than girls in my classroom.

  4. beachcomber4

    I don’t think that very young children can tell the difference between a “boys” book and a “girls” book unless the concept is presented to them by someone else. I think that if they go in thinking that the book is for everyone, then they have a better chance of liking the book. Zombie books are not just for boys and Alice in Wonderland is not just for girls.

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