Monday, July 22, 2013

Ten top books based on other books

Álvaro Enrigue's story collection Hypothermia explores identity and isolation through the eyes of garbage collectors, professors, and outcasts. It's also loosely based on Dante's Inferno. For Publishers Weekly, Enrigue tagged ten "great literary works which have set out to modify our reading of other, earlier ones," including:
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert - A book that everyone has read –or at least must pretend to have read– and which is based on another one, even more classic: Don Quixote. Few phrases have been quoted more than Flaubert’s: “Madame Bovary, that’s me.” If the author identified perhaps a little closely with his character, it’s also true that the wife of Doctor Bovary is a feminine incarnation of Don Quixote de la Mancha: he lost his mind reading novels of chivalry while she lost hers reading romance novels.
Read about the other books on the list.

Madame Bovary is on Jennifer Gilmore's list of the ten worst mothers in books, Amy Sohn's list of six favorite books, Sue Townsend's 6 best books list, Helena Frith Powell's list of ten of the best sexy French books, the Christian Science Monitor's list of six novels about grand passions, John Mullan's lists of ten landmark coach rides in literature, ten of the best cathedrals in literature, ten of the best balls in literature, ten of the best bad lawyers in literature, ten of the best lotharios in literature, and ten of the best bad doctors in fiction, Valerie Martin's list of six novels about doomed marriages, and Louis Begley's list of favorite novels about cheating lovers. It tops Peter Carey's list of the top ten works of literature and was second on a top ten works of literature list selected by leading writers from Britain, America and Australia in 2007. It is one of John Bowe's six favorite books on love.

--Marshal Zeringue