Saturday, January 6, 2018

Six classic books that almost had completely different titles

At the B&N Reads blog Brian Boone tagged six "beloved classic novels whose authors nearly cursed with a terrible title," including:
Something That Happened, by John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men is history’s second-best Great Depression novel, second only to Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. As such, it’s a sad tale about desperate men doing desperate things, and Steinbeck reportedly wanted to make sure that the novel didn’t judge the characters one way or the other for the book’s violent conclusion. He tried to express that by going full objective journalism for the title, which is so nonjudgmental that it’s kind of hilarious. He changed his mind when he found some words that said the same thing, that humans are victims of fate, only more poetically. They were in a poem, in fact: Robert Burns’ “Of Mice and Men.”
Read about the other entries on the list.

Of Mice and Men is among Frank Lampard's six best books, Susan Shillinglaw's thirteen best John Steinbeck books, Becky Ferreira's six most memorable bullies in literature, Paul Wilson's ten top books about disability, and Sarah Salway's top ten books about unlikely friendships.

--Marshal Zeringue