I read a book today. It was about a woman who wrote a book. The book was about people the author knew. The book (the real one; not the one in the book) was a rewrite of another book. That book was also about a woman who wrote a book about people the author (the fictitious author; not the real author who had the original idea and wrote the original book) knew.
I have read the original book. That made this book very difficult to read. Without meaning to, I translated the characters and scenes from the second book into their equivalents in the original. That was two sets of characters to translate into another two sets of characters. I was exhausted when I finished the second book. I was also very glad to finish it as it didn’t strike me as a particularly good book – unlike the original one.
The second author explained her reasons for writing her book in a foreword. Had it been better executed (I’d certainly like to have seen it written in English rather than American), it might have been an interesting exercise. As it is, I’d rather have been reading something with more originality.
What do others think? Can anyone give an example of a reworked plot or set of characters that was just as good as the original?
[PS Neither book features in the picture at the top of the page.]