One of the finest novels I’ve read in the past few years was Irish writer, Sebastian Barry’s Days Without End. It is a gay love story set in the American Civil War. Beautifully written and an exciting, epic tale which is hard to put down.
I was extremely surprised however to discover that Barry has now written a sequel: A Thousand Moons. No spoilers please, but that avid bibliophile, Locust of the Afterword, assures us that the new book will not disappoint.
The ingenuity of the entertainment industries when it comes to devising sequels and prequels is legendary and right now there seem to be a lot of them about.
Yesterday we watched the first episode of Prime Suspect 1973 which stars Stefanie Martini as a 22 year old Jane Tennison in her early years as a cop. Gritty, unsentimental and unglamorous: her fellow officers are a sty-full of MCPs who expect the women officer to do all the dirty job and speak when spoken to. Not easy to step into Helen Mirren’s shoes, but Stef is doing rather well. Endeavour, another show following the younger days of a famous sleuth has shown this is fruitful territory.
Nick Hornby is a wiz at providing stories which can be successfully rebooted. High Fidelity was relocated from Islington to Chicago for Stephen Frears’ movie starring John Cusack. I was dubious about the transatlantic relocation but enjoyed it a lot.
In 2020 it moved to Brooklyn, with Zoe Kravitz ( Lenny’s daughter) as “Rob”, the owner of a struggling. record shop. A 10 episode comedy drama.
I haven’t seen it, so cannot pass comment.
However it is a very enjoyable story. Why not re-tell it with a modern twist?
Agatha Christie, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Bram Stoker Jane Austen, John Le Carrè, the Brontes etc etc are all constantly being refilmed for new generations. Why not more modern writers?
Sequels are as old as the novel. Cervantes had problems with other writers borrowing Don Quixote for their own scribblings. Samuel Richardson was very narked when his virtuous heroine, Pamela, reappeared on other writers’ novels, as rather a saucy minx. Henry Fielding was one of the offenders, and if he hadn’t been, we would never have seen his own masterpiece: Tom Jones.
Not a prequel, not a sequel, but an in-the-wings-quel.. I must put in a good word for Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. The lives of two minor characters from Hamlet provided the inspiration for this absurd comedy which depicts what was going on in the other roms of Elsinore Castle.
Now, of course, I want to know all about your favourite prequels, sequels, in-between-icles etc.
And how about the ideas that should never have got further than a boozy lunch in Soho, Brooklyn or on the Sunset Strip.
Finally, the Ones that Got Away.
Young Spinal Tap? Dirty Harry -The Sandpit Years? 007 – The Twilight Years?
STOP PRESS – Do not get too excited!
A senior sequel to Sex and the City has just been announced!