New Leaf Nominations for April 2019 • The Way I Heard It: Retellings
#11  stuartjmz 03-01-2019, 10:15 PM
The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents

Kobo blurb
Every town on Discworld knows the stories about rats and pipers, and Maurice - a streetwise tomcat - leads a band of educated ratty friends (and a stupid kid) on a nice little earner. Piper plus rats equals lots and lots of money.

Until they run across someone playing a different tune.

Now he and his rats must learn a new concept: evil . . .

I really loved this story for being a kids' story that didn't condescend. I found it as edgy as Dahl, but without the malicious edge that often seems part of his work. And as someone who is constantly irked by the brothers Grimm being remembered as "tale tellers" instead of "painstaking, ground-breaking linguistic researchers", I loved the Grim sisters. A fun retelling of the Hameln story, with Pratchett's trademark humour, but (possibly because of its target age group) less overtly political than many of his works of the same era.

Kobo $9.62CDN, $11.99AUD, £4.99GBP, unable to find US price
Kindle: AU $11.99 (possibly USD), £4.99GBP, CDN$8.99 - may be unavailable at Amazon US?

#12  Catlady 03-01-2019, 11:09 PM
Quote Dazrin
Well, I'm not going to go for a fairy tale but I will go with a legend.

There are so many good takes on some legends but there are two that really stand out to me, at least in English.

Robin Hood and King Arthur

We have SO many good options with these that it's hard to choose, some new, some old. T.H. White? Bernard Cornwell? Mary Stewart? Marion Zimmer Bradley? Howard Pyle? Stephen Lawhead? I'm having some analysis paralysis, so, I'm just going to nominate my favorite: The...

Well, crud, no Kindle version available in the US. That stinks. Why does this seem to happen every month?

I'll be back...
Don't forget John Steinbeck's and Thomas Berger's versions!

#13  Dazrin 03-02-2019, 01:02 AM
Quote issybird
Well, don't leave us on tenterhooks! Which is your favorite?

I do feel your frustration. It happens to me all the time, either available here and nowhere else, or the reverse. Or else it's something ridiculously expensive.

ETA: I bet it's The Sword in the Stone.
Quote bfisher
If it's The Sword In The Stone, it may be available in the U.S. in the collected novels - The Once and Future King.

It is not The Sword in the Stone, although I was considering it until I saw that The Once and Future King is over 600 pages. I'm not sure if the Sword is available separately or not. I plan on reading it this year because I never have before (although I really like the Disney movie).

I was going to nominate The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart which, of the ones I have read, is my favorite of the Arthur (or specifically Merlin) retellings.

I think I am going to look for some non-US/UK stories instead though. My eldest is in an all day competition tomorrow which means I have a full day of sitting in the bleachers to look forward to and I will try to find something then.

For now, I am going to second The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents.

#14  CRussel 03-02-2019, 01:25 AM
Quote stuartjmz
The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents

Kobo $9.62CDN, $11.99AUD, £4.99GBP, unable to find US price
Kindle: AU $11.99 (possibly USD), £4.99GBP, CDN$8.99 - may be unavailable at Amazon US?
AmazonUS: $8.99

#15  gmw 03-02-2019, 02:55 AM
I third The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents

Dazrin, you remind me that I could re-nominate Victor Canning's re-telling of King Arthur in The Crimson Chalice (I love this being such a primitive take on the story) ... but I seem to remember there being availability problems, and anyway, I am still exploring a few other options. There are almost too many options and I have a decision making disorder

#16  gmw 03-02-2019, 10:57 AM
My searches have been long and wide, and I have finally come up with something a little bit different that sounds like it could be interesting (and I think it fits the theme remarkably well)...

I nominate The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston.

A Chinese American woman tells of the Chinese myths, family stories and events of her California childhood that have shaped her identity. It is a sensitive account of growing up female and Chinese-American in a California laundry.
272 pages

There are multiple editions, so shop around. Here are some example links/prices: Amazon US - USD$9.49 | Amazon UK - £6.64 | Amazon CA - CDN$12.79 | Amazon AU - AUD$12.99 | Kobo US - USD$10.59 | Kobo UK - £7.19 | Kobo CA - CAD$12.79 | Kobo AU AUD$12.99 | Kobo NZ NZD$13.99

Also see Goodreads and Wikipedia.

Wikipedia says:
The book blends autobiography with what Kingston purports to be old Chinese folktales, although several scholars have questioned the accuracy and authenticity of these folktales.
but to me that just means that this is "the way I heard it", all the better to fit our theme.

#17  bfisher 03-02-2019, 11:22 AM
Quote Dazrin

It is not The Sword in the Stone, although I was considering it until I saw that The Once and Future King is over 600 pages. I'm not sure if the Sword is available separately or not. I plan on reading it this year because I never have before (although I really like the Disney movie).
Anyway, I'm glad the title was raised. I've had it on my TBR for several years now since reading H Is For Hawk and The Goshawk. I'm hoping to get to it this summer.

#18  Catlady 03-02-2019, 11:36 AM
I'm nominating Compulsion (1956) by Meyer Levin, a novel based on the Leopold-Loeb "crime of the century" in the 1920s; the two young "thrill killers" were defended by the legendary Clarence Darrow.

Judd Steiner and Artie Straus have it all: wealth, intelligence, and the world at their feet as part of the elite, upper-crust Jewish community of 1920s Chicago. Artie is handsome, athletic, and popular, but he possesses a hidden, powerful sadistic streak and a desire to dominate. Judd is a weedy introvert, a genius who longs for a companion whom he can idolize and worship. Obsessed with Nietzsche's idea of the superhuman, both boys decide to prove that they are above the laws of man by arbitrarily picking and murdering a Jewish boy in their neighborhood.

This new edition of Meyer Levin's classic literary thriller Compulsion reintroduces the fictionalized case of Leopold and Loeb - once considered the "crime of the century" - to a new generation. This incisive psychological portrait of two young murderers seized the imagination of an era and is generally recognized as paving the way for the first non-fiction novel. Compulsion forces us to ask what drives some further into darkness, and some to seek redemption.

Heartbreaking as it is gripping, Compulsion is written with a tense and penetrating force that led the Los Angeles Times to call Levin, "the most significant Jewish writer of his times."
Amazon US, $9.00

Kobo US, $11.99
Kobo Canada, $15.19 CAD
Kobo Australia, $19.35 AUD
Kobo New Zealand, $19.08 NZD
Kobo UK, £8.63

Available from Overdrive, Scribd, and Hoopla. The audiobook is an Audible exclusive.

#19  Catlady 03-02-2019, 01:42 PM
A second nomination, because I couldn't decide on which direction to go--this one is related to fairy tales: The Wild Girl (2013), by Kate Forsyth.

One of six sisters, Dortchen Wild lives in the small German kingdom of Hesse-Cassel in the early 19th century. She finds herself irresistibly drawn to the boy next door, the handsome but very poor fairy-tale scholar Wilhelm Grimm.

It is a time of tyranny and terror. Napoleon Bonaparte wants to conquer all of Europe, and Hesse-Cassel is one of the first kingdoms to fall. Forced to live under oppressive French rule, Wilhelm and his brothers quietly rebel by preserving old, half-forgotten tales that had once been told by firesides of houses grand and small all over the land.

As Dortchen tells Wilhelm some of the most powerful and compelling stories in what will one day become his and Jacob's famous fairy-tale collection, their love blossoms. But Dortchen's father will not give his consent for them to marry, and war, death, and poverty also conspire to keep the lovers apart. Yet Dortchen is determined to find a way.

Evocative and richly detailed, Kate Forsyth's The Wild Girl masterfully captures one young woman's enduring faith in love and the power of storytelling.
Amazon US, $7.99

Kobo US, $7.99
Kobo Canada, $8.99 CAD
Kobo Australia, $10.99 AUD
Kobo New Zealand, $10.99 NZD
Kobo UK, £5.63

Available from Overdrive (e-book and audiobook) and Hoopla (audiobook).

#20  Victoria 03-02-2019, 06:01 PM
It’s been a challenge to settle on a nomination. It feels like a lot responsibility to find something everyone might enjoy, so I’ve read a gazillion reviews. And it’s frustrating when something isn’t in ebook form. One retelling I enjoyed was ‘Last Orders’ by Graham Swift - alas, no ebook.

Since I’ve been debating with myself about between two retellings, I’m just going to nominate both.

The first is a literal retelling: All The President’s Men - by Pulitzer Prize winning reporters, Carl Bernstein & Bob Woodward. I’ve never read it, but have always intended to. It’s rated 4.19 on Goodreads, so I hope it isn’t just of interest to those who are familiar with American politics.

All the President's Men is a 1974 non-fiction book by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, two of the journalists who investigated the first Watergate break-in and ensuing scandal for The Washington Post. The book chronicles the investigative reporting of Woodward and Bernstein from Woodward's initial report on the Watergate break-in through the resignations of H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, and the revelation of the Nixon tapes by Alexander Butterfield in 1973. It relates the events behind the major stories the duo wrote for the Post, naming some sources who had previously refused to be identified for their initial articles, notably Hugh Sloan. It also gives detailed accounts of Woodward's secret meetings with his source Deep Throat, whose identity was kept hidden for over 30 years.[1] Gene Roberts, the former executive editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer and former managing editor of The New York Times, has called the work of Woodward and Bernstein "maybe the single greatest reporting effort of all time."
I still need to learn how to do links, but here are a sample of prices:
Kobo: £6.99 UK, $12.99 Cdn; $4.99 Aud; $4.99 NZD
Kindle: $11.46 US; $4.99 Aud; £4.99 UK

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