5 Prequels With No Equals
Sorry about the title of this post. I just couldn’t help it.
Coming off having read Wide Sargasso Sea, I thought it might be fitting to talk about some of the more prominent prequels in literature.
I’ve got to admit: I’m a little leery of prequels. I think George Lucas might have ruined them for me with all of the Star Wars prequels. A lot of them, at least in the movie industry, feel a lot like money grabs to capitalize on the success of an earlier movie.
But after doing a little research, I realized there are some pretty good ones out there.
Wide Sargasso Sea: Yes, it’s that novel again. Jean Rhys’ novel tells how Bertha Mason became a crazy woman and how Mr. Rochester was a crappy, spineless dirtbag—or something like that.
The Hobbit: If you haven’t read The Hobbit, that’s as equally sinful as my not having read Jane Eyre. Don’t you want to know how Bilbo found the ring and slayed a dragon?
Gods and Generals: Okay, I haven’t read this one, but I have read Killer Angels—the main story. Gods and Generals was written by Jeffrey Shaara—the son of Michael Shaara, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning Killer Angels, which is set during the Battle of Gettysburg in the U.S. Civil War.
Finn: Who has a big enough pair to write a prequel to Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn? Jon Clinch does. And, amazingly, he actually pulled it off. This isn’t throwaway fan fiction. Finn was named one of the best novels of 2007 by The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, and The Christian Science Monitor.
The Magician’s Nephew: This is truly a legit prequel because it was actually written by C.S. Lewis, not someone else who attempted to add on to his story. The catch with this one is how it’s ordered in the series. Some volumes list it as the sixth book (because that’s the order in which Lewis wrote it), even though it tells backstory.
A good prequel can make a good series into an extraordinary one. Take a look at The Hobbit. The Lord of The Rings would still be epic–in the true sense of the word–without it, but The Hobbit adds so much depth to that series. It’s brilliant.
What say you about prequels? Any thoughts on this list or others?