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If classic novels were written today…

This is what happens when a typewriter marries a computer.

This is what happens when a typewriter marries a computer.

A couple of months ago I came across a cartoon in a magazine which showed a man holding up a smartphone and looking at a picture of himself. The caption read, “The Selfie of Dorian Grey”.  This of course grabbed my attention because (here goes…) my name is Nina and I am a book addict.

This is probably the first thing you should know about me. The second is I’m obsessed with the Moomins. Feel free to imagine what kind of nut I am. I have been known to search for images of bookshelves and despair that I can only fit and afford the cheapest BILLY bookcase from Ikea in my tiny London flat. The answer is cashew.

This cartoon depicting a digital reworking of a classic literary text fired up my imagination and got me thinking about other novels could be digitally updated. What kind of plots would they be? Here’s what I came up with. Feel free to add your own.

The Selfie of Dorian Grey 

A young Dorian Grey takes a picture of himself on his smartphone. Seeing how good he looks he wishes that he could forever remain young while his selfie pic grows old. The wish comes true. Murder and debauchery ensues at the hands of young Dorian, but a lesson in vanity is learned at the end. (Original text: The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde)

To Kill a Hummingbird

“Kill all the Angry Birds you want, but remember it’s a sin to kill a Hummingbird.” So says Atticus Finch in this updated version of a tale of childhood, prejudice, and one search engine’s attempt to better its job through semantic search improvements. (Original text: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee)

The Lord of the Links Trilogy 

“One link to rule them all…” The dark lord creates the One Link to rule the other Links of Power as the ultimate weapon in his campaign to conquer and rule all of Google-earth. Can Frodo, Gandalf the Grey Hat and company complete their quest to stop the dark lord from destroying the world as they know it? (Original text: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien)

Alice’s Adventures in Search Engine Land

Naughty Alice falls down the HTML coding hole and ends up in Search Engine Land, a hub for news about search engine marketing, search engine optimization and how search engines work for searchers. Alice is kept up to date on SEO, PPC / CPC & SEM issues, plus how to search. But try as she might she’d just like to go home. Everything is just too moz mad here! (Original text: Alice’s Adventures in Search Engine Land by Lewis Carroll)

Charlotte’s Web 2.0

Wilbur the pig lives on Uncle Henry’s farm, but his ultimate fate is sure to be the dinner table. Luckily, Wilbur has a friend called Charlotte, a retired Google spider and web 2.0 expert, who helps Wilbur to gain an online presence as “Some Pig” via social networking, blogs and other dynamic and interconnected, producing online communities. (Original text: Cahrlotte’s Web by E.B. White)

Three Men in a Blog

This story relates to the mild misadventures of three middle-class men who have decided to spend a fortnight boating on the Thames and write about their adventures. The result is a very English travel blog with commentaries about the places they pass, Instagram pics of the things they observe along the way, videos on how to play the Scottish bagpipes and how to make an Irish stew with leftovers from the hamper. (Original text: Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome)

Image from: Wikipedia

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