Friday, April 1, 2011
Five more original titles of books
1. The Strangers Within, by William Golding
Eventually became Lord of the Flies. I like the latter. It emphasizes the horror in the book, even though it’s clear that the evil comes from within the characters rather than from an outside force.
2. Before This Anger, by Alex Haley
That was the original title of Roots, so this was probably a change for the better. Roots, as a title, focuses attention on the most important part of the book – the passing down of a heritage through the generations.
3. The Sea Cook, by Robert Louis Stevenson
Finally titled Treasure Island. Definitely an improvement, since “Sea Cook” implies a plump man in an apron, rather than the clever, sinister Long John Silver.
4. Tenderness, by D. H. Lawrence
AKA Lady Chatterley’s Lover. That reminds me of the experiment a company did by putting out two perfumes, one called Saint and the other called Sinner. Guess which one had better sales?
5. Catch-18, by Joseph Heller
Since Leon Uris’s Mila 18 was released before this novel, it went through a few more numerical changes before gaining the now-familiar title.