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.


4 comments:

Deb said...

Fascinating! The first three among those were definite improvements, IMO. This now has me curious which other books I've read started out with altogether different titles . . .

M. G. Pereira said...

That's the most interesting thing I've read all day! The title of my story has changed already, and at the moment rests at "I have no freakin' clue what to name it". Glad to see I'm not the only one.

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gypsyscarlett said...

Lady Chaterley's Lover is a huge improvement on the former, quite bland title.

Marian Perera said...

Deb - That's why I like finding out the stories behind the stories. My favorite novel was nearly called Pansy or Tote the Weary Load.

M. G. - Thanks! No, you're definitely not the only one who might rename a story.

Tasha - Yes, nothing says "adultery among the upper class" quite like Lady Chatterley's Lover. :D