Guilty Pleasures and “What If?”

Wednesday's Words

All things Pride and Prejudice is one of my guilty pleasures, although I suppose there isn’t really any reason for it to be “guilty,” per se, at least not in regards to the original novel. Ever since I was a teenager, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice has been one of the two books I reread over and over (the other being Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird). In 2003 I added Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife to the list, and this past year Andy Weir’s The Martian became the fourth book in my list of mainstream books that will be reread on a regular basis.

But what do I mean by the term “all things Pride and Prejudice”? Okay, “all” might be a slight exaggeration, because the only version in video format that I find worth re-watching is the BBC version. I’m afraid it set the bar too high, and all others pale in comparison. Books, though, I love all (well, most) of the books that tie to the original. I just went to my bookcase and counted twenty-six of these.

I love the continuation stories. I love the retelling from Darcy’s perspective stories, and I really love the “what if” stories. As in what if “this” had happened at a certain point in Jane Austen’s original…how would the story continue from that point?

Now that that concept is in my head, I can’t help applying that to some of my favorite M/M stories. And to my own:

Hmm…In ’Til Death Do Us Partwhat if Henry et al had been discovered a month later, after Sam had already remarried? Or, what if Garrett had gotten appendicitis (or whatever) and died? That scenario was actually key to one of my potential ideas for the castaways’ eventual rescue. Another was for a Google Earth image to pick up on one or more of them on the beach and lead to a viral speculation thread on social media and their eventual rescue.

What are your guilty pleasures? Are you a Pride and Prejudice fiend, like me? What are some “What if…?” scenes you’d like to see from favorite books/movies?

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