10 Books That Changed Their Original Titles

I previously wrote in one of my posts that F. Scott Fitzgerald wanted to title his novel The Great Gatsby as Trimalchio in West Egg and that Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen was originally titled First Impressions. In this post I look at ten other books that changed their original titles.

I. 1984 by George Orwell

Original Title: The Last Man in Europe

George Orwell titled his most famous book The Last Man in Europe before his publisher intervened and suggested 1984. Allegedly, the author also tweaked with the title for Animal Farm [1945].

II. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Original Title: Catch-11 or Catch-18

Heller seriously considered calling his satirical book either Catch-11 or Catch-18. However, because, in 1961, at the moment of the publication, there was already something titled Ocean’s 11 (the original heist film with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin), as well Leon Uris’ novel Mila 18 [1961], Heller and his publisher finally settled for Catch-22. The reasoning was that, after all, 22 is simply 11 doubled.

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The Fall Book Tag

Shanah at Bionic Book Worm has created this autumn-themed book tag, and I just could not resist doing another tag. 

  • The PrestigeCRISP FALL AIR – A book that felt fresh and new: Christopher Priest’s The Prestige [1995]

This book is far from perfect, but the idea behind seems original and the structure new. Most people will know the plot from Nolan’s film The Prestige (2006), but it is still an exciting read, even if you have seen the film (the book is different in its beginning and in its end). The plot mirrors the stages of a magician’s trick, and Christopher Priest provides the reader will all the hints to solve the mystery in the very beginning. There are a couple of surprises in the book, even though the story is also slightly predictable and goes into the direction of pure fantasy, which may not please everyone. 

  • The BeguiledHOWLING WINDS – An ending that blew you away: Thomas P. Cullinan’s A Painted Devil/The Beguiled [1966]

I was impressed with Cullinan’s The Beguiled. It is so much more underneath than this simple tale of girls living in a boarding school during the Civil War and their interactions with a wounded soldier who comes to the school’s doorstep. The book is psychologically interesting because it contains multiple unreliable narrators who, throughout the novel, try to persuade the reader that their version of events is true. It is up to the reader to make his or her mind up in the end. The ending is well crafted and did surprise me. Also, the film by Sofia Coppola did not do justice to the book or its characters at all, even though it was spot on regarding the atmosphere.  Continue reading “The Fall Book Tag”