Today, we’re going to play a little game. I’ve found the top five NY Times best sellers (hardcover fiction) and as they’re all titles I’ve never read or read the description of, they’re perfect for my little game. I’m going to take the titles (much like I did in my article about horrible books with great titles) and imagine a story based on those titles – then I’ll compare to the actual content of the books.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Well, I could be obvious and say ‘it’s about a girl who’s gone’. Well, I won’t. It’s about a girl who’s not gone, but her boyfriend, her co-worker and her “best friend” wishes she was. Therefore, they decide to hypnotise her into believing she is gone. While coldheartedly plotting against the girl who’s not gone, they form a strong friendship. Then she actually disappears.
The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner
This sounds like a chick-lit about true love and not settling for second best. That’s boring, though. It is really about a gang of thieves who want to earn quick cash so their best friend can get a new kidney. But they’re really smart, so they decide to steal the next best thing on display at the museum so as to not cause a big kerfuffle. During the story, they end up chased by the police anyway and realise they’ve accidentally stolen the best thing. Oopsie.
Wicked Business by Janet Evanovich
A crooked business man and his young cousin get into big trouble when they deal with a seemingly harmless old antiques dealer. Unfortunately, he’s actually a wizard and when he finds out they’ve cheated him, he curses them and they wake up as characters in the novel Wicked… hilarity ensues as the crooked business man and his cousin sets up a business to con all the characters of the novel.
Right, I’m really sorry about that one. I couldn’t think of anything but ‘Wicked’ when I saw the title. I’ll never do that again, promise.
Criminal by Karin Slaughter
I know you’re all thinking this is about a criminal. It isn’t. It’s about someone who’s not criminal who is accused of being criminal. He then has to clear his name along with an insane female cop who likes to break the rules for no apparent reason. The man who is not criminal but accused of being one ends up falling violently in love with a woman who is actually criminal and there’s a plot twist where he thinks his love interest is the one who set him up, but it’s really the insane cop and she did it because why not?
Bloodline by James Rollins
This is not a vampire novel. This is an epic tale (because who doesn’t like epic) about a family who is crazy obsessed with blood (see, the title is a pun – it’s a family and they like blood, so bloodline… eh? No? Sorry). The novel follows them for many, many years and even though this isn’t a vampire novel, everybody thinks they’re vampires and hunt and kill and fear the family, who just keeps on drinking blood. It’s a creepy story, really. In the end, everybody dies.
Now, before I reveal the actual plots, I encourage readers to go to the comments and tell me your thoughts on the titles before you read the descriptions. Let’s have fun with these titles.
The actual plots of the books:
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn:
“A woman disappears on the day of her fifth anniversary; is her husband a killer?”
Comment: oh… I kind of got that one wrong, didn’t I?
The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner:
“A young woman who moves to Hollywood to make it in television finds success, but her life remains complicated.”
Comment: that doesn’t even sound better than my story about the thieves who wants to steal to get their friend a kidney. They could’ve been lovers, you know, if that’d give it more best seller appeal.
Wicked business, by Janet Evanovich:
“The Salem, Mass., pastry chef Lizzy Tucker and her partner, Diesel, take up a quest for a powerful ancient relic.”
Comment: a pastry chef and someone named Diesel looking for an ancient relic? Sounds almost insane enough to be thought out by me. I like it. Pastry chef… that’s so random.
Criminal by Karin Slaughter:
Will Trent of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and his supervisor, Amanda Wagner, confront mysteries from the past.
Comment: that is so vague. Might as well be ‘something dark has happened and stuff is wrong and then some people look at it’. I still think I was pretty much off the mark, though.
Bloodline by James Rollins:
A deadly rescue mission in the African jungle and a clinic bombing in South Carolina both reveal a dangerous conspiracy; a Sigma Force novel.
Comment: ha, ha, ha, ha, I couldn’t be further off the mark if I tried. Not really what I think when the title is ‘Bloodline’ but I guess that’s sort of a good thing.
So, what did you think of the titles? What are your ideas? If you could write a story based on these titles what would they be about? Tell me in the comments.
I’m probably going to continue this title game with other titles but maybe not in this format. I’m not entirely happy with it. Though, I’ll figure out a way to make it the way I want it to. Also, this article may be edited when I’m at a less sucky computer.