Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Dickens World

[Cross-posted at The Valve]

Nearly every far-out idea Salman Rushdie came up with in The Satanic Verses (pp. 422-430) has come to pass.

The latest is the Dickens World theme park planned for Chatham (via Shashwati):

Construction of the Dickens World entertainment complex will begin shortly and it is expected to attract up to 300,000 visitors a year when it opens in 2007.

Its backers hope it will introduce characters such as Mr Micawber, Fagin, Magwitch and Uriah Heep to a generation that has grown up knowing little of his classic Victorian texts.

Kevin Christie, who is masterminding the project, said: 'For a man who wrote 15 books and 23 short stories, you would be hard pressed to find anybody under 30 who can name five of them.'

Yes, that's probably true. So who exactly are the 300,000 people who would be in line for tickets again?

What they need to do to drum up interest is some kind of Dickens mash-up literature, which would take his stock characters and places them in 150 page long Walmart friendly action-adventure thrillers and/or Oriental romances along the lines of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Think: Gaffer Hexam, Super-Spy. Or perhaps, a crime-courtroom drama franchise: Our Mutual Friend: Special Victims Unit.


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