Tag Archives: Livres

Top 10 book titles that are homages to previous books

Top 10 book titles that are homages to previous books
New books that play on the names of old ones

Thanks to Tom Harris for this one. He was reading Denis MacShane’s new book, Must Labour Always Lose?, a reference to Must Labour Lose?, by Mark Abrams and Richard Rose in 1960.

1. In Place of Strife, 1969. It was a government white paper, which is basically a book, and was a reference to In Place of Fear, une 1952 book by Aneurin Bevan. Thanks to Carl Gardner.

2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams, 1979. Homage to Hitch-hiker’s Guide to Europe, Ken Welsh, 1971, popular precursor of budget guides such as Lonely Planet. Thanks to Jonny Morris, who supplied a picture.

3. The Falcon’s Malteser, Anthony Horowitz, 1986. A reference to the 1941 film The Maltese Falcon, based on the 1930 novel by Dashiell Hammett. One of a series of books, The Diamond Brothers, with film-based titles including the forthcoming Where Seagulls Dare. Nominated by Alain Tolhurst, Ross McCafferty and John Ruddy.

4. Changing Trains, Steven Norris, 1996. Memoir of former transport minister Steven Norris: a reference to Mr Norris Changes Trains by Christopher Isherwood, 1935. Thanks to Darren Sugg.

5. Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Helen Fielding, 1999. A reference to Jean-Paul Sartre’s The Age of Reason, 1945, itself a reference to Thomas Paine’s The Age of Reason, 1794-1807. Nominated by The Man Worthwhile.

6. 1966 And All That, Geoff Hurst’s autobiography, 2001, and also the title of Craig Brown’s 2005 update of the Sellar and Yeatman original 1066 And All That, 1930. Good double nomination by John Blake.

7. Celsius 7/7, Michel Gove, 2006, subtitled How the West’s Policy of Appeasement has Provoked Yet More Fundamentalist Terror – and What Has to be Done Now. A reference to, and rebuttal of, Fahrenheit 9/11, les 2004 film by Michael Moore, itself a reference to Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury’s 1953 novel. Thanks to James Johnson.

8. The Decline and Fall of the British Empire, Piers Brendon, 2007. Nominated by Richard Vaughan. Evelyn Waugh took just Decline and Fall, 1928, de The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon, 1776-1789, pointed out Stephen Date, Cole Davis and Gavin Kelly.

9. First Among Sequels, Jasper Fforde, 2007. The fifth book in the Thursday Next series. A reference to Jeffery Archer’s First Among Equals, 1984. Thanks to Peter Elliott.

10. A Tale of Two Kitties, Lord of the Fleas, For Whom the Ball Rolls et Fetch-22. All titles in the Dog Man series by Dav Pilkey, 2018-19. Thanks to Simmy Richman.

So many good entries this week. No room for Hitch-22, Christopher Hitchens’s tribute to Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (nominated by Mark Casci); The Chronicles of Banarnia by Robert Rankin (Kipplewinker); Keith Thomas’s Religion and the Decline of Magic, from Tawney’s Religion and the Rise of Capitalism (Pat Roberts); Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty (Geoffrey Mamdani); Cider With Roadies by Stuart Maconie (Richard Evans, David Hill and Make Crewe Safe); All the President’s Men by Woodward and Bernstein, an echo of All the King’s Men, les 1946 novel by Robert Penn Warren (George Osborne); et Kremlinology of Kisses by Barbara Bleiman, from Chekhov’s The Kiss (nominated by herself).

Jonathan Bergdahl tried to nominate A Journey by Tony Blair, claiming it was a homage to Exodus. Didn’t get past the censor.

Next week: Musical cliches in TV and film, such as “Spring” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons for any US-made scene involving an English stately home.

Coming soon: Actors who changed careers as a result of playing a part, such as Virginia McKenna, who set up The Born Free Foundation after playing Joy Adamson in the film.

Your suggestions please, and ideas for future Top 10s, to me on Twitter, or by email to top10@independent.co.uk