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Timeless Classics

Timeless classics are so called because their plots and characters resonate with audiences decades or even centuries after they were published. But even "timeless" stories are inextricably rooted in the age and place in which they were written. The other day I was thinking about how some of our favorite books would hold up if they were written in 2013 America.

A Certified Organic Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

After Alexis, a bored hipster living in the near dystopian future, is arrested at a student debt protest, the government uses her as a guinea pig for the controversial Ludditico Technique, which trains her to fear gizmos and gadgets of any kind. How long can she live without her iPhone?

And Then There Were Nine, by Agatha Christie

A deranged vigilante invites nine criminals to an old house on a secluded island to murder them one by one. But TSA detains him at the airport for stashing toothpaste in his carry-on, so that's the end of that.

Ulysses 2.0 by James Joyce

Two young men wander around, talking about sex and religion and doing crazy Second Life. Then they log off and go to bed.

Little Women: Orange County by Louisa May Alcott

Four fashionable sisters live in a mansion with their single mother, attending socialite parties and dealing with the trials and tribulations of adolescence. Aspiring writer Jo has a fling with her professor. Boy-next-door Laurie had a thing for Jo, but now he's into her little sister Amy. His hot tutor has a crush on her older sister, Meg.

Such is the synopsis for the pilot episode of the latest MTV reality show, Little Women: Orange County.

Anna Karenina Oblonsky by Leo Tolstoy

Anna, the trophy wife of a dignified politician, embarks on a passionate affair with a rakish military officer. Then she divorces her husband; takes the house, the kids, and half of his wealth in alimony; and tops the NYT Best Sellers list with a scandalous tell-all memoir.


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