Dracula Is Getting the Sherlock Treatment

Plus José Eduardo Agualusa may use his prize money to build a public library in Mozambique, and interactive storytelling is back

If today’s literary news tells us anything, it’s that the magical force that is storytelling is alive and well. Sherlock creators are set to reimagine Dracula for the BBC, Puss in Book lets viewers choose the feline’s fate as part of a new interactive Netflix series, and José Eduardo Agualusa wins the prestigious literary prize for his novel about the tumultuous past of his home country.

Is Dracula finally getting the Cumberbatch makeover it deserves?

For Sherlock fans who have been mourning the possible end of the show since January’s finale, there is some good news on the horizon. While there has been no official word about if/when Sherlock is returning, there are talks that the creators behind the modern-day detective series, Mark Gatiss and Steven Mofatt, are working on a new project: a series based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Like Sherlock, this will be a mini-series consisting of feature-length episodes to air on the BBC. The famous books on which the two series are based bear some similarities as well; both were published in the late 1800’s and take place (at least in part) in London. There is no word yet on the show’s lead or setting, but it is likely to air in 2019. Seeing as there is a general exasperation with vampires since the Twilight saga, we trust that the geniuses behind Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes will do Dracula justice. (Cumberbatch in cape and fangs, anyone?)

[Variety/ Stewart Clark]

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Winner of the International Dublin award wants to build a library

Angolan writer José Eduardo Agualusa has scored some big bucks. Earlier today, he was declared the winner of the 2017 International Dublin literary award for A General Theory of Oblivion, an honor that comes with a cool €100,000 prize. He has expressed a desire to build a library in his adopted home of Mozambique. In fact, a location for the library, which will be open to the public, has already been chosen. Over 100 novels from around the world were longlisted for this year’s International Dublin award (previously known as the Impac award), including Margaret Atwood’s The Heart Goes Last and The Japanese Lover by Isabelle Allende. Agualusa’s book tells a unique story of an agoraphobic woman who bricks herself into her apartment on the eve of Angolan independence and remains there for 30 years. The novel, which was also shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize, explores themes of othering and xenophobia that Agualusa said “couldn’t be more current.”

[The Guardian/Danuta Kean]

Netflix’s interactive “Puss in Book” series lets viewers choose the plot

Netflix continues to explore innovative storytelling in TV and movies (innovative and sometimes downright bonkers — looking at you, OA), but it isn’t afraid to give the old models another go around, too. On Tuesday, the streaming service released a new episode of its animated series Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale,= that has a choose-your-own-adventure spin to it. In the interactive show, Puss has trapped himself in a book of fairytales and must find a way to get out. To do so, he enlists the help of the viewers who have to make decisions for him (via a remote or touch screen) in order for the story to continue. In this first episode, there are 13 choices, 2 different endings, thereby allowing for 3,000 different ways one could watch the show that ranges from 18–36 minutes in length. Netflix will continue to experiment with interactive technology, with a second show of the same kind, Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile, to premiere on July 14th. So, nostalgic 30-something readers. It may just be time to get those choose-your-own-adventure books out of your parents’ attic like your Mom has been asking you to do for the last twenty damn years.

[Refinery 29/Madeline Buxton]

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