Trending: Why sequels equal success (if not great book titles)

 

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The Independent Culture

The author of The Devil Wears Prada has announced plans to release a sequel to her bestselling novel about an aspiring journalist who goes to work for a tyrannical fashion editor. Next year Lauren Weisberger will publish Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns, a decade after the original spent six months on The New York Times bestseller list. The sequel is said to pick up eight years after the first and finds our heroine, Andrea, editing a bridal magazine while planning her own big day.

Weisberger has gone on to pen three similar morality tales about sensible women who are thrust into glamorous worlds and forced to choose between their real selves and a shallow future filled with diamonds and nightclubs. But Everyone Worth Knowing, Chasing Harry Winston and Last Night at Chateau Marmont failed to recapture her first novel's success, garnering negative reviews and disappointing sales, despite following the formula (not to mention all having identical front covers of – yawn – stilettos). But the publishers are taking no chances with the forthcoming sequel by reworking the original's title JUST TO REALLY DRIVE IT HOME.

Weisberger is not the first author who has been forced to revisit the characters who first made them famous. Just look at Irvine Welch, who has had a similar career trajectory to Weisberger, even if his specialty is the drug-addled working classes of Scotland as opposed to Manhattan's velvet ropes. After publishing Trainspotting in 1993, Welch authored similar tales of depraved individuals in the likes of Filth and Glue but having never quite recaptured his initial success, published Porno in 2002, a sequel to Trainspotting. Earlier this year he published its prequel, Skagboys. At least he didn't title them Spaintrotting and Spottraining.

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