Sequels. People tend to have a lot of opinions about sequels. Either they're begging for the next installment in our favorite series (looking at you, George R.R. Martin), or they're weeping over how a sequel has utterly ruined everything about the first book. Hollywood won't stop making sequels, and America at large is still having a lot of feelings about Go Set a Watchman. But sometimes a bestselling book gets a sequel... and nobody really notices. Here are a few sequels that you probably didn't even know existed.
I'm not talking about all of those unauthorized sequels to Pride and Prejudice, either. These are sequels that were written (at least in part) by the original author. Some of them are even part of a larger series (that you also haven't heard of). Others came out long after the first book, or took the story in a wildly different direction. Quite a few of them just seem... unnecessary. And none of them were anywhere near as popular as the first book.
So, if you ever wondered what happened to Danny after The Shining, or what happened to all those dalmatian puppies after 101 Dalmatians, these sequels are here to answer all of your burning questions:
1'Little Men' by Louisa May Alcott
I mean, what else would you call the sequel to Little Women? Full disclosure: I read Little Men and the sequel to that, Jo's Boys, as a kid and they're just... not the same. In Little Men, Jo March (now Jo Bhaer) runs a school for her two sons as well as twelve orphan boys. The boys run around and get into scrapes. The other March sisters aren't really in it. And, uh... that's pretty much the whole book.
2'The Starlight Barking' by Dodie Smith
OK, who were the teeming hordes demanding a sequel to 101 Dalmatians? Was 101 not enough dalmatians for you? In this oddly post-apocalyptic sequel, all animals on Earth fall under an enchanted sleep, except for dogs. One of the grown up dalmatian puppies, now working for the Prime Minister of England, assumes emergency control over the dog population, and begins receiving otherworldly messages from Sirius, the Dog Star. I... have a lot of questions about this one.
3'Paradise Regained' by John Milton
Yup. There's a sequel to Paradise Lost. It's called Paradise Regained. It was not as much of a hit. This one is much shorter, focusing on Satan's temptation of Christ, and the characters aren't quite as complex. This Satan just seems a lot less fun and a lot more tired than when we last saw him in Paradise Lost.
4'Closing Time' by Joseph Heller
Maybe it's because no one ever colloquially refers to being stuck in a "closing time," but the sequel to Catch-22 just isn't as well known. Closing Time was published over three decades later, though, so that's understandable. It's still a biting satire, but now Yossarian and Milo Minderbinder and everybody are extremely old, and a whole lot more cynical.
5'No Longer at Ease' by Chinua Achebe
Things Fall Apart is actually the first book of a trilogy, with No Longer at Ease as the second. While the first book deals with the arrival of missionaries destroying the traditional way of life in Nigeria, the second book jumps forward in time to explore the corrupt government that resulted from things falling apart.
6'Small Steps' by Louis Sachar
Why did no one tell me that there's a sequel to Holes? And... why does it primarily follow the character Armpit? If you're looking for more of Stanley Yelmats, this isn't the sequel for you. But if you want to see Armpit work for a landscaping company and struggle to put his life back together after Camp Green Lake, then check out Small Steps.
7'The Wedding' by Nicholas Sparks
If you got all weepy over The Notebook then... have this sequel about Allie and Noah's son-in-law, I guess. He's grown apart from his wife, Jane, and their daughter is about to get married. It's... not really the same grand romance at The Notebook, but if you're into books about the son-in-law of characters you like, then check it out.
8'The Jungle Book II' by Rudyard Kipling
Yeah, this is pretty much what you think it is. Just more Jungle Book. Mowgli hanging out with and/or fighting various animals. If you liked The Jungle Book, then you will like The Jungle Book II, because it is (spoiler alert) basically the same book, with some new adventures thrown in.
9'Twenty Years After' by Alexandre Dumas
I know that you probably walk through life, haunted by the thought, "What are the three musketeers up to right now?" Well, Alexandre Dumas decided to revisit the three musketeers plus D'Artagnan twenty years after their first adventures in his book, Twenty Years After. It's your classic "getting the band back together" story. The gang has gone their separate ways—but wait, D'Artagnan is going to reunite the musketeers for one last adventure! So, basically the same plot as the live action Scooby Doo movie.
10'Fight Club 2' by Chuck Palahniuk
Yes, the sequel to Fight Club is a comic book, and yes, Chuck Palahniuk is planning on a Fight Club 3 as well. The first issue of Fight Club 2 was published in 2015, and it picks up ten years after the events of Fight Club. Naturally, Tyler Durden comes back to say vague sexist things and ruin everyone's lives again, and he may or may not successfully trigger Armageddon.
11'Doctor Sleep' by Stephen King
Remember sweet, creepy little Danny from The Shining? He's an alcoholic now. Doctor Sleep follow the grown up Dan, who works at a hospice where his powers provide comfort to dying patients. But his psychic powers also put him in contact with a new child who has "the shining," and she may be in grave danger from a team of quasi-immortal child hunters.