Horatio Alger and the Chocolate Factory: Remix Submissions Booming

By Jason Boog Comment

joesluck.jpgThe first submissions for our World’s Longest Literary Remix contest are coming in this week as 150 pre-registered GalleyCat Reviews readers each rewrite one page from a Horatio Alger novel for fun and prizes.

Among the many submissions, we enjoyed a hilarious mash-up of Alger and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory written by freelance writer Stan Friedman (read it after the jump). These GalleyCat readers signed up to rewrite one page of Joe’s Luck: Always Wide Awake (cover pictured, via). We will publish the remixed text as a free digital book. Each remix contributor will be eligible for a random drawing of special giveaway prizes. Three excellent sponsors have donated prizes:

1-Scribd.com and Blurb.com are donating 10 printed copies of the completely remixed novel, using the company’s new print-on-demand service.

2- The remixing experts at Quirk Books will give one lucky winner an assortment of Quirk Classics prizes, including: a signed copy of the deluxe Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (PPZ), the Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters audio book, the audio and print version of PPZ: Dawn of The Dreadfuls, an Android Karenina poster, an assortment of PPZ postcards and a PPZ journal. It’s a prize package worth over $100.

3-The multimedia literary journal Electric Literature will donate “Electric Literature: Year One”–a complete set of the first four issues of the journal–a $40 value.

If you didn’t sign up for the contest but wish you did, email GalleyCat with the subject heading “Remix Waiting List.” If any writers drop out, we will fill the empty slot with a writer from the waiting list.

For your reading pleasure, here’s Friedman’s entry–temporarily entitled “Horatio Alger and the Chocolate Factory” by this GalleyCat editor. Both the first line and the last line come straight from Alger himself…

The crowd disappeared, only Joe and his advocate remaining behind.

“I am grateful to you, sir, for your kindness,” said Joe.

“It is fortunate I came along. Are you a stranger in the city?”

“Yes, I was here to accompany my grandson, Charlie, to Wonka’s factory.

“You must be careful not to run into danger. There are many perils in the city for the inexperienced.”

“So I’ve learned. Charlie was torn asunder this morning by an obese, young woman with violet skin.”

The next day, Joe went down to the factory.

An Oompa Loompa with attitude stopped him.

“Have you got a ticket?” he asked.

“Yes, sir,” said Joe, “a golden ticket. There it is.”

“Where did you get this?” asked the pygmy.

“Craigslist,” said Joe

“How much did you pay?”

“Actually, I bartered my four-person bed and a tube of moustache wax for it.”

“Then you have lost both bed and wax, for it is a bogus ticket. Go home!”

Joe frowned beneath his limp moustache. The earth sank under him like a dissolving Everlasting Gobstopper. He realized that he had been swindled, and that a piece of gum that tastes like a three-course meal was farther from his lips than ever.


The intelligence that his ticket was valueless came to Joe like a thunderbolt from a clear sky. Just minutes before, his excellent prospects had him nearly orgasmic.

“What shall I do?” he ejaculated.

Stan Friedman is a research librarian and freelance poet/critic/hack in New York City. He holds an MFA from Columbia and his criticism appears regularly in Publishers Weekly.

Want to read more? Follow these links:
Horatio Alger: The Yiddish Version
Horatio Alger Versus The Doppelgänger
Horatio Alger in Oz
What Would James Ellroy Do?