It is described as:
... an exciting indoor visitor complex themed around the life, books and times of one of Britain’s best loved authors, Charles Dickens. It will take visitors on a fascinating journey through Dickens’ lifetime as they step back into Dickensian England and are immersed in the urban streets, sounds and smells of the 19th century.And it boasts the following attractions:
... one of Europe’s largest dark boat rides, the Haunted house of Ebenezer Scrooge, a state-of-the art animatronic show, Victorian School Room, 4D high definition show and Fagin’s Den.Is this an exciting way of bringing literature alive or just another great British monument to tackiness? (I confess a deep affection for all things tacky, and I firmly believe that Malaysia does tacky with a great deal more style than the Brits. Look no further than Sunway Pyramid!)
And on behalf of Britain's Tourist Board, if you were in UK on your hols, would you make a special journey to go and see Dickens World?
Meanwhile, on the Guardian blog Judith Flanders worries that the social issues that Dickens cared so much about could be trivialised, while Lindesay Irvine runs away with the idea of the turning other writers' works into theme park material. (Any one up for a nice family day out at Kafka's Castle?) Flanders has invited readers to say what authors they think should get the theme park treatment, and one commenter could well have a workable proposal for Harry Potter Land! (Oops, too late, dear!)
The closest I've come to proposing the tacky and materialistic exploitation of any author's work is this though.
(While writing this post I was haunted by the memory of an article I read, but not unfortunately blogged, last year about the rebuilding of Hardy's Wessex in China. Would be grateful for help in tracking it down.)