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Jane Bites Back: A Novel (Jane Fairfax) Paperback – December 29, 2009


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Product Details

  • Series: Jane Fairfax
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (December 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345513657
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345513656
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #341,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ford's (Last Summer) fang-tastic satire of the Jane Austen craze catches up with “Elizabeth Jane Fairfax,” the undead 233-year-old author and owner of an upstate New York book store. She's disgusted by the Pride and Prejudice knockoffs that fly out of her store (poor Jane hasn't seen a royalty check in almost 200 years), and her last manuscript's been rejected by 116 publishers. Things start to look up when she finally gets a deal for the book, but two problems arise as she's promoting Constance: Lord Byron, who turned Jane, wants her back; and Violet Grey, a vitriolic Brontë blogger, accuses Jane of stealing Charlotte Brontë's last unsold manuscript. Ford's Jane is a very fun and funny heroine to root for as she endures the indignities of publishing and bookselling, fends off danger and (perhaps) finds love. Her hilarious smack downs with Violet hint of more madness to come in this first of a series. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"A hilarious send-up of vampire novels, the Austen industry, and one immortal author's complete inability to find a publisher—Jane would have loved it!"—Stephanie Barron, author of the Jane Austen mysteries

"It's impossible not to love Ford's sharp-witted, sharp-fanged Jane Austen (and I'm not just saying that because she spares my life in Chapter Six)."—Seth Grahame-Smith, author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

“Fang-tastic …Ford’s Jane is a very fun and funny heroine to root for as she endures the indignities of publishing and bookselling, fends off danger and (perhaps) finds love. Her hilarious smack downs with Violet hint of more madness to come in this first of a series.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“Ford approvingly cites Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but his own mashup is better integrated, more knowledgeable about Austen and considerably funnier.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
“In this clever paranormal tale…Ford has created warm, witty characters that will appeal to both Janeites and vampire fanciers. Literary humor and intriguing snippets from Jane's book are the icing on the cake. Two more books are promised in this series, so readers who fall under Jane's spell will be eagerly awaiting her next adventure.”—Library Journal
 
“Michael Thomas Ford has struck gold….The plot is inventive and funny, and the story progresses with the kind of light touch that compares favorably to the…Stephanie Meyer Twilight series. Ford manages to strike just the right tone…and consistently delights.”—Bay Area Reporter
 
“Few authors can deliver [Austen’s] dry, deft and wickedly funny style. Michael Thomas Ford is one of them….Light, campy and a bit Buffyish….The literary and historical references really shine.”—Austenprose
 
"Ford gives us an authentic, sympathetic and witty Jane Austen as a modern-day vampire….An inventive mashup plot coupled with creative storytelling and amusing dialogue make this story a delightful read."—Romantic Times
 
“Hilarious….I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and know you will too!”—Vampire Librarian
 
“Such a fun read. I especially love to imagine Austen duking it out with fellow literary blood-suckers, both literal and figurative.”—Book Bitch
 
“I must admit I started this story prepared to dislike it (too many Jane related novels), and then found I was enjoying it! It has a little bit of something for everyone. You will enjoy it, too.”—Romance Reviews Today
 
“A rollicking good read.”—Dirty Laundry
 
“A confection of a novel.”—The Advocate
 
“In the past year, I have read quite a few Jane Austen spin-offs, but none quite as original as Jane Bites Back by Michael Thomas Ford….Incredibly readable, extremely funny, and highly entertaining.”—Booking Mama
 
“FIVE STARS!”—Huntress Reviews

More About the Author

Michael Thomas Ford is the author of more than fifty books in genres ranging from humor to horror, literary fiction to nonfiction. His work for adult readers includes the best-selling novels What We Remember, Changing Tides, Full Circle, Looking for It and Last Summer, and his five essay collections in the "Trials of My Queer Life" series. As a writer for young adults he is the author of Suicide Notes and Z (forthcoming in 2010), and under the name Isobel Bird he wrote the popular "Circle of Three" series. In 2009 he signed a 3-book deal with Random House for a series featuring Jane Austen as a modern-day vampire. The first book in the series, Jane Bites Back, will be published in January, 2010. His work has been nominated for 11 Lambda Literary Awards, twice winning for Best Humor Book and twice for Best Romance Novel. He was also nominated for a Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker Award (for his novel The Dollhouse That Time Forgot) and a Gaylactic Spectrum Award (for his short story "Night of the Werepuss").

Customer Reviews

A bit too cute.
DB
In short, I thought this book was great fun to read.
Becky at "One Literature Nut"
Jane Austen...a vampire.
Josie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Laurel Ann VINE VOICE on December 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
Jane Austen's novels brim with irony, witticism, and in the end, a gentle reprove or two. It is why I love her writing. Few authors can deliver this dry, deft and wickedly funny style. Michael Thomas Ford is one of them.

His latest novel Jane Bites Back is more than a gentle joke, it is a sly wink at the Austen and vampire industry. The clever title alone tells us that Ford has more than a keen sense of humor. The story concept is even better. Nearly two hundred years after her reputed death and burial at Winchester Cathedral in 1817, Jane Austen is actually not dead, but a vampire living in Brakeston, a small university town in upper-state New York. As the owner of Flyleaf Books she watches with irritation and frustration as other less talented writers make a killing off her novels and characters with sequels, spin-offs and absurd self help books. To add insult to injury, Constance, the last novel that she wrote before her turning remains unpublished after two hundred years and 116 rejections.

Jane's quiet country life is comfortable but unfulfilling. She has retained her anonymity over the centuries ironically adopting the name of Jane Fairfax, one of her characters in her novel Emma who is also orphaned but a highly accomplished young lady hiding secrets. She enjoys her friendship with her young shop assistant Lucy who reminds her of her dear sister Cassandra and is both flattered and annoyed by the attentions of Walter, a local carpenter/contractor who restores vintage homes and would like to do the same with Jane's heart. Two surprising events change her life dramatically: a legitimate offer to publish her novel, and the return of a former paramour, the mad, bad and dangerous to know poet Lord Byron who seduced and then turned her two hundred years ago.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Detra Fitch on December 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
Jane Austen is still alive today as a vampire. She goes by the name of Jane Fairfax now. She is the owner of a book store in small Brakeston, New York. No one knows she is Austen or that she is a vampire; not even her friendly assistant, Lucy Sebring. Jane keeps mortal men at bay for fear of becoming attached to one and eventually losing him when he dies of old age. She does not need the extra heartache. This includes Walter Fletcher, to whom Jane considers a close friend and refuses dates with.

Jane has kept a manuscript that she now dreams of publishing under her new name. She feels irritated enough that she does not receive royalty checks on the numerous spin-offs of her work, but the continuous rejection notices of her new book is even worse. Jane is about to give up when Kelly Littlejohn, senior editor for a small publishing company, offers her a contract. The book is getting rave reviews and Jane is back in the spotlight. She is thrilled until the famous poet that changed her (unwillingly) into a vampire walks into her store, intending to sweep her off her feet again. To make matters even worse, a noted scholar is accusing Jane of plagiarism.

***** FIVE STARS! This is one of the most thoroughly entertaining stories I have read in the past few years! I feel that the author succeeded in capturing Jane Austen's proper personality, as well as in how the legendary author would have reacted had she found herself an immortal vampire. Michael Thomas Ford has crafted a vivid, charming and witty tale to delight readers of any age. Absolutely fantastic! *****

Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Angela Buonfiglio on December 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
Deft storytelling and good pacing enhance this crazy, original tale. "Original" might seem a funny word to use with regard to a Jane Austen-based storyline, but this book doesn't even attempt to mimic Austen's style and that's what makes it enjoyable. It presents Jane Austen, vampire, who has adapted to modern life and sees life's absurdities. She is instantly likable and so is this book. Great fun!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Marcy A. Sheiner on January 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
Jane Bites Back is a hilarious page-turner.(Full disclosure: I know the author, but only slightly.) Following Ford and his twisted mind on this roller-coaster ride made for a rollicking read--or should I say the rollicking read made for a roller-coaster ride? Either way, I had a blast, and it made me wonder why I've shied away from the vampire genre. Actually, JBB doesn't fall into any genre, fang-related or otherwise. It's a novel/romance/satire and even mystery all rolled into one. I especially loved the author's delicious satire of the publishing game, but Ford jabs at all things romantic, generic, novelistic, and vampiristic. He also does a side-splitting number on a pair of talk show hosts named Comfort and Joy.

Jane, by the way, is Ms. Austen, undead in a remote little town in upstate NY, where she's built a fairly normal life, except for her proclivity to inflict in-depth hickeys on the townsfolk every now and then. Prim and proper Jane hates having to do it, but she's hunger-driven, having been turned 200-something years ago by none other than Lord Byron. As Jane Fairfax, she runs her own bookstore and hangs out with the locals, writing a novel in her spare time. When it's published, her little world bursts wide open, bringing more excitement and danger than the poor girl's had in, oh, 150 years or so. Can she handle it?

How could she not? After all, the guy pulling her strings has a mind more imaginative than that of any writer I've encountered in a long time. And he's wickedly funny: I cackled my way through half the book, especially the vampire stuff. Still, as a writer reading a writer writing about writing, I related most to Jane as the Austenmeister.
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