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Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters Paperback – Unabridged, September 1, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
BEN H. WINTERS is a writer based in Brooklyn.
Top Customer Reviews
Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters continues the same ideas of the previous novel in the "Jane Austen and monsters " series, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but goes a step further. Instead of relying on some overdone paranormal element, like vampires or werewolves, the editors at Quirk Classics decided to be a little more original and create their own element -- "sea monsters." The sea monsters aspect of this novel is taken from all kinds of influences, ranging from Pirates of the Caribbean (evidenced by the Davy Jones-like look of Colonel Brandon), Jules Verne (thanks to a detour trip to a station on the bottom of the ocean), classical mythology and others. Some of the best things here don't even seem to be part of any specific genre, like giant jellyfish attacks, giant fighting lobsters and pet orangutans. In fact, my favorite scene is when the dashing Willoughby comes to Marianne's rescue. Instead of twisting her ankle and getting caught in the rain, Marianne is attacked by a giant octopus, which Willoughby harpoons, and is rescued -- but not after being drenched in octopus blood and guts first, of course.
I began reading this book while hanging out with my boyfriend by the pool one afternoon.Read more ›
The sea monster world was so graphic, gruesome and juicy, I almost broke out in hives from my seafood allergies. More than once I caught myself grimacing and wrinkling my nose at imagined fishy stink. Normally, the violence alone would be enough to make me abandon the book, but author Wilson only uses it to throw Regency cultural values into sharper and more satirical relief -- witness the scene of Elinor and Marianne earnestly engaging in prim introspection, concerned about social appropriateness and proper behavior, when (SPOILER ALERT) the entire underwater dome is about to crack at the onslaught of the sea monster rebellion and a servant has just been gruesomely murdered before their eyes (unnoticed).
Setting the main story and its sub-plots against such a background also served to emphasize what Austen herself was indeed emphasizing -- the ludicrousness of Regency-era polite society.
I did not fall off my chair laughing, but I did appreciate the skill and wit of the author. My only complaint: Colonel Brandon was a little *too* graphically repulsive. But I quite forgave this at the end of the book, when the author innocently explained the advantages of extra appendages (and I did teeter on the edge of my chair at that).
Ultimately, I consider this book a resounding success because (a) the author wrote quite as masterly a satire of social mores as did Austen herself (b) he wrote a satire of Austen's satire -- breathtaking (c) I not only found it darkly amusing -- I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Great job, Ben H. Winters.
Instead of just adapting passages of the original and throwing in regular detours via monsters (although the Pentagram of Death in P&P&Z was superb), this includes a whole new landscape while putting much of the original through a strange process ... monsterification, or some such.
The books has about 20 or so drawings in, which help bring the daft scenes to life. Some of them are quite a stretch of the imagination, so this helps a lot. There's some quality stupidity on offer here and it's written with erudition and wit. I enjoyed it and it is very funny.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
Colonel Brandon has always been the shining character and he was still. In this retelling, the world has been infected with some sort of evil fish disease they call the... Read morePublished 6 days ago by FogCityBookGal
Product was gone. I just didn't like the book and didn't finish it.Published 4 months ago by Jeannie J Kosinski
This retelling of Jane Austen's novel by Grahame-Smith is in Austen's style with flare that pins you between 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Jane Austen. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Rod Royce
An okay twist on the story but the plot choppy and left questions unanswered. Some parts could have been expanded but to me fell short. A lot potential that missed the mark.Published 6 months ago by C. Reynoso
I adored this book. I read it til my eyes hurt from reading too long and because I stayed up all night long.Published 9 months ago by Jessica Leah drury
Very well written adaptation of Austen's original text. The new paranormal additions fit in seemlessly and make sense. Humorous and light hearted read.Published 14 months ago by Archlady