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Mansfield Park and Mummies: Monster Mayhem, Matrimony, Ancient Curses, True Love, and Other Dire Delights Paperback – November 16, 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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About the Author

Nazarian left the former Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War, a refugee at the age of eight, and arrived in the U.S. a month before her 10th birthday. She is an active member of Science Fiction Writers of America.

One of England s most beloved authors, Jane Austen wrote such classic novels as Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, and Northanger Abbey. Published anonymously during her life, Austen s work was renowned for its realism, humour, and commentary on English social rites and society at the time. Austen s writing was supported by her family, particularly by her brother, Henry, and sister, Cassandra, who is believed to have destroyed, at Austen s request, her personal correspondence after Austen s death in 1817. Austen s authorship was revealed by her nephew in A Memoir of Jane Austen, published in 1869, and the literary value of her work has since been recognized by scholars around the world.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 568 pages
  • Publisher: Curiosities (November 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607620472
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607620471
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #392,256 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Leigh H. Kimmel on December 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
Imagine the scene -- as I'm sitting there reading, I come to a particularly hilarious bit and start cracking up, and my husband looks up from his computer with a most decidedly odd expression. So I have to explain to him exactly why I should find a scene of an Egyptian mummy being raised from the dead hilarious. After all, aren't reanimated mummies usually the stuff of horror movies, tromping about in search of their next victim?

Except Mansfield Park and Mummies is not horror. Not at all. Instead of a monster that's a Menace because it's a Menace, the revivified Pharaoh East Wind, now calling himself Lord Eastwind and enjoying the sartorial splendor of a Regency gentleman, is a witty chap who just happens to have this little problem. Every so often he has to top off his supply of the Breath of Life, and out of deference to the lady of the house under whose roof he is a guest, he is constrained to take only a small portion of the life force of any one of the servants. Which he does with utmost politeness, wooing them with dreams of Egypt and exotic beauty, and leaving them missing a little time and feeling most decidedly odd.

And he's a bit of a romantic, and is certain that Fanny Price must be his long-lost love of thirty centuries gone by. Yes, here we have an undead who is genuinely capable of love, and of having his heart broken upon the steadfast devotion of the object of his affection for the rather dour seminarian Edmund. And thus even the final defeat of the Mummy's Curse has its poignancy, and leaves me thinking, "and seal it with a kiss."
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Format: Paperback
A friend got this book for me as a Christmas gift,
since Jung's new _Liber Novus_ was a little beyond
her means.

I read _Mansfield Park and Mummies_ in one weekend,
with howls of laughter, then re-read it with fewer
giggles and more introspection. Poor Jane Austen has
had many irreverent and awkward send-ups over the last
decade. Many of her newer literary 'collaborators'
have only a smirking relationship with their source
material, sampling it randomly and layering it with
a slick, hip, high-fructose current-culture candy
shell to make it palatable to commercial fiction readers.

Ms. Nazarian's take has genuine affection for, and
understanding of, Austen's tone and background. Rather
than zombies shoehorned into the Regency, the budding
Egyptomania in her version of _Mansfield_ leads to a
hysterical comedy of class and errors, laced with
enough gags to stand beside 'She Stoops to Conquer',
'Jeeves and Wooster', and the Marx Brothers.

Readers who enjoyed the humor and Egyptology in Elizabeth
Peters 'Peabody' novels might really like this. Casual fans
of Austen should delight in it. And Austen scholars, recoiling
in horror from the recent Zombiefests, should give this one
a try. It's gold, and I can't wait for Nazarian's next foray
into the Austenverse.
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I have always thought that Mansfield Park is the weakest of all of Jane Austin's books. The heroine, Fanny Price is a weaker character than Elizabeth Bennett and less interesting than either Miss Dashwood.

Not so in Mansfield Park and Mummies, where she is elevated to the status of mummy fighter and vampire hunter (but sadly, not slayer). The book is filled with hilarious footnotes and modern slants on Austin's historic social commentary. The author's deft touches keep the book interesting throughout it's considerable length.
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MP&Mummies is a faithful, and loving, reinterpretation of the original by Austen that also happens to be funny. I'm a huge Austen fan, love her books, and have read and re-read them many times. Vera Nazarian's mash-up kept me laughing, and agreeing with her interpretations of the characters. They kept their original personalities, and followed the original plot--it's well-nigh seamless how Vera did it. It's a work of love for sure. Mash-ups like this are a tight-rope walk between satire of the original satire that Austen wrote, respect, and a balance between the original text and the new text. Vera Nazarian has walked that tight-rope successfully, in my opinion.

I pick this up whenever I need a lift. I mean, come on, Aunt Norris as a werewolf-and that being an "open secret"? It's perfect. Other characters as vampires? (although not ever straight out announced as such) Perfect.

It IS long-as long as the original Mansfield Park, whereas many take-offs would be shorter, but that's okay with me. That means there's more to enjoy. I did start trying to ignore the footnotes, though (those did get tiresome after the first hundred pages), but other than that-fun! Really!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Please note: As always, if you are reading this review on a site that does not allow formatting, to see formatting, links, etc. please visit my blog, Now is Gone. Links can always be found in my profile, on every site I on which I'm a member.

Book Info: Genre: Classic Literature parody
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of Jane Austen who enjoy a laugh, people who enjoy parodies, Vera Nazarian fans

My Thoughts: This was the first of the supernatural Jane Austen parodies that Nazarian wrote. I can see that her abilities have increased with practice, as this one is not nearly as rib-splitting as the second, which is not nearly as hilarious as the third. Nonetheless, now I see from whence came both the Brighton Duck and the horrible afflictions found in the third book; it is all developed starting here. Therefore I shall say that while the books may indeed be read out of order, I recommend that you read them in publication date if you are able, just to see that development.

The parody aspect of this book is good, but not as good as the two later books in this series. I imagine it's due to the source material, as Mansfield Park was just a snorefest to me. The book is very long, and there is much too much handwringing and "oh dear" and "what will the neighbors think" and general fluttering for me. And "poor little timid Fanny"--oh, I just wanted to wring her neck sometimes! I know Jane Austen in the original was probably as much making fun of society as anything, but there was just too much in this one to hold my attention or amuse me as much as the others. This absolutely will not stop me from pouncing on any new books that Vera Nazarian might decide to parody, of course, as her satires and parodies are top notch.
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