Jane Austen's World's review of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is up. Please click here to read Vic's review and here for Laurel Ann's take of the novel. For those who do not have the patience to read a long review, I have placed a turbo review below. Also included in this post are my high concept horror plots for the rest of Jane Austen's novels. If Seth Grahame-Smith can make a monetary killing off one of Jane's most beloved novels, why can't lil' ol' me?
Turbo Review of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
If you have a sense of humor and love parodies and horror movies and think that slow moving zombies can actually kill people by sheer force of numbers, then by all means purchase Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith. The book is a hoot and follows P&P's plot closely. If you are a serious Janeite, you will have issues with this concept and vomit, which is a subtext of the book. My rating system goes as follows:
I award the book no (0) regency fans for serious Janeites;
Two regency fans for people who are addicted to Twilight and Anne Rice novels; and
Four regency fans for people who like horror movies but who have never read Jane Austen.
Vic's Ploy to Earn Serious Money in These Hard Economic Times
Having reviewed my investments with my accountant, I can confess that I am willing to sell my soul to the highest bidders of my high concept novels while allowing Jane Austen and any other dead novelist in my vicinity do 50% of my writing. Please read my five plots below. All bids above a mil will be accepted. No questions asked.
Rosemary’s and Henry Tilney’s Baby – Inspiration: Northanger Abbey and Rosemary’s Baby
The book opens with Catherine Morland feeling she is the luckiest woman alive in England. She has married her Mr. Tilney, who turns out to be as witty in bed as out of it. Better yet, General Tilney died of apoplexy upon hearing that his son was to wed her, and Captain Tilney died in a duel over cheating at cards, making Catherine the mistress of Northanger Abbey. She has spent her days and nights dismantling General Tilney’s improvements, including the Rumford fireplace, and returning Northanger Abey to its Gothic, spider-webbed origins. One day Catherine follows the sound of mewling down a long, dark, and dank corridor. Opening a creaking door, she enters a redecorated space that is light and airy and (quelle horreur) modern. Catherine approaches a cradle and peeks inside. She gasps when she sees the baby – a miniature Henry, only with yellow slanted eyes, two horn buds sprouting from its forehead, and cloven feet. Catherine doesn’t know which emotion affects her more: the one of betrayal or disappointment that the nursery has been remodeled in the modern neoclassical style.
Willoughby’s Tell-Tale Heart – Inspiration: Sense and Sensibility and The Tell-Tale Heart
After Willoughby’s rejection, Marianne Dashwood falls ill. When she awakens from her fever, she overhears Willoughby reveal to Elinor that he loves Marianne but that he has no choice but to marry for money. The knowledge takes the poor girl over the edge. While everyone is asleep, a still weakened Marianne sneaks out of the house, rides to Comb Magnum, creeps into Willoughby’s bedroom and stabs him in the heart as he lies snoring. She cuts out his still beating heart, wanting something of Willoughby to remember him by. Marianne tries to live a normal life and agrees to marry Colonel Brandon. But not once can she take her mind off Willoughby (whose murder goes unsolved), or his heart, which has now shriveled and dessicated to 1/10th its size. Regardless, she can hear it beating 24/7. Desperate to get away from the sound, Marianne encases the organ in a cement box and buries it under the floorboards in a hole in the basement, but the constant thump thump thump of Willoughby’s heart drives her wild. Colonel Brandon, not knowing what is wrong with his crazed bride, tries to tempt her with sweetmeats and poetry and lovemaking. One day, a wild-eyed Marianne hands the colonel a small cement box.”There”, she cries out. “There is Willoughby’s beating heart!” Upon opening the box, the colonel sees only a shriveled up prune and has his wife committed.
Dr. Jekyll and Fanny Price – Inspiration: Mansfield Park and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Angered that Fanny has attracted the attentions of rich Henry Crawford, Mrs. Norris arranges for Dr. Jekyll to create a potion that will turn the sweet girl into a vicious and nasty harridan. Unbeknownst to Dr. Jekyll as he was making the potion, drops of Mrs. Norris’s sweat plopped into the boiling cauldron as she watched him stir it, infusing her evil personality into the liquid. After Fanny drinks some tea (which to her mind was foul and bitter, but which she politely sipped anyway), she feels Mrs. Norris's anger and spite invade her bloodstream. While she remains sweet and tractable during the day, she turns loathsome at night, waking the servants at all hours to do her bidding, clean every nook and cranny in the house, and muck out the stalls. One by one the staff drop dead from exhaustion or quit, unable to perform double duty without a moment’s rest. While Edmund is turned off by the new Fanny, Henry is enthralled with her transformation, for he had harbored some doubts that she’d be capable of overseeing the staff of his houses. Servants come a dime a dozen, but a capable wife comes only once in a lifetime.
Persuading Moby – Inspiration: Persuasion and Moby Dick
Captain Wentworth and his new bride Anne are sailing the high seas on his fine boat as they ply the waters defending England’s shores from pirates, boot-leggers, and invasions. Anne revels in her life on board ship, loving the rocking motion of both the boat and marital bed. Then one day Captain Wentworth spies a white whale and Anne’s life changes. Her husband becomes obsessed, wanting to hunt the whale down and kill it, for, as he tells his bride, albinos lead a tough life out in the wild. They can’t camouflage their color and hide from danger. “We might as well put the poor creature out of its misery,” he gallantly says. But the whale, whom Anne had secretly named Moby, was not easily persuaded to swim within catching distance. The captain, consumed by his obsession, begins to neglect Anne. After a few weeks of putting up with the Captain’s distraction and lack of amorous advances, Anne decides to take matters into her own hands. She commandeers a rowboat and heads towards the whale, who, not scared of a puny boat with a mere woman in it, stays around long enough to listen. This provides Anne with ample time to persuade Moby to leave under cover of night and go blow his blowhole elsewhere.
Bride of FrankChurchillStein – Inspiration: Emma and Bride of Frankenstein
Jane Fairfax is no longer beautiful, having fallen asleep in her tester bed waiting for Frank to return from a night of gambling, carousing, and drinking. The spark from a sputtering candle ignited the bedsheets, burning the house down and rendering poor Jane lifeless and burnt crisp to the bone. Frank, distraught and feeling guilty for neglecting his long-suffering bride, directs a dissipated priest to unearth Jane from her grave and return her to him by enacting an undead ritual he found in an ancient Egyptian manuscript. Jane does indeed come back to life, but she is not quite herself, looking more like a roasted quail than a human. Angry that Frank yanked her out of Heaven to resume her life of living hell with him, she extracts her revenge with cool and deliberate calculation, murdering all of Frank’s cronies and mistresses. Frank, desperate to undo the spell, discovers to his horror that Jane has killed the priest. Frank sinks into despair knowing his cushy days of debauchery are over for as long as his reconstituted Jane roams the earth.
Posted by Vic, Jane Austen's World. Read all our Pride and Prejudice and Zombies posts at this link.