- Paperback: 344 pages
- Publisher: Quirk Books; Original edition (15 Sept. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1594744424
- ISBN-13: 978-1594744426
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.4 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 292,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters Paperback – 15 Sep 2009
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The reinterpretation of Jane Austen's novel (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) will be followed with the release of Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters... The books were created by US-based publishing house, Quirk Books. Jason Rekulak, the editorial director, said he pioneered the format after meeting dozens of Austen fans at a Californian sci-fi convention. He told the Independent that he was a "lifelong fan" of the works of Jules Verne, and thought it would be fun to enliven the follow-up with some rampaging giant squid and man-eating octopuses...'
--The Telegraph, 13 August 2009
The crossover between fans of Jane Austen and lovers of B-movie horror is small, but it is enough to warrant a follow-up to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. An instant classic that saw the Bennet sisters meet the undead, it sold more than half a million copies in English and was then translated into 17 languages. This follow-up literary 'mash-up' has the Dashwood girls looking for love in a watery England at the mercy of vengeful sea creatures. Forget sprained ankles in Devonshire, Ben Winters has introduced a gigantic, man-eating jellyfish and packed the poor girls off to the Pestilent Isle under the care of retired adventurer Sir John Middleton, who sports a necklace of human ears, while Colonel Brandon's sideburns are a horrific abberation. Winters lets Austen set the tone and the plot swims surprisingly faitfully in her wake. It's a very silly conceit, mixing Regency manners with a Jules Verne topography, but it is as attention-grabbing as a two-headed creature rising from the deep, while diving suits are far more becoming than frocks.
--The Guardian, 3 October 2009
About the Author
Jane Austen is coauthor of the "New York Times "best seller "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, "which has been translated into 17 languages and optioned to become a major motion picture. She died in 1817. Ben H. Winters is a writer based in Brooklyn.
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Top Customer Reviews
The text investigates the borders of genre in an insistently post-modern way, and finds them to be far more permeable than we might expect. It's not just the Austen romance, we find, that can be hijacked by early horror/SF, but that romance can completely hold its own: the shape of the genre may be bent and distorted but never eradicated completely. By mixing such seemingly-separate genres, this actually serves to draw attention to both their similarity and dissimilarity: refusing to play by genre rules serves not to make genre irrelevant but to actually re-impose its rules.
The eco-message gives this a contemporary edge that taps into C21st anxieties, but at the same time encodes the fragility beneath the ostensible confidence of Austen's own society which had witnessed the French revolution, the American revolution and was in the middle of the Napoleonic wars which take place unnamed in the background to her romances.
So overall I loved this and while it can certainly be read as light and frothy fun, it's actually quite literarily knowing and sophisticated, and requires us to simultaneously recall the original and forget it at the same time.
It turns out that it does, but only just. S&S&S is certainly a better written book than P&P&Z was. The original Austen text and Ben Winter's aquatic mayhem are far better integrated this time around. Whereas P&P&Z felt like Austen's novel with chunks of zombie related action sort of 'tacked on' here and there, the old and new parts of S&S&S are more closely and cleverly intertwined and Winter is far better at aping Austen's style of writing so that the additions are less jarring. S&S&S is also funnier than P&P&Z, although its by no means a work of comedic genius. The latter took essentially what was a single joke and stretched it to breaking point, whereas S&S&S riffs on a variety of genres such as monster movies, pirate adventures and steam punk. It also makes more successful use of the humour that stems naturally from the odd juxtaposition of Austen's writing with attacks from giant fish monsters. Whilst never subtle S&S&S is a far more cleverly written book than P&P&Z.
What it isn't however, is a very satisfying book.Read more ›
I was fully prepared to like this as I do like Jane Austin as well as HPL and Verne. Bad research and bad jokes abound. I don't know what a "Craw fish fry" is, but I'm sure they didn't have them in Devon 200 years ago. Bad illustrations too.
I loved this book - what's not to love? The classic tale of the Dashwood sisters and their adventures and misadventures through polite society and in love melded perfectly together with a fishy accompaniment. Winters never misses a beat in his oceanic additions and I was laughing pretty much all the way through the book. There are some really clever twists here - transforming the fashionable heart of society into Sub-Station Beta was inspired, and the addition of the Fanged Sea Beast of Devon into the scene where Lucy Steele makes her devastating relevation to Elinor concerning Edward Ferrars adds a further dimension to the drama and action.
I couldn't quite get why there were so many negative reviews of this book, but I do suspect that it is appealing to a very particular type of reader. You have to love Jane Austen to appreciate it(as well as sea monsters). Indeed, the author gives it away in his dedication at the beginning of the book. This book is aimed at people who love both "great literature and great silliness". If you don't like both, I suspect this isn't going to tick many boxes for you.
I'm not a big fan of authors including "reading notes" or "guidance for reading group discussion" at the end of their works - readers don't need to be told what to think, but I'm prepared to make an exception in this case.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A really well-done transformation; the rather tedious original novel of polite society becomes a rip-roaring steam-punk adventure, while still retaining Jane Austen's precise style... Read morePublished on 4 Nov. 2014 by Peakcouple
Bought this after reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I enjoyed P,P&Z, but this book was stale and uninteresting. Read morePublished on 18 Feb. 2013 by David Wistow
The idea of mashing up Jane Austen with sea monsters and pirates is a great idea and the story fits well with the new additions but personally I just can't get past the old Austen... Read morePublished on 28 May 2012 by H.I.H
OK, I like my classics and usually don't like them messed with but I absolutely loved Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. Read morePublished on 1 Feb. 2012 by The Honey Monster
I'm not a Jane Austen snob (though I did used to correct my English teacher when she misquoted), but I loved this book. Read morePublished on 20 Sept. 2011 by C. Smith
Bought this book as a holiday read, going next week so fingers crossed its going to be a good read!Published on 18 July 2011 by D. A. Hart
What a hilarious idea, to rewrite the classics with sci-fi type twists haha
In this case the traditional story sets off as usual but in a slightly different universe and after... Read more
Have you ever read Jane Austen and thought that what could really liven it up was some brain munching zombies or one of the Dashwood sisters falling for a Davey Jones-esque monster... Read morePublished on 24 Dec. 2010 by Scriber_scouse