It's official! Jane Austen has no doubt rolled over, and over, and over again in her grave. In fact, she's probably kicking and screaming, pounding the walls of her underground wooden solitude using words like, it is not merely this affair on which my dislike is founded!
Perhaps to make her works more appealing to MEN, her tales of love and romance have been mercilessly invaded by first, the brain-eating, the scab-forming, walking corpses of gray loose and rotten flesh. Now it's muscular green Stretch Armstrong sort of men with tentacles where they shouldn't be, and I have no doubt aliens will be landing with Anne and Captain Wentworth in Lyme by this spring.
I'm not the first to notice this modern manification, or shall we call it - the "Horrification of Jane Austen", Misfit Salon also has a great link on this here, and I really can't complain because I gave the first offshoot 4 stars for crying out loud, but this one...well, I'm sorry to say it was hard for me to finish. Painstakingly hard. Not because of the writing. Ben Winters is a good writer, by my standards anyway. Maybe my normal tolerance level to B Movie Austenite violence was breached like the hull of a sinking ship after Zombies.
Illustration by Shane Harrison
Maybe I just didn't find the idea of sea monsters, such as man-eating octopii, hammerhead sharks, giant clams, amoeba-ish creatures absorbing unsuspecting humans whole, etc., trying to kill all the main characters, again and again, interesting enough after the first 100 pages or so.
Maybe not enough of the original story was included in this sea monster dance of death to hold my attention throughout. I believe this was mainly the case. I've read the original novel numerous times, and although it's not my favorite, not even close to being as witty as her others, I still enjoy many elements of this story, and I absolutely love the movie versions. The romance, the betrayals, they play out well on the screen. Here, although initially fun, it got old after the first ten deadly encounters or so.
Maybe it's because I don't like to eat sushi, or shrimp, or lobster, or any other poor sea creature! But I would love to learn to knit! That counts right? Maybe?
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