Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters
by Jane Austen & Ben H. Winters
So I have completed my Sense and Sensibility quest. I read the original version by Jane Austen, then continued with watching the Hollywood film adaptation, as well as the BBC mini series. I am concluding with this monster mash up novel. I will admit, by surrounding myself with the story, I enjoy it more than I did the first time around.
As I’m sure you guessed, this version of the story revolves around sea monsters. The world is plagued by sea beasts, oversized marine animals who are out to kill humans. The only character physically afflicted in the novel is that of Colonel Brandon. This is the second monster mash up novel I have read. They stay very close to the original story line, but take liberties to add to their monster qualities. Many people die in this novel, and some of the characters tend to be more barbaric. Instead of poetry and music, they read cast away stories and sing sea shanties. A somewhat major contribution to the story would be the addition of an undersea sub-station, which represents the city of London. They build a small history behind this underwater city, as well as the existence of it. The biggest addition to the story, I believe, would be Margaret’s. In the original story of Sense and Sensibility, the character of Margaret is almost nonexistent. It was only in the film adaptations that I noticed she played more of a role, but not much. In S&S&SM, her story is more of a subplot, but continues to build very slowly throughout the novel. It is very mysterious, but drops subtle hints making you wonder what is going on and what will happen next. The only way to find out of course is to complete the whole novel.
Although some people would view these monster mash ups as a disgusting tribute to classic literature, I am completely taken in by this new fad. My first experience was with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. If you read my book review you would know I actually preferred the original, simply because of all the asian elements in the mash up. I am still eager to read many of these twists to classic novels, as well as new.
As a final verdict, I am pleased to say that I enjoyed this novel! Believe it or not, I am willing to say that I enjoyed the monster mash up much more than I enjoyed the original. The sea monster twist adds comedy and some gore to the novel, as well as more of a story. The original story is very bland, where as this mix adds sea creatures, sea witches, new sub plots and pirates! I highly recommend that you read this book.