Browsing Archives for Jane Austen

I recently finished reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith.  At first, I found myself highly entertained by the book.  That is to say, I found myself feeling like I should be highly entertained by the book.  In reality, I kind of felt like I used to feel in high-school when all the cool kids were laughing about something and I had no idea why they were laughing, but I laughed anyway because I wanted to feel cool and like I was a part of their group too.  As I read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, I found myself wondering if I was laughing at the story because I really thought that zombies roaming the English countryside side by side with Lizzy and Jane was funny or was I laughing because I wanted to be part of the supposed coolness of messing with a classic love story by loading it up with zombie attacks?  

Over the past ten years, Jane Austen has broken the bonds of PBS and become firmly entrenched in pop culture with one blockbuster film after another starring the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Keira Knightley.  It would follow that a pardoy of one of Jane’s books, if done properly, would be even cooler than the actual books themselves.  What is even more interesting is that Jane was often parodying the romantic books of her time when she wrote.  So Seth Grahame-Smith really wrote a parody of a parody with his version of the classic Pride and Prejudice.  And when the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies comes out in film, it will be a parody of a parody of a parody.  Just try and absorb that little factoid why don’t you!

The book is clever.  The idea is clever and it truly has some hilarious lines and a few absolutely hysterical scenes in it.  In a nutshell, Seth Grahame-Smith hijacks Austen’s entire book and inserts zombies into it at obvious intervals.  As strange as it seems, there are obvious intervals for zombies to arrive on the scene in Pride and Prejudice.  The recent dead are a good fit for Austen’s books, especially if you have a high tolerance for the utterly ludicrous, which I do.  

I found a quote from co-author, Grahame-Smith that sums it all up as he refers to Pride and Prejudice and it’s innate ability to incorporate the un-dead.  He says…“You have this fiercely independent heroine, you have this dashing heroic gentleman, you have a militia camped out for seemingly no reason whatsoever nearby, and people are always walking here and there and taking carriage rides here and there . . . It was just ripe for gore and senseless violence. From my perspective anyway.” 

I don’t want to give away the story… as there is really not much to give away.  Just picture your favorite version of Pride and Prejudice, add a few zombie attacks and a few well placed round house kicks from Lizzy and her sisters during a walk in the woods, an evening ball, or an afternoon tea and you will have Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  You might also want to add a fierce militaristic training regime to the five Bennett sister’s lives and a dojo in their garden.  Got it?  Okay.  Now you can skip the book and read something else.  

Personally, I don’t think Grahame-Smith went far enough.  I think the book should have been far more absurd.  I think he was a mite too cautious and a mite too sane in his approach. I also think he got tired of his version of the story before the end.  Or maybe, it is I who got tired of his story before the end.  Either way you have the same result, a story that lasts longer than the actual story lasts.  

The movie rights have already been sold to the highest bidder and a film is in the works.  I am afraid that I will have to see the movie.  I have no idea if I am motivated by an insecure need to be able to talk the funky Jane Austen parody with all the cool kids at school, or if I just have to see Lizzy Bennet kick the ever-loving crap out of Mr. Darcy to defend her warrior honor.  I just hope that the film industry pushes the envelope a bit further than Grahame-Smith did.  Somehow, I don’t think that will be a problem. 

In the mean time, the next book, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters is due out in mid-September.  Someone has already put together something that is called a ‘book trailer’ for this book, which is good, because I simply can’t abide reading a book until I have seen the ‘book trailer’ first..  And in case you were wondering, a book trailer has nothing at all to do with a book-mobile.  One is a vehicle that delivers books to people that might otherwise never get to read them and the other… is a vehicle… that delivers books… to people… that might otherwise… never… read… them.  


The Country Doctor took all four boys on the annual ‘man camp’ this past weekend. This is a get together where all the Country Doctor’s brothers, brother-in-laws, and a varied assortment of friends take all their kids to a centrally located campground and… well… they … camp.

No adult women are allowed.

I know… I know… It is a very sad thing and it makes me feel both deprived of my children’s presence, and mercilessly discriminated against for being a female.


While they were gone, I planted potatoes, lettuce, spinach, and onions in my garden. I worked on this insane new blog. I drank far too many glasses of wine with a few of my girlfriends… which I decided to call woman camp… and woman camp ended long before anyone had to cook a meal over a campfire, set up a tent, sleep on the ground, or use a campground toilet.

I also got enough take-out chinese food to sustain myself for two days.

…and I watched… or attempted to watch… three different movies.

One of them was Lost in Austen.

I had been hearing about this movie every day for months from Melissa (who is the boss of me) at work. Melissa can talk me under the table when it comes to classic movies, great books, and Jane Austen. The girl knows her Austen… backwards and forwards… she makes me feel like an imbecile, a phony, a wannabe, a fraud and a fake, when it comes to Jane Austen… and because of her, I have been trying to find ‘Lost in Austen’ via Net Flicks for weeks! Finally, I found it in a local movie rental place and I almost danced a jig… right there… in the far right aisle of Hastings!

But I held back…

And instead I celebrated with an extra large box of hot tamales.

Which is almost the same thing.

Lost in Austen is a hilarious story and a fun salute to Jane. If you are an Austen fan you will love it. If you don’t know what I am talking about when I utter the mystical cantation… Jane Austen… your life is an empty hole in the dirt and you need to go out and get yourself some Mansfield Park… right now… no… now!… NOW!

The best part of the movie is when Amanda Price says to Mister Darcy…

“Will you do something for me?”

And I think we all know what comes next…

And no… this is not a baptism…

This is Mr. Darcy in the white shirt in the lake.

It only looks like a baptism because it is one of the most holy moments in all of literature.

Except it never actually occurred in literature.

It only occurred in the movie…

This movie.

The most holy of all movies ever made.

Because Colin Firth…

And Mr. Darcy…

Created a perfection that rarely exists on this earth.

But this Lost in Austen scene will do.

Yes… I think so.

I think it will do just fine.

The Lost in Austen Mr. Darcy Lake Scene

The Colin Firth Mr. Darcy Lake Scene

For the next selection in my summer reading program, I am selecting a movie instead of a book. I am allowed to select a movie because this is my summer reading program and I am completely in charge and no one can tell me what to do.

This is why I love blogging.
I am the boss.

I am the CEO.

I am the entire board of directors.

And I am also the largest contributor.

So the CEO and The Board of Directors have to suck up to ME!

Which is also ME so it doesn’t even matter!

All of this authority makes me very happy.

Deliriously happy.

Fanatically happy. 

It especially makes me happy right now as The Country Doctor and I are in the middle of family vacation negotiations… and it is not going well.

You see, my idea of a vacation is to find a comfortable chair, overlooking a beautiful vista, with a cold drink and a book, and a few snacks and to not move from this spot for several days, except to go to dinner, and maybe to sit in a hot tub.

And I also would not mind doing a little shopping and maybe finding a good cup of coffee in a quaint little bakery.

But then it is right back to my book.


The Country Doctor’s idea of a vacation is to cover at least 300 miles a day, stopping only to buy more baloney and cheap bread.

The only places we are allowed to linger more than fifteen minutes are at civil war battlefields, where we will all be forced to don ear phones and lumber around an empty grassy plane while trying to maintain consciousness, as every move of the battle is repeated over the head set, and at professional baseball games in whatever region of the country we are visiting. 

Except that I won’t go to the professional baseball games anymore, because I put my foot down about that a few years ago. Now I shop, while they go to baseball games, and we all are much happier.

But back to the book giveaway which is a movie giveaway this time.

This is me holding Colin Firth tenderly in my arms. Look at how at peace he seems. It is clear we belong together. I bet Colin does not even like baseball. I bet he hasn’t even heard of the Civil War! I bet Colin would love to just sit and read for his entire vacation. OR I could sit and read and overlook COLIN instead of a beautiful vista!


This is Colin taking a shower in coffee.

I really love this picture. 

As a second prize in this give away I am offering a chance to win a fabulous booklet of Pride and Prejudice Paper Dolls!

Please try to contain your excitement!

I love the paper dolls because they remind me of a vacation my sister and I took with our grandparents to Arkansas one summer.

To entertain my sister and I on the long car trip, my Grandma had a plain brown paper sack in the front of the car and every once in a while she would open it up and give us something from the bag.

Sometimes it was a snack… sometimes it was a toy… sometimes it was a book of crossword puzzles… but the best thing she had in that bag were paper dolls.

Those paper dolls entertained us for hours!

And I just know that one lucky winner will have the same fun that we did with this set of paper dolls!

Here is Mr. Darcy in his underwear.

And this is the Country Doctor planning our vacation with the kitty (Stormy) at his side.

This giveaway has come to an end.