So Jane Austen and H. P. Lovecraft Marry and have a Baby…

…well what the h-e-double-toothpicks am I supposed to say?

Time to test your favorite Librarian’s insulin levels…not to mention the tensile structure of their arteries.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance – Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem! (Paperback)

Co-written by Jane Austen, who has fittingly been dead for quite some time, and a person named Seth Grahame-Smith.  Who knows what they really do in their spare time.

I’ll give you my favorite reviewer’s take on this:

“The literary community should never be too proud to laugh at itself. I own three copies of the original “Pride & Prejudice” plus all the movies, so my husband and I bought this the moment we spotted it on the shelf (and laughed all the way to the register).

Fans need to read this book tongue-in-cheek and prepare to laugh WITH it. If you don’t like zombies or consider yourself a Jane Austen purist, if you admire only the most intricate writing and consider this sort of work irreverent, then you’ll be appalled more than amused. The level of writing IS degenerated from the original but, considering the subject matter, I don’t think “quality” was the forethought of the day. “Brains” is more like it.

On a literary note, the juxtaposition of familiar classic and farcical horror makes for harmless, laugh-out-loud comedy. I applaud this idea and hope the “Quirk Classics” line hammers out more spoofs on stories I love.

The only thing I find annoying is the last line of the blurb: “transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you’d actually want to read.” I’m perfectly capable of enjoying BOTH, thankyouverymuch. (EA Blevins)”

Best quote EVER:

“few thought it worth the expense to dress the dead in finery when they would only soil it upon crawling out of their graves.”

Rarely can one say that the reading of the book reviews is as entertaining and witty as reading of the book itself.  But see for yourself.  Honest, folks.  Austen hasn’t given me such a horror since I saw the identical twins of Austen’s book hiding out in the anarchist forestlands of Ray Bradbury’s movie version of FAHRENHEIT 451.

Fear not, gentle reader, Jane Austen WROTE A SEQUEL…with a little help from her (ghostwriter??) friend Ben H. Winters:

“Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters is a multiplayered study of love, sisterhood, and giant octopi.  We hope these questions will deepen your appreciation and enjoyment of this towering work of classic sea-monster literature.”

Let me say in passing, if you page to the back of this book and read the Readerer’s Discussion Guide, please do so without eating, drinking, or attempting to hold a conversation.  It is full of poignant thoughts, such as,  “Have you ever been attacked by giant lobsters, figuratively or literally?”

Oh, heavens.

Published in: on October 22, 2009 at 1:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

Praising the Stinging Nettle

The stinging nettle is the only stinging plant in Great Britain.  Inevitably, it has found a place of honor in the English language (we are a language of metaphors and comparisons, what Rita Mae Brown called the gutteral speech of Anglo Saxon married to the music of Latin).

The ancient Romans used the stinging nettle in the steam-baths to whip the rheumatoid arthritis out of their joints (the hollow hairs inject irritant into the skin and provides temporary relief).  People have been enthusiastically eating it since its flavor-resemblance to spinach was noted, and there are still excellent textiles woven today of nettle fibers.

Nettles figure in the pagan Anglo-Saxon “Nine Herbs Charm” which is quite the recipe using common herbs and a beaten egg.  It is also used in the following delightful ways:

“To sit in nettles” a German phrase for those who seek out trouble (as if it won’t come a-calling on its own)!

“nettle”:  to annoy someone.

“to grasp the nettle” means to take up the problem that is being ignored…possibly related to Shakespeare’s Hotspur, who said,

“out of this nettle, (danger), we grasp this flower (safety)” (Henry IV, part 1, Act II Scene 3).

If one tries to grip the plant gingerly, they will be sincerely stung by the hollow stinging hairs.  But, if one grasps the nettle firmly, many of the hairs are crushed, preventing a large portion of the painful injection.  In other words, face a problem head-on, and it won’t hurt nearly as much.

Published in: on October 11, 2009 at 4:10 am  Leave a Comment