Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Emma and the Vampires by Jane Austen and Wayne Josephson

A lot has changed in the almost 200 years since Emma, by Jane Austen, was first published.  I don't imagine that she ever considered that vampires would invade her idyllic setting of Hartfield Estate, in Highbury, the home of Emma Woodhouse.

Author Wayne Josephson has transformed that peaceful village to one stalked by terror and blood lust.  While staying faithful to the matchmaking efforts of Emma, he has introduced vampires at every level of society, from gentleman, to farmers, to vagrants.  When out walking, Emma has taken to carrying weapons to protect herself from vampire attacks.

It's been years since I first read Emma, though recollections of its events came flooding back as I read this 'mash up'.  I remember loving the original and I equally loved this version.  There were a number of times I roared with laughter at the turn of events.  I can just picture this very proper and gentile English woman jamming a sharpened stake into the heart of a decapitated vampire, and then calming reclaiming the stake and tieing back upon her thigh under her voluminous petticoat while maintaining her strict modesty.  I would have thought she might have been dismayed by the blood splatter on her gown, but no, she is so calm and cool and collected at all times.  Mr. Josephson managed to keep Emma in perfect character no matter the gore and mutilation.

I absolutely loved this book.  I can't wait to read more of this genre.

You can read an interview in the Daily Herald, "Vampires continue to show life, even as parodies roll out" that quotes Wayne Josephson several times.

There are Jane Austen societies all over the world.  Visit the Jane Austen Society of North American to learn more.

Authors Sharon Lathan and Abigail Reynolds has recently conceived and published a website that further explores the re-newed interest in Jane Austen and the re-writes of her novels.  Launched on September 6, 2010, they plan daily posts by their 20 member authors as well as new book celebrations including give aways and contest.

Thank-you to Sourcebooks Inc for introducing me to this genre of books and for my review copy.


Felicity Grace Terry said...

How funny, I have just come from another blog where this very book had been reviewed except in this instance the blogger hated it.

Not a book I'm in a hurry to read - I hated Pride, Predjudice And Zombies which is a similar type of read. Glad you enjoyed it though and thanks for the recommendation.

Heather said...

I think it's great that the same book can evoke two opposite responses and that we are both willing to comment on it.

Dorte H said...

Not sure what to think about all the modern pastiches, but I must admit this one sounds funny.

Miri said...

I read and reviewed Pride and Prejudice and Zombies-
and I was very disappointed. Sounds like the author of this mash up did better...a fun romp was what I was looking for. I'll have to check this out-I'm glad you reviewed it because after the last one I would have given this a pass.