Reading Corner: Sense and Sensibility…and Sea Monsters

Reading Corner: Sense and Sensibility…and Sea Monsters

When I first started to hear about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies I was intrigued–but not enough to actually seek it out and read it. I find Jane Austen enjoyable, but I’m don’t feel compelled to read everything she’s ever written. (However, I am compelled that way about F. Scott Fitzgerald and have done so. That’s an entirely different subject.) I thought the concept was amusing, but I worried about the actual execution–I worried that the other writer’s work wouldn’t mesh well enough with Austen’s story.

Then someone wrote Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. The “sea monsters” portion sealed the deal for me, and I absolutely had to read it. I took a gamble and bought myself a copy, hoping I wouldn’t be dropping it off in a few days at the library donation box and wishing I had just read it instead. Thankfully, that’s not how I feel about it at all~

...And Sea Monsters
I love the cover illustration with the way Colonel Brandon is featured. The artwork is soft and beautiful…but he has a tentacle-face.

The story takes Sense and Sensibility and alters the setting to a Britain where humans are at war with marine creatures. It’s man-versus-fish all the way through! This is incorporated into the story very thoroughly, with a definite campy and cheeky edge to the additions. Personally, I think that made it even better. It would be impossible to take this story 100% seriously, what with place locations like Pestilence Island and the bloody devouring of young maidens by massive sea creatures, so I appreciated the lightheartedness!

I’m very enthralled by the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, particularly the Cthulhu mythos, so the draw of a historical book intertwined with monsters of the deep was irresistible. There were certainly moments when I thought of Lovecraft’s grim, weary sailors or brave men of science while reading Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, but all did not turn to horror as his tales regularly do. (In fact, there’s even a happy ending! ♥)

I hadn’t read Sense and Sensibility when I started the book, but I enjoyed it very much regardless. I knew that I would probably feel more “in” on the running jokes if I had read the original Jane Austen novel first, but I couldn’t resist once the derivative work was already in my possession. You don’t need to have read the original to like the sea monster-laced version–just enjoy humor, a Georgian historical setting, and giant maleficent fish; that’s all you need.

Attack Tuna!
The book was illustrated, and they always seemed to pick the scenes that I really hoped would be illustrated. The attacking tuna was one of my favourites.

Once finished, however, I set about to remedy the problem and read Sense and Sensibility to pick up on whatever jests I had missed in Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. I discovered I didn’t miss out on much. I think I prefer it with sea monsters~ ♥

Next on my reading list? Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.