I am a Jane Austen fan. I've read everything she wrote and have read so many JA knock-offs, they fill several shelves in my library. I've seen every JA movie adaptation (even the bad modern ones), read JA blogs, and listen to the JA Podnovel Podcast regularly. A while ago, I read a mystery by a fabulous JA author named Carrie Bebris. Suspense and Sensibility or, First Impressions Revisited: A Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mystery, is an entertaining tale about how Lizzy and Darcy attempt to help Kitty find a husband. The story revolves around a magic mirror that Mr. Darcy emphatically refuses to believe has supernatural powers. The reason I mention this book is because it is an excellent example of Jane Austen’s characters and the supernatural world working well together in a tale.
But now, there is a new book coming in May 2009, called Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance - Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem! By Seth Grahame-Smith. When I heard about this, I had to take a second look. The book cover shows potential and I am even a little excited to see if this guy can pull it off. Jane Austen seemed to be fascinated with gothic horror herself, which can be seen in her novel Northanger Abbey. I have high hopes that she would have enjoyed a good laugh about the book’s title and perhaps even applauded such an effort.
Unfortunately, the second piece of news buzzing around the net is that Elton John’s Rocket Pictures is making a movie they are affectionately calling "Pride and Predator". Whether this little film is connected with the new zombie book or if it is completely different is unknown. Some news sources are lumping them together as one entity, but from the description on Variety.com, this flick definitely sounds more alien than zombie related. Is it possible that non-SF news reporters don’t know the difference between aliens and zombies? Perhaps this is the reason for the generalization.
Whatever the case, these new JA spin-offs are strange to say the least. What I want to know is...Can they pull this off or are these going to be put down as what never to do to a classic? I guess we'll have to wait and see. If this film or book does well, I can predict what we can expect down the road, but really, “Frankenstein and Juliet” or “Oliver Twisted”, don’t seem to have the same appeal.
If you are a JA fan, or just want to find out what all the buzz is about, visit these links: Carrie Bebris, JA mystery author http://www.carriebebris.com/ Pre-Order Pride and Prejudice and Zombies On Amazon Listen to JApodnovel for JA readings and news: http://japodnovel.mevio.com/