Okay. This was one of my stranger reading experiences.
Seth Grahame-Smith's additions to the classic Jane Austen text were, in a word, odd. There are many intellectual and thought-provoking responses to this book out there, ranging from an appreciation of the humorous absurdity of it to an outspoken disdain at the perceived defamation. My personal opinion, however, is far less marked by extremes than by the absence of them. I was kinda...bored.
I know, I know. How could this be true? I mean, there were zombies (or, rather, "unmentionables") roaming the English countryside and attacking my all-time favorite literary couple: Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. Under these circumstances, it seems wrong of me to plead indifference. But that's the way it is.
I will admit to having been Very Surprised by the story's premise when it was first catapulted upon the pubishing world. Intrigued. Curious. Some of my fellow Janeites expressed a tremendous animosity toward Mr. Grahame-Smith upon encountering the "changes" he inflicted on the original text. But I was too busy with other writing commitments to skim beyond the first chapter or two and, thus, I remained detached and mostly amused by the resulting uproar until I read the book. And then...nothing changed.
I think I should be more upset than I am. Or more amused. Or just more passionately any emotion. On the level of pure logic and rationality, I'm impressed by the marketing genius of the novel. Truly, it's an idea that NEVER would have occurred to ME, so I have to give it points for originality. But I still don't feel anything when I read the altered scenes. Whereas, when I read Jane's novel, sans the undead, I do. Every time. (And there have been many readings. :)
So, I'm here in Chicago, staring at the front cover and shrugging. Maybe someone else out there can get more out of this book than I did... Does anyone who hasn't read it want my copy? I'll give it away this weekend to one random commenter on this post, along with an ARC of my debut novel According to Jane, and will look forward to hearing someone else's thoughts!
**p.s. Anyone still interested in my Starbucks coffee taste test (free VIA Ready Brew!) has until THIS Saturday to sign up. Go HERE!!