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Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters [Paperback]

Jane Austen , Ben Winters , Eugene Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 1 2009 Quirk Classics
From the publisher of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies comes a new tale of romance, heartbreak, and tentacled mayhem.
Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters expands the original text of the beloved Jane Austen novel with all-new scenes of giant lobsters, rampaging octopi, two-headed sea serpents, and other biological monstrosities. As our story opens, the Dashwood sisters are evicted from their childhood home and sent to live on a mysterious island full of savage creatures and dark secrets. While sensible Elinor falls in love with Edward Ferrars, her romantic sister Marianne is courted by both the handsome Willoughby and the hideous man-monster Colonel Brandon. Can the Dashwood sisters triumph over meddlesome matriarchs and unscrupulous rogues to find true love? Or will they fall prey to the tentacles that are forever snapping at their heels? This masterful portrait of Regency England blends Jane Austen’s biting social commentary with ultraviolent depictions of sea monsters biting. It’s survival of the fittest—and only the swiftest swimmers will find true love!

Frequently Bought Together

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters + Pride and Prejudice and Zombies + Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After
Price For All Three: CDN$ 32.37

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Product Description


“A fine addition to an international fiction collection.” (Booklist )

“Esterhazy’s prose is jumpy, allusive, and slangy. . . . There is vividness, an electric crackle. The sentences are active and concrete. Physical details leap from the murk of emotional ambivalence.” (John Updike, The New Yorker ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Jane Austen is coauthor of the New York Times best seller Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which has been translated into 17 languages and optioned to become a major motion picture. She died in 1817. Ben H. Winters is a writer based in Brooklyn. 

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters Dec 17 2009
This is a laugh-out-loud novel that's even funnier than Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The co-author has used less of Austen's at-times dense prose, making the story more understandable. Austen's characters have all the narrow concerns of the originals, interested in courting and parties, but at the same time they have to deal with a world in which even a school of lake trout will attack like piranhas, and the oceans are full of creatures right out of Jules Verne. Highly recommended.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A waste of time and money Oct. 15 2009
After thoroughly enjoying Pride and Prejudice and Zombies I could barely wait for the second title in this series. What a mistake that was. This novel was clumsy, full of unnecessary side plots, and was a chore to read. Save your money and don't spend it on this waste of paper.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.3 out of 5 stars  64 reviews
107 of 119 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than Pride and Prejudice and Zombies! Sept. 15 2009
By Amanda - Published on
This time around, the penniless Dashwood ladies are sent to live in shanty on a small island. Not only must they deal with the fact that they are now poor and in need of wealthy husbands, but the nearby ocean is crawling with monstrous sea fare. The tentacle-faced Colonel Brandon has taken a bashful fancy to Marianne, who prefers the monster-killing Willoughby, while Elinor works her way into the heart of Edward Ferras. Can the Dashwood sisters find true love amid the violence of sea monsters and pirate-like enemies?

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters continues the same ideas of the previous novel in the "Jane Austen and monsters " series, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but goes a step further. Instead of relying on some overdone paranormal element, like vampires or werewolves, the editors at Quirk Classics decided to be a little more original and create their own element -- "sea monsters." The sea monsters aspect of this novel is taken from all kinds of influences, ranging from Pirates of the Caribbean (evidenced by the Davy Jones-like look of Colonel Brandon), Jules Verne (thanks to a detour trip to a station on the bottom of the ocean), classical mythology and others. Some of the best things here don't even seem to be part of any specific genre, like giant jellyfish attacks, giant fighting lobsters and pet orangutans. In fact, my favorite scene is when the dashing Willoughby comes to Marianne's rescue. Instead of twisting her ankle and getting caught in the rain, Marianne is attacked by a giant octopus, which Willoughby harpoons, and is rescued -- but not after being drenched in octopus blood and guts first, of course.

I began reading this book while hanging out with my boyfriend by the pool one afternoon. I kept laughing aloud so much that he had to ask what I was reading. After having to explain far too many scenes of over-the-top violence and insanity to him, I ended up reading several passages aloud, which sent both of us rolling in hysterics. Even my boyfriend, who isn't a big fan of Austen or classical literature, liked this.

This book was hilarious -- even better than Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The ratio of silly to serious (sea monster to Sense and Sensibility) content has been amped up since Zombies. Instead of 85% Austen and 15% quirks, Sea Monsters has 60% Austen and 40% quirks, which opens the door for even more original adaptations of the classic.

While some hardcore fans of Austen's novels will continue to decry this line of books for altering classic literature, they have to admit that it's gotten better this time around. I'm a big fan of Austen's original works, and I found this revised version of Sense and Sensibility to be fresh and fun while still keeping true to original concepts and ideas in the original. Sure, Sea Monsters is even further away from the original than Zombies, but it allows for the sea monsters aspect to come alive instead of feeling like a pasted on afterthought to the original plot.

If you liked Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, than you will love Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. It's filled with the same creative zaniness that readers have come to expect from this line of Quirk Classics, but taken to a whole new level. Readers who were not particularly impressed by the zombie version of P&P, but thought it had potential, should try out the sea monster version of this other Jane Austen classic. It won't disappoint.
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters April 26 2010
By Tanja B. Muncey - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This had to be one of the biggest wastes of time I have experienced with a novel in a long time. I really, really enjoyed Pride and Prejudice and Zombies; primarily because Austin's work was left intact and the author just added Zombies, almost as if they really belonged there. But the characters and the story line was in line with Austin. This story, Sense and Sensability and Sea Monsters changed character, landscape, personality, etc. It was ridiculous. It is clear to me that the author was simply trying to cash in on the success of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, without understanding why it was such a success. Please, if you are looking for a fun read, don't pick this book! And, if you are a lover of classics, be prepared for a slaughter of beloved characters and out of place, unfunny, uninteresting changes to the story.
27 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic romance meets Captain Nemo Sept. 16 2009
By CJ - Published on
This minor variant of the Austen classic has the Dashwood sisters looking for rich suitors and safe passage from a bewildering variety of creatures. It's improved on the Pride & Prejudice and Zombies formula and is funnier, for my money.

Instead of just adapting passages of the original and throwing in regular detours via monsters (although the Pentagram of Death in P&P&Z was superb), this includes a whole new landscape while putting much of the original through a strange process ... monsterification, or some such.

The books has about 20 or so drawings in, which help bring the daft scenes to life. Some of them are quite a stretch of the imagination, so this helps a lot. There's some quality stupidity on offer here and it's written with erudition and wit. I enjoyed it and it is very funny.

Sherlock Holmes and the Flying Zombie Death Monkeys
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reviews from Brizmus Blogs Books Feb. 23 2010
By A. Baker - Published on
I'm a HUGE Jane Austen fan. I've read and loved everything she ever wrote. I'm also a huge fan of monsters. I love reading books that are, in a sense, rendered ludicrous by their total lack of believability and by the overwhelming amount of monsters they contain. I was therefore sure that Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters was going to be a winner. Sense and Sensibility is a beautifully written masterpiece - add some sea monsters and that can do nothing but augment the awesomeness, right?

Unfortunately, wrong. It stayed just the same amount of awesome. I should have remembered that I don't normally like parodies. The sea monsters did absolutely NOTHING, in my opinion, to add to the story. Luckily, the story stuck pretty closely to the original, so I thoroughly enjoyed the reading experience, as if I was reading Sense and Sensibility all over again. The monsters, I found, just got in the way of the actual story. The biggest change for me was that I was disgusted throughout the entire thing by Colonel Brandon, whereas in Sense and Sensibility I was just slightly annoyed by him.

I also found myself getting bored with the bits that were devoted to the monsters, wishing they would hurry along so that I could get back to the actual story line of Sense and Sensibility. The added stories about Margaret and Lucy Steele were also both totally uninteresting to me, and it just seemed too obvious that they had been someone's attempt to add something unnecessary to an already fantastic story.

Still, I'm one of those crazy people that has been known to get bored from too much action, and I am sure that those that find Austen's original stories lacking in action will love these added changes and find that they help speed up the pace of the story while adding humor. I will say this for Ben Winter's added sea monsters - they did make me laugh. I enjoyed his lack of boundaries with the sea monsters he added. It seemed like anything and everything, as long as it involved water, was fair game, and this added spirit.

So, if you enjoy Jane Austen, chances are, you'll enjoy this, as I did. Whether or not you will appreciate the added sea monsters, I think, totally depends on your enjoyment of superfluous action and your sense of humor.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An almost unreadable mess, especially after the brilliant PPZ May 18 2010
By Kurt Conner - Published on
I wanted to love this book. I laughed out loud repeatedly while reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Deluxe Edition (Quirk Classics), and I was impressed by the decision not to go the obvious vampire/ninja/pirate/werewolf/robot route with the next book. The sea monster idea is good - in this version of the story, a mysterious Alteration has turned the denizens of the sea into monsters that want nothing more than to feast on the people of Great Britain, so the author is able to play with everything from sea witches to two-headed Fang Beasts to giant walking jellyfish.

One of the problems is that he doesn't do it well. In the earlier book, the zombie elements were presented in the style of a cheeky young boy giggling at himself after grossing out his little sister, and there was an audacity that made it impossible not to join the laughter. This book just isn't very funny. The elements are there, and there are some amusing references to how racist the old adventure stories were, but they just don't work. I didn't laugh once in the 150 pages I read, and by that point I gave up hope of laughing in the nearly 300 pages left to go. Another problem may be that the underlying story, from what I can piece together, is just wretched. This book is a series of scenes of lazy rich people throwing dinner parties and debating the propriety of various marriage prospects, and no one ever does anything, and I blame that more on Jane Austen than on the contemporary treatment of her work.

Unless someone can convince me that the book gets significantly better after the characters arrive in the undersea station (I gave up there), I have no intention of picking this book up again, and I do not recommend it to anyone.
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