The Dog Doesn’t Die

Book reviews & random thoughts

Does the Dog Die? A Brief Review of Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters

This very silly book is based on Jane Austen’s masterpiece, Sense and Sensibility. In fact, much of the text is from that very book, which Ben Winters has woven into his story. However, unlike its equally silly predecessor, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, SS&SM does not read like a Jane Austen novel with an overlay of creatures from a horror movie. Instead, it seems like a sea monster tale that incorporates some of Jane Austen’s book, but not all that much. I felt this was mostly Winters’ book. Still, despite the quibbles, I had a great time reading it, though I didn’t love it the way I did PP&Z.

SS&SM is much more violent — and much more inventive — than PP&Z. Winters also lays bare the “ditziness” of Austen’s era, as we would perceive it. The compulsions of society are taken to extreme: servants are as expendable as paper napkins, it’s unspeakably rude to change the subject even in the face of an attack by giant lobsters, etc., etc.

As an example of the changes, Austen’s original took place in a variety of locales, including London, which SS&SM has replaced with “Sub-Marine Station Beta.” And although it’s been a while since I’ve read Sense and Sensibility, I do not believe the youngest Dashwood, Margaret, filed her teeth down to points and ran off to join a strange cult. Nor do I recall that Lady Middleton had been kidnapped from a tropical island and was desperate to return. While the giant lobsters, giant octopi, swordfish, two-headed dragons, and other monsters are kind of fun, they have a much larger and more intrusive presence than PP&Z’s zombies, who are simply minor distractions from Austen’s tale of class, love, society, and manners.

Still, I’m going to recommend this book. Read it when you need a good giggle.

This blog exists in part to alert animal lovers to books that might disturb them. In this review, I am not counting the sea monsters. Some die, some don’t. Beyond them, there are references to butterflies, generic “rodents,” and other animals. Most prominent is an orangutan named Pierre, and he does not have the happiest ending. There is also a reference to fighting otters that I didn’t care for. But I’m going to declare this book SAFE for animal lovers nonetheless. Enjoy!

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January 17, 2010 - Posted by | animals, beach book, Book Reviews, humor, literature, satire | , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. the truth. i like the post.

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    http://www.Theyaskedthat.wordpress.com

    Comment by Did they really ask that? | January 17, 2010 | Reply


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