[review] Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters

It’s Sense and Sensibility set in a world where the sea is teeming with monsters just waiting to kill you. Elinor is a proficient wood whittler and monster slayer. Willoughby is a dashing treasure hunter. Colonel Brandon is afflicted by a sea witch’s curse. And Marianne is… well, she’s Marianne.

Sense and Sensibility and Sea MonstersI had already read and strongly disliked Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but I was short on audiobooks and desperate, so I picked up this…thing. I must say that I didn’t dislike it as much as I hated P&P&Z. Maybe it’s because I don’t love S&S as much as I love P&P. Whatever the reason, I found myself at times even enjoying this audiobook… or at least enjoying its ridiculousness. Because, it is overall, largely ridiculous (although pretty imaginative).

The one saving grace of this audiobook may very well be the narrator who is an excellent voice actor. She did various accents well, and imitated some excellent sounds, including the sound one would make if their face was covered in octopus legs.

Overall, this book kept the same ironic humour that Jane Austen was so famous for, but I just wish that the author decided to create her own stories. Fanfiction should stay on fanfiction.net as far as I’m concerned, and in the case of some fanfiction, it should not even make it that far.

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About megtao

Student. Writer. Nerdfighter. Fights for love, justice, and awesome.
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14 Responses to [review] Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters

  1. Samantha says:

    I loved Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but I’ve never been willing to pick this one up. Probably because I’m not as fond of Sense and Sensibility, and I have enough problems dealing with Marianne as it is nevermind throwing in sea monsters too.

    • megtao says:

      Yeah, Marianne is still very much Marianne in this. Maybe worse because if you’re being silly in life or death situations that’s more than silliness…that’s stupidity.

  2. P&P&Z is a different author than SSS. This could easily be why you enjoyed it more. I’m finding I’m not a fan of Seth Graham-Smith. I couldn’t get through P&P&Z though it’s right up my alley since I’m not a Austin fan and I love zombies.

    But I ask, is this really fanfiction? I always thought of the classic with monsters series as more of a parady than fanfiction. I don’t believe parady is ff, but a whole separate art form.

    • megtao says:

      Fanfiction is whenever you take characters from one story and create a new story for them. You can consider this a parody as well, but because the characters have the same names, traits, etc. this is a work of fanfiction.

      • I think we’re just going to disagree. I think the reason I don’t catorgorize this as fanfiction is because this is not a labor of love, but rather a spoofing of a pre-exsisting work, nor is the target audience of the classics with monsters series fans of the original work. Fanfiction’s audience is fans of the original work. Though I can agree that “fanfiction” or “fanlove” can cross over when it comes to parody, I disagree that this is a work of fanfiction. Parody does not necessarily involve the creation new characters to spoof them. Plus, legally you can “parody” something without it being copyright infrigement. Fanfiction, as much as I love it, is copyright infrigement.

    • megtao says:

      First, I don’t think you can say that this isn’t a labour of love. Just because it was published doesn’t mean the writer didn’t write it for the love of writing. I mean, she could have also written it for purely greedy reasons, but no one can really judge the author’s intent.

      Second, I disagree that the books weren’t written with the fans of Austen’s works in mind. If they didn’t want to draw in fans of the original works then they wouldn’t have titled them the way they were titled.

      Finally, it’s only copyright infringement if the story is under copyright. I know for a fact that Pride and Prejudice no longer is, and as Sense and Sensibility was written around the same time I can only assume it is now open to public use as well.

  3. L. Palmer says:

    This book isn’t fan fiction. It’s a cash grab by the publisher after the success of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. I haven’t read either yet. I think it’s more fun as a concept than it is as an overall story. Sounds like it might me more enjoyable as a audio book.

  4. I have not read any of these type of books. You make a good point, though: these do sound more like fanfiction than anything else. Maybe I’ll just stick to reading the original classics.

  5. I haven’t tried any of these. I’m nervous. Maybe if I could suspend my inner snob I’d like them? I feel like I ought to at least check them out at the library. I like the idea of Sea Monsters better than Zombies? Agh!

  6. I haven’t read Sense and Sensibility so I never really gave this adaptation much thought. I’m also not a Jane Austen fan (don’t hate me!) so maybe this book would be more appealing to someone like me? I can’t really say for sure, having not read P&P&Z either – although I really did enjoy the graphic novel version of it!

    • megtao says:

      The only part I enjoyed about this book was being able to compare it to the Austen version…so I’m not sure how someone with no knowledge of S&S would fare with this…

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