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Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters…

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters (Quirk Classic Series) (edition 2009)

by Jane Austen and Ben Winters, Katherine Kellgren (Reader)

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1,516634,880 (3.09)100
Title:Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters (Quirk Classic Series)
Authors:Jane Austen and Ben Winters
Other authors:Katherine Kellgren (Reader)
Info:Brilliance Audio on CD Unabridged (2009), Edition: Unabridged, Audio CD
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Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Ben H. Winters


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English (61)  Spanish (1)  All languages (62)
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
With much effort, made it about halfway through... just couldn't see the point of wasting my time anymore listening to this story. If I could give it zero stars, I would. I am very open to reading fan fiction of Jane Austen's P&P, but couldn't handle potential abuse of such a good story, so, in an effort of dabbling in shallow waters, I tried this S&S version. YUCK! ( )
  olongbourn | Mar 1, 2015 |
So...looking around at other reviews on this book I seem to be one of the few who feel the same way I do about this book, or maybe one of the few who hold this opinion but actually read the book. Before I read this book all I could think about was how this man is destroying a classic, totally defacing it. Now, after having given the author a fair chance, I feel he is totally defacing a classic but...in a creative way. This is the first time I have ever seen a book like this and well, by the pop up of these books over the last year, it won't be the last. I finished this book and Winters goes into some very creative meanderings with the original characters and language as Jane Austen favored but I still just felt wrong reading it.

*This book was provided to me by Quirk Classics to review* ( )
  mojo09226 | Nov 21, 2014 |
Eh, I like the originals too much I guess to get into this. It was just silly to me. I only made it to page 64 and decided I had better things to do. It took 2 weeks to get that far. ( )
  CharityBradford | Apr 1, 2014 |
Eh, I like the originals too much I guess to get into this. It was just silly to me. I only made it to page 64 and decided I had better things to do. It took 2 weeks to get that far. ( )
  CharityBradford | Apr 1, 2014 |
Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters is a fabulously witty mash-up of Austen's work of (almost) the same name. The author remains faithful to the characters and story while brilliantly weaving throughout the book an absorbing tale of sea monsters overrunning the country.

If I sound like I am gushing, that is because I am. Parodies, or mash-ups of almost all of the works of Jane Austen have appeared in bookstores over the last few years. This author really manages to weave an interesting tale throught the book, rather than relying on the current pop-culture interest in zombies to sell books (yes I am talking about [b:Pride and Prejudice and Zombies|5899779|Pride and Prejudice and Zombies|Seth Grahame-Smith|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1255569929s/5899779.jpg|6072122] and the even worse [b:Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls|7090785|Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Dawn of the Dreadfuls (Quirk Classics Pride and Prejudice and Zombies)|Steve Hockensmith|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1275630193s/7090785.jpg|7346955]). This author actually writes a book that would be interesting even without Austen, he actually manages to mash two great ideas together to come up with a very witty laugh-out-loud novel.

What the author does really well is to weave a funny and interesting story very cleverly through the original. He does this by manipulating the less important characters, manipulating locations and weaving sea monster drama through crucial scenes. In does all this in such a way that compliments, rather than changes, Austen. When Marianna remains focused on Willoughy while crazed lobsters go on a murderous rampage through a ballroom we, the reader, nod our heads assured that that is exactly how she would have behaved if Austen was doing the retelling.

The Austen romance is still happening, Colonel Brandon still loves Marianne who still loves Willoughby who still loves (well I won't give it all away) but the minor characters, under the pen of [a:Ben H. Winters|735413|Ben H. Winters|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1273516874p2/735413.jpg] add a complete new dimension to the story. Lady Middleton becomes a show-stealing amazon beauty who would readily cut the throats of the entire party given the chance. Her entrance had me laughing aloud, her behaviour and caustic comments made me fall in love with her. Margaret becomes a central character giving a focus for a mystery surrounding their new home on Pestilent Isle. Even the Miss Steeles receive a little boost.

What I love best is that, again, he has managed to elevate these characters to more prominent roles without changing their intended nature. Instead his changes actually extend and compliment the characters, providing insight into behaviours that Austen wrote about. He creates a completely plausible reason, within the context of a society that daily battles with sea monsters, for the aloof behaviour between Sir John and Lady Middleton. At the same time making the oddities of Mrs Jennings seem reasonable.

The author has taken the time to read and understand the Austen characters. Not only this but he has felt the injustices that our heroines feel, and by allowing us to laugh at them, has given us closure.

Mrs Ferrars praising the absent Miss Morton
Beautiful indeed! But she does everything well. Have you seen her peel a banana? It is like listening to a symphony."

The author has added some delicious details which give rise to some 'book club' type questions. The characters seem always to be eating seafood, are they are eating this due to the abundant supply of meat from dead sea monsters, or could this overconsumption be somehow related to the sea monster attacks? London is transformed into Sub Marine Station Beta an undersea dome in which all residents must wear precautionary floation devices and eat tasteless powdered foods. Is this a reflection on the lengths that people go to in order to remain fashionable? I love that the author has manage to make me consider the possibilities and wonder about hidden subtexts in a mash-up. I love that I see the humour in a world of humans feasting on sea fare while at the same time being afraid of being eaten by a sea monster.

Never had he found proof of his belief, let alone any amelioration of his homeland's peril...

Amelioration means improvement, and the latter word would have worked just as well. I am becoming quite taken with an author who would occasionally choose such an obscure and difficult word, when a more common one would do.

Austen's Sense and Sensibility has always been a novel that had layers, this adaptation does no discredit to this. His humour is clever and shows a great appreciation of the original work. I am laughing constantly at what is turning out to be very clever humour, while feeling clever myself for seeing subtle things. Then I cleverly realise that surely the best way to a rave review is to make the reader think they are the only person clever enough to 'get it', and then I decided we are all very clever indeed.

This retelling could indeed been how it actually happened, perhaps it was [a:Jane Austen|1265|Jane Austen|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1282032472p2/1265.jpg] that left these pieces out, rather than Winters who added them in. ( )
  alsocass | Oct 12, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
There’s no denying the page-turning satisfaction of this welcome sequel, which exceeds Pride And Prejudice And Zombies in cleverness and wit while continuing to pay proper homage to the deep emotions underlying the original text.
It’s hard to say, in the end, if this is an homage, an exploitation, a deconstruction, or just a 300-page parlor trick. Although the sea-monster subplots, considered independently, rarely rise above pulp clichés, the book’s best moments do achieve a kind of bizarro symbiosis. The monsters make Austen’s abstract threats ridiculously concrete, and Austen, in turn, dignifies the monsters: They serve as gargoyles emphasizing the immaculate balance of her original story’s structure.
added by Shortride | editNew York, Sam Anderson (Sep 6, 2009)

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Winters, Ben H.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Austen, Janemain authorall editionsconfirmed
Horner, DoogieDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leetaru, LarsCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, EugeneIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is dedicated to my parents -- lovers of great literature and great silliness.
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The family of Dashwood had been settled in Sussex since before the Alteration, when the waters of the world grew cold and hateful to the sons of man, and darkness moved on the face of the deep.
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This is a modern work by Ben H. Winters, based on the original Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.
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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?… (more)

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