Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

"You had me at hello."

[I'm going to assume you understand my meaning. (If not, then you need to rewatch Jerry Maguire.)]

That's how I feel about Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. That's not the full title but it says it all, or at least it says all that needs to be said in my opinion. I simply adore anything Jane Austen related (see my book list below) and when it comes to zombies, I'm almost as faithful. So when I was trolling around Amazon for a gift idea and came across this new release, I nearly burst on the spot. Make haste! Immediately, I had to tell as many confidants as I could (who would actually appreciate this news rather than just say "huh?"). I think I managed 5 or 6. I know that number seems rather pitiful but how many people do you know that would actually be excited by the prospect of a book entitled Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance - Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem! by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith? My 5 or 6 is starting to look pretty good, eh?

First, I IM-ed Rand whose response was sweetly disappointed acknowledgment that I'd found out about it as he'd hoped to surprise me with it at some future date. (Isn't he perfectly amiable?)

Next, I emailed my sister (yes, the one from my Twilight adventures) who followed my unspoken request and hastily replied with a brief yet suitably captivated "Apparently I've just found my next 3 books to read!" [*See book list below for the other two books to which she is referring.]

I then called my book club friend/movie buddy who is also a Jane Austen Freak. (She and I tried to get a Jane Austen Book Club going when the eponymously titled film was released but all our JAF prospects were too busy. I [was] most seriously displeased.) When told the news, she was equally ecstatic, of course.

Believe it or not, the next person I delightedly shared the news with was my 11-year old son, Will, who has recently discovered Jane Austen and I'm proud to say appears to be an instant fan. (Just don't tell him I told you; not only will he deny everything, I'll be in the dog house too!) It started with me watching Pride & Prejudice for the I'm-not-exaggerating-20th-time-or-so while I was working on some crafty project and him asking if he could watch it with me. I'm not talking about the new [inferior, but I have grown to enjoy it for itself most definitely] Kiera Knightly just-over-two-hours version but the original A & E 5-hour mini series with the incomparable Colin Firth. Will chuckled at most of the 18th century humor and rarely needed any clarification about what was being said. He has since read the novel as well as Janet Aylmer's Mr. Darcy's Story. Rand just rolls his eyes when Will grinningly tells me, "You know, Mom, loss of virtue in a female is irretrievable". I love it! (And secretly Rand does too. This is the man who as a boy loved the Little House on the Prairie series in addition to all his sci/fi and fantasy fare.)

I didn't have a chance to tell my best friend until later that day when she dropped something off after work. She was in a hurry but I quickly said that I'd found the perfect October book club book. As I started to say, "Pride & P...", we simultaneously finished with an exultant duet of "ZOMBIES!" to which she then added a "Dammit" coda because she, too, had just learned about it that very day from a patient who had it with her, but was concealing the cover. When she saw the front -- the traditional seated Jane Austen illustration but with a goullish x-ray-like jaw showing through, complete with dripping blood, and red eyes-- she flipped out saying she had to buy it for me. I told her not to worry; she still got credit for the capital idea. (We're all about the credit here, you know. If I make a delicious dinner but one of my boys requested the particular menu, I am expected to share the appreciation with him.)

My sixth and final contact was to a friend that I didn't hear back from for about a week. She's one of those people that although you aren't extremely close to, you do have a bond with. In our case, it's live music and Jane Austen. We only seem to touch base a couple of times a year so it didn't strike me as odd when she didn't immediately respond. When she did, however, it was priceless. She didn't write me back because she thought she'd dreamed that I'd emailed her. (Which, when you think about it, makes perfect sense; Pride and Prejudice and Zombies sounds like a dream I would have.) Naturally, she was suitably intrigued and suggested that she may need to be a special guest when my October book club rolls around.

So, that's it. That's not to say that I've told no one else. Oh no. So few opportunities for discourse on the topic would be insufficient to contain all [my] delight. (It's just that everyone else's response has been "Huh?". )

Now, I simply await the arrival of my copy. Despite my Amazon Prime account -- I would not wish to excite your anticipation! -- the book appears to be more popular than expected and is temporarily back-ordered so I must wait at least another week.

Maybe this incomplete list will keep you occupied if you, too, have already exhausted your Jane Austen libray while impatiently awaiting your copy of P & P & Z.
  • The Annotated Pride & Prejudice, Annotated by David M. Shapard
  • The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, by Syrie James (A fictionalized memoir but quite accurate in regards to all the JA known facts.)*
  • Mr. Darcy's Story, by Janet Aylmer (P & P from Mr. Darcy's point of view.)*
  • Lost in Austen: Create Your Own Jane Austen Adventure, by Emma Campbell Webster.
  • The Jane Austen Book Club, by Karen Joy Fowler

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