This summer I was approached about reading a Jane Austen mashup for her famous novel Emma. Although I haven't yet read a paranormal version of her novels, I will admit to being somewhat curious, so I agreed to read and review Emma and the Vampires by Wayne Josephson. Honestly, it has me chuckling from time to time and can say that it wasn't as painful as I'd expected! It was a funny diversion.
In this hilarious retelling of Jane Austen's Emma, screenwriter Wayne Josephson casts Mr. Knightley as one of the most handsome and noble of the gentlemen village vampires. Blithely unaware of their presence, Emma, who imagines she has a special gift for matchmaking, attempts to arrange the affairs of her social circle with delightfully disastrous results. But when her dear friend Harriet Smith declares her love for Mr. Knightley, Emma realizes she's the one who wants to stay up all night with him. Fortunately, Mr. Knightley has been hiding a secret deep within his unbeating heart-his (literal) undying love for her."
Review: Although some readers have found any retelling of Austen's novels blasphemous, I have to say that I found Emma and the Vampires to be pretty funny. Much of the story is almost an exact copy of Austen's original, with the addition of vampires that stumble from the bushes to attack unaware humans at the end of a social occasion. It quickly becomes obvious though that Emma can handle herself and easily uses the wooden stake tied to her leg at all times to eliminate her undead attackers.
Many of our well-known characters from the novel are also undead, but have somehow learned to rely on animals and other food sources than humans (unless it is their own spouse). Mr. Knightley, for one, is part of the undead, yet remains civilized and ready to stand up for the highest comportment of his society. In some ways, these vampire battles and undead characters take little away from the original tale, but rather, add a bit of humor. I found myself giggling at scenes where the undead were inserted in a casual conversation. It just seemed a little funny. In the end though, I didn't think that anything was taken away from the story, even though the majority of the plot was created and driven by Jane Austen's own imagination, only fueled by a little of the undead.
*FTC Disclosure: This review was based on a copy of the novel provided by the publisher. No monies were exchanged or received in relation to this post.
What mashups have you read and did you enjoy the humor that the paranormal element added to the story?