On Reality, Vampires, and Austen

Vampire SpottingAuthor’s note: this post will contain a few plot spoilers, thoughts on writing styles. So if you have not finished this book, then you may want to come to this post after you do so. Or read another post, or comment on another post, or go slay a few undead dreadfuls.

I believe firmly in the suspension of disbelief.

As a writer myself, I need my readers to go with me in the worlds that I have created, to follow my trail of words. This is essential in supernatural, monster filled Jane Austen spin-offs and mash-ups. When I started reading June’s book selection, Jane Bites Back, I looked for the reading Jane Austen has a character as complex and mysterious. But this book is a bit disappointing.

When we chose this book, I loved the premise that Jane Austen could be alive (or dead or undead or whatever) as a vampire.

The premise rich with possibilities, I read for hours until about half way through and was just reading to finish. Not how I wanted the book to be. I couldn’t suspend my disbelief–I didn’t believe Jane Austen’s actions in the book (now, I’m sure Jane Austen/Fairfax would leave a “dead” body in a room and perfectly calm to leave the city when the body is missing), nor her choices of lovers (seriously, Lord Byron? Thank you for a cliche and a half), and the romantic turmoil among the characters felt REALLY off (oh, Walter and Jane, so right out of every chick flick ever). Then of course, who can forget the Psycho like Brontes and Charlotte’s macabre dinner?

This book was simply too rife with cliches that I couldn’t fully appreciate its parody, its humor, or the blood sucking monsters. Even Jane’s character fell flat which as a lover of Austen’s works disappointed me the most.

What do you think after reading the book? Excellent parody of Austen mania or cliche?

*Photo: Wine Drop by delphaber, obtained through Flickr.


, , , , ,