But the other obvious problem with monster mash-ups is that the joke very quickly grows old. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is often very funny, but by the third or fourth chapter you've well and truly got the idea; by the time you come to Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, the novelty has thoroughly faded. Winters himself sums up the future of Austen mash-ups on his blog when he says: "Confidentially, when Austen and I started collaborating, she wanted to do Persuasion and Sea Monsters because it's got loads of boats in it. I had to sort of gingerly explain that people don't read that one so much any more."
Here, the Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne, are exiled to a small island off the Devonshire coast, where polite society does its best to maintain propriety in the face of terrors of the deep. As with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, on some level the monsters are not entirely inappropriate: the society Austen depicts is highly predatory on both sides, with young girls ready to be picked off and devoured by unscrupulous men such as George Wickham, and equally rapacious women bent on capturing their often unwitting prey. It might be argued that the mash-ups only make the metaphorical literal.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
A big-screen adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s bestselling 2009 novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies — a zombie-fueled spin on Jane Austen’s classic romance novel Pride and Prejudice — has been in the works for over five years now, and the project finally appears to be nearing the finish line with the recent announcement of its official release date.
But Lost in Austen had an obvious target audience – single women in love with the romance of Austen's world – while Pride and Prejudice and Zombies seems a more unlikely marriage of fan bases. The success of any pastiche lies in its ability to capture the tone of that original, and in this Grahame-Smith has succeeded admirably. By inserting his zombie battles into Austen's text in appropriate style, the structure and the bulk of the book's contents remain hers: