'Sense and Sensibility' gets 'Zombies' treatment

sea-monsters_l[1]At midnight, the folks at Quirk — who brought you the best-selling Jane Austen mashup Pride and Prejudice and Zombies — announced that they’re back with the next book in the series, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, which goes on sale Sept. 15 (complete with 15 illustrations — we’ve brought you two of them — and a readers’ discussion guide). Quirk editor Jason Rekulak, the creator of the series (“I just thought it would be really funny to desecrate a classic work of literature”) recently said that he didn’t want to go out there “with the one-millionth vampire novel that’s going to be published this year.” P&P&Z’s Seth Grahame Smith did not write this sequel, since he recently left the franchise and signed a hefty contract with Grand Central for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. I talked to the series’ new author, Ben H. Winters, last week.

After the jump, our Q&A with author Ben H. Winters and illustrations from the book.

The-Fang-Beast_l[1]I know Quirk came up with the title and the concept for the novel … what did you think when you first heard “sea monsters”?
I loved the idea of sea monsters. I’d hate to say our culture is oversaturated with vampires and zombies, but it was fun to do something different. I got to research shark attacks, sea serpents, pirates, octopi. I went back and read a lot of period peril-at-sea novels — I got really into H.P. Lovecraft. I was also heavily influenced by Jaws and even the first season of Lost (much of the action in the book is set on a desolate island).

Did Quirk give you free rein?
They did. They gave me the title, a copy of Sense and Sensibility, and told me to go to town.

The Jane Austen aficionados, who can be a tough bunch, seemed to like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
I feel like people who really love Austen get it. Her novels are so strong, so cleverly constructed, so smart and dry, they really lend themselves to over-the-top violence.

First-SeaMonster-Attack_l[1]Okay, what kind of creatures can we look forward to in the book?
A giant rampaging mutant lobster. Octopi with glittering tentacles. And pirates — I couldn’t resist pirates. I studied pirate lore, from R.L. Stevenson to Pirates of the Caribbean.

Compare to the last book, if you would.
Well, our monster-to-Austen ratio is higher than in the last book, about 60-40 (that’s 60 Austen, 40 me). That’s proportionally more monsters, swordfights, and submarines.

So what do you think, readers? Are sea monsters an innovative idea, or should Quirk have stuck with the undead? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Comments (43 total) Add your comment
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  • Snarf

    I’m holding out for Wuthering Heights and Werewolves…oh, wait, that’s Dickens!

    • huston

      i think emily bronte wrote “wuthering heights”, or is there a joke i’m not getting?

    • Kabes

      So far no one has got your joke but me. *pats on head*

  • Ransom Riggs

    Check out the official book trailer, complete with digital sea monsters!

  • Daniel Fidler

    This looks utterly fantastic, and the concept Quirk has adopted — first with “Zombies”, and now with “Sea Monsters” — is brilliant. I’m reserving my copy as we speak.

  • Nic.

    Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters–brilliant! I wonder what they will come up with next? Persuasion and Chainsaws?

  • Stan

    Genuis! One of the ideas that you wonder why you didn’t think of it first.

    BTW – the new page for this blog is so much better than the rest.

  • Josh M

    Mansfield Park and Mummys? Emma vs. the Ninjas?

  • K

    Haha this is awesome. BTW Just saw Lost in Austen (another cute take on Pride and Prejudice) and loved it. Love this stuff.

  • Slade

    Nice try Snarf, but Wuthering Heights is by Emily Bronte.

  • christine

    actually, Persuasion might have worked better with Sea Monsters..what with him being in Navy and all, though i like the alliteration.
    & Josh m – both suggestions are brilliant

  • Luddite

    I’m thinking sea monsters would fit a little better into the plot of “Persuasion”, where they actually spend some time at the seaside. That said, “Persuasion and Sea Monsters” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. I just watched the Ang Lee adaptation of “Sense and Sensibility” this weekend and am now going to imagine Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant, and Alan Rickman fighting sea monsters in period costume. Thanks for the great mental image, EW!

  • Annie

    Ha ha, this is awesome! As a huge Austen fan, I loved the campiness of P&P&Z. It’ll be interesting to see how they make this work, since they don’t spend much time near water in the original. That said, the title is alliterative. :)
    As for other titles, how about “Emma & the Body Snatchers”? Or “Northanger Abbey and & Invisible Man?”

  • dan

    BRONTE wrote Wuthering Heights, not DICKENS

  • seymour vinnie vince

    Can the movie “Clueless and Carrie” be far behind?

  • Tiffany

    Actually Wuthering Heights was Emily Bronte.. but that sounds like it would be good anyways!

  • Karen Librarian

    I did hear the name “Northfanger Abbey” when P&P&Z came out, but I think that was a joke from a reviewer. I could see Werewolves in Wuthering Heights, though. Can’t stand the Cathy character — she’s so whiny, I always wanted to smack her. I’d love to see her attacked by werewolves.

    • Kabes

      Oh, yes. Perhaps Linton will be a werewolf, though Heathcliffe is the perfect role for that already. ;)

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