2012; 113 pages. New Author? : No. Genre : Paranormal Parody; Classic Literature Spoof. Overall Rating : 6½*/10.
The title pretty much says it all – P.J. Jones takes the mega-classic Jane Austen tale and mixes in a tale of vampires. But it’s all tongue-in-cheek. Or rather, fang-in-neck.
What’s To Like...
Disclaimer : I have never read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and have absolutely no desire to do so. Everything I know about it comes from a quick perusal of the Wikipedia article on it. That being said, it appears Pride and Prejudice and Vampires stays fairly true to the salient points of the novel. But be forewarned, if you’re an ardent admirer of Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, (and if so, you have my condolences), and sensitive to any criticism or mockery of them, then you might want to pass on this book. Just sayin’.
This is my second P.J. Jones book (the other one is reviewed here), and the tone and structure are the same. The humor is bawdy, and adult themes and language abound. If quips about vibrators, douchebags, and dog shit pudding are too racy for you tastes, then you too might want to pass on this book. Still just sayin'.
There is some good humor here – such as Jane being a “vegetarian vampire” and only drinking the blood of ugly animals. Two of the Bennet sisters have been written out, ditto for the father. But most of the other main characters, including Mr. Darcy, Mr. Bingle, Charlotte Lucas, etc. are here, either alive or undead. The gags can get repetitive after a while, but that often is the case with spoofs.
Jane’s pale brow drew into a deep frown while her rosy lips turned a pout. “I’m a vegetarian vampire. Why can’t you get it right?”
“Jane, dear,” Elizabeth heaved a sigh, “I don’t even think vegetarianism exists in the Regency period.”
Jane straightened her shoulders and turned up her chin. “Laugh all you want, but one day all vampires will be just like me and only feast off the blood of ugly animals.”
Elizabeth dismissed her sister with a flick of the wrist. “Three legged dogs and goats don’t taste as good as humans, Jane.” (loc. 48)
He was truly a handsome sight to behold, especially since he was rich. Actually, if he hadn’t been rich, perhaps Elizabeth wouldn’t have thought him quite so handsome. Maybe, it was because his face was draped in a permanent scowl of condescension while his narrowed gaze judged every person in the room. Actually, Elizabeth thought Mr. Darcy was a bit of an ugly prig. But money has a way of making even the most rancid, pretentious, douchenozzles look attractive. (loc. 773)
Pride and Prejudice and Vampires sells for $2.99 at Amazon. P.J. Jones has authored a half-dozen or so other books with a similar motif, generally in the price range of $0.99- $2.99. She is also a regular contributor to the excellent anthologies periodically put together by a group of indie authors who call themselves The Eclective.
“How many times must I tell you that we do not rip out the jugulars of the gentry?” (loc. 41)
My main problem with P&P&V is its brevity. Amazon estimates the download to be 113 pages; but you’ll be surprised when it ends abruptly at 50%. P.J. Jones then treats you to a bevy of her short stories; but these end at 75%. The rest is a preview, via the first couple chapters, of another one of her books.
That means Pride and Prejudice and Vampires, the primary reason you downloaded this, isn’t even of novella-length. Therefore the story can’t have any depth to it. This is fine when spoofing fairytales, cuz they’re shallow too. But it comes across really flat when spoofing classical literature.
P.J. Jones’ writing style is inherently R-rated, and that doesn’t bother me. I recognize it isn’t meant to be deep; it’s meant to be entertaining. But it may be better suited to a 10-20 page short story than to lengthier works.
The alternative is for the author to write stories that are more complex, have some unforeseen plot twists, and have greater depth. The bawdiness can remain, it is the essence of P.J. Jones; but give the reader something that is also thought-provoking.
Overall, this is a fun read. But much too short for my tastes.
6½ Stars. Add another one-half star if you’ve haven’t read a P.J. Jones story before; add one more star if you prefer Beavis and Butthead to War and Peace.