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Jane Austen, Vampyre Critic

Jane Austen, Vampyre Critic

Inquiring Reader,

Here then is Lizzie’s last letter to her sister relating her adventures with Mr. Darcy, Vampyre. She had divided her thoughts into three missives, not wanting to burden Jane with all of her emotions at once. For another take on the book, please click here and read Laurel Ann’s well thought out review on Austenprose and a favorable review on Austenblog. Three bloggers, three points of view.

My dearest Jane,

Well, what a crock, as they say in 21st century America! I’ve had to delve a full 250 pages into Mr. Darcy Vampyre to find out what was going to happen to us. And then the plot was so rushed and jumbled that I never did received an adequate explanation of how vampyres came to be, or what exactly Mr. Darcy ate in order to survive for 150 years. Upon my honor, Jane, I am aware that men are not particularly conversant when it comes to giving out details, but I’d had no notion that Mr. Darcy suffered from a verbal disability. He could not for the life of him adequately explain his strange tale. In describing one of the most important events of his life – that of turning into a vampyre – he took all of 21 words. (STOP!: Major Spoiler Alert: “The woman turned to me, her fangs dripping red and then she was next to me and my neck was pierced”).

Ms. Anne Rice took pages and pages to describe the writhing tormenting death that humans go through to turn into vampyres, and even Ms. Stephanie Meyers hinted that the transformation was quite unpleasantly painful, but all I got from Mr. Darcy was twenty one itty bitty little words. In addition he made it sound as if turning into a vampyre was an ordinary event, with Mrs. Reynolds, the housekeeper, choosing to join the merry Pemberley vampyre band, although, to give Ms. Grange her due, my husband’s face WAS shadowed as he related these events.

Any discerning reader knows that Ms. Meyers can’t write her way out of a paper bag, but at least with Twilight she told a rousing good tale. Ms. Meyers also gave the reader ample glimpses of Edward Cullen’s mental torment and extraordinary physical skills. Ms Grange’s story of my life with Mr. Darcy is, frankly, missing the otherworldly touches and sensuality that vampyre fans have come to expect as their due. (Either that or humor, which is also absent. And you know how I am renowned for my BITING wit, hah!)  Her hints about my husband are so thinly scattered in 5/6th of the book that they left me feeling confused rather than threatened. To say that suspense was lacking in our tale is to state the obvious. In the instances when Ms. Grange eschewed Bram Stoker’s lore, her vampyre rules seemed jerry-rigged, for they sprung up from nowhere, unsupported by a well thought-out back story. I could never quite tell (except in a few meagre scenes at the end) which super powers my husband had supposedly acquired, how ancient vampyres ruled their vampyre empire, or how conflicted Mr. Darcy felt watching those he loved grow old and die whilst he lived on forever.

Never was a more sensual and sensuous vampyre created than The Vampire Lestat, and I felt that my Mr. Darcy deserved at the very least the rich, decadent and multi-layered descriptions that Anne Rice gave to her own vampire. But it was not to be. There was a lot of telling in this book, but very little showing, and scent and touch were largely missing. Ms. Grange turned Mr. Darcy into a milque toast vampyre when I frankly would have preferred someone darker.

To add insult to injury, I am also suffering from a major letdown. When Mr. Darcy and I finally came together as one, Ms. Grange glossed over our glorious moments in a single paragraph. I kid you not. My love for Darcy SAVED him from eternal damnation and hell, (and crumbling buildings, fissures, and falling statues). I think that at the very least I deserved to sing soprano as our entwined souls soared to the rafters! Instead I merely trembled and weakened. I’m done and refuse to lend my good name (and Mr. Darcy’s) to another sequel. My husband and I are headed for England and the hallowed halls of Pemberley, for I am genuinely concerned about your last letter. Your cryptic statement informing me that our friends the Misses Dashwood were abducted by a giant octopus leaves me most anxious to use my zombie slayer warrior skills to save them.

Love,

Mrs. Darcy, Once sang alto, now sings soprano

Mr Darcy, Vampyre coverVic gives this book One and 1/2 fangs out of four fangs, mostly for trying, for as a travel log the book is quite satisfying. Read the other reviews here:

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Edward and Bella at the River's Edge

Edward and Bella at the River's Edge

Several of us are planning to see Twilight when the movie comes out at the end of November, and we’ve made a pact to read the books before that event. Imagine my delight and surprise when I came across this passage. Bella, wanting to take her mind off Edward Cullen, picks up a tattered volume of the complete works of Jane Austen:

I lay on my stomach, crossing my ankles in the air, flipping through the different novels in the book, trying to decide which would occupy my mind most thoroughly. My favorites were Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. I’d read the first most recently, so I started into Sense and Sensibility, only to remember after I began chapter three that the hero of the story happened to be named Edward. Angrily, I turned to Mansfield Park, but the hero of that piece was named Edmund, and that was just too close. Weren’t there any other names available in the late eighteenth century?

Indeed there were, Bella, and you might have kept going and started reading Emma. Knowing how popular these vampire books are, I am glad that Stephenie Meyer wrote about a seventeen-year-old freely choosing to read Jane Austen’s books.  Here’s the trailer for the film:

and here’s the link to the official website.

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