Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters – Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters

Given how much I enjoyed Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, I decided to give another Austen adaptation a try – Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. I had high hopes, but my only expectation was that the main plot points remained the same, and on that front the novel did not disappoint.

Overall the novel was mostly consistent, and generally well written. There were a few times, I felt that some passages were a little long-winded and perhaps not as concise as they could have been. It was in those moments I felt the shift between the tone of Austen and that of Winters’, the subtle differences were all of a sudden much more obvious. In my opinion that was a shame, as I felt it disrupted my flow as a reader. I kept having to remember that the book is an adapted contribution from two different writers.

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters

As you would expect from an adaptation, there were plenty of new plot twists and new character development moments to enjoy. Some I would arguably say are more exciting than others, some I would say might not matter if they had been included or not. But combined they certainly added a new layer to the original novel.

This added layer was most evident in the new character traits attributed to the Dashwood’s and the Steele’s. Elinor Dashwood in particular, became a much more exciting and likeable character, than was possible in the Austen’s original version. This was simply achieved by a slightly more up-tempo pace throughout, and of course the addition of new events into the plot.

It was good to see that although this was an adaptation, Winters’ had taken care not to leave any wide open plot holes, or major character misalignments. Sure if you’re specifically looking for them I’m sure you’d find them, as you would in any book, film or play. But for me, Winters’ took enough care and paid enough attention to detail, that by the end of novel I felt that all the interlocking stories had been satisfyingly concluded.

Whether you’re a fan of adaptations or a fan of Austen, this is definitely a novel I’d recommend other readers try. But, for a true comparison, it is always worth reading the original too – and I do mean READ, not watch a film or TV series adaptation!


Filed under Adventure, Fantasy, Fiction, Jane Austen

12 responses to “Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters – Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters

  1. I wanted to try these ‘parodies’ (to give it sucha term) for a long time, and now I might really do it 🙂


    • If you have a favourite Austen novel It’s definitely worth seeing if there is an adaptation in this style, and making that one your first try! But I would strongly recommend Pride and Prejudice and Zombies as well, as they are also making a film of that one.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love Jane Austen, but haven’t tried the parody versions. Must read though, because there’s so much creativity mixed with honoring the words of Austen that go into them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have to say, I enjoyed this over PPZ- I found it to be adapted more naturally (if that’s possible with sea monsters…)! Cheers 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Though a new reader but really enjoyed reading it..!!!


  5. I still can’t believe that I’ve read several mashups, parodies, etc but not the original!


  6. what an interesting idea. Think I will to look on amazon and try a teaser


  7. Frankly, Jane austen has always been a bit boring for me. Would you recommend reading these ‘parodies’ before?


    • If straight Austen isn’t your thing then yes I think these adaptations are perhaps a more adventurous way to enjoy Austen’s novels. There are plenty of other ‘parodies’ in this style, for example Android Karenina, or the prequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Dawn of the Deadfuls. This kind of parody may be your thing without necessarily going straight for Austen.


  8. frankenesque

    I absolutely love your blog’s background. It’s gorgeous. Did you make it yourself? If not, where did you find it? I’ve just been looking over your blog and I like it a lot, we share similar opinions on a fair few books 🙂


  9. I’ll definitely try it out. Thanks for sharing.


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