Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Japanese Heart You Say?

Many thanks to my niece, current handle ‘blackandwhitefreak’. On the way to Mexico last year we were in the airport bookstore and she encouraged me to purchase Sense and Sensibilities and Sea Monsters. She had Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and was up for a swap when we each finished.

Sensibilities took me some time to get through. Cute as it was, I must admit I did not become a Sham-Wow type advocate for it. I recently finished Our Mutual Friend and every one of the 777 pages, and each of the 40 oz. of Taylor Fladgate 2001 Port that went with it, were heaven.

With this spring’s summer like weather, I needed something a little more modern to ease the transition to gin and tonic season. As I found that Zombies was written by a different author, Seth Grahame-Smith, than Sea Monsters, I thought I would give it a whirl. If you are at all tempted by these novels, and a tummy that is not squeamish, I suggest you start here.

However, do not indulge over a goose, or perhaps any fowl, meal. You might forever be put off by the description of “Elizabeth’s eye being continually drawn to Charlotte, who hovered over her plate, using a spoon to shovel goose meat in the general direction of her mouth, with limited success. As she did, one of the sores beneath her eye burst, sending a trickle of bloody pus down her cheek and into her mouth. Apparently she found the added flavour agreeable, for it only increased the frequency of her spoonfuls” a little off-putting.

Luckily, not so vivid a description of poor Charlotte’s continued downward spiral did not put me off my tea. I did however laugh a little up my nose when Charlotte “drooled a third cup of tea into her lap. She stood to excuse herself, clutching her stomach and wearing a rather pained expression said ‘I beg ya-oar pahdun, ya-oar wadyship’.” She then goes off to the furthest corner of the room to relieve herself but her friend Elizabeth wisely removes her from the room before things go further awry.

Elizabeth has other moments. For example, after defeating her wadyship’s ninjas (yes, I said ninja) she rips out one of the hearts and quips “I have tasted many a heart, but I dare say, I find the Japanese ones a bit tender.” She is not squeamish about her part in eliminating the living dead plague that is upon her beloved England.

She “feels a sense of joy as she watched cage after cage of zombies burn – heard their terrible shrieks as the fire (which they feared above all else) licked at their feet, then ignited the whole of their putrid flesh and hastened them back to hell.” A bit like Gorey’s Rhoda really. Poor dear.

As tensions between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy cool, they manage a walk around the grounds of his estate. He carrying his brown bess, and she the lead ammunition in her pocket. In parting she says “your balls, Mr. Darcy” and hands them back. A little more tea up the nose I dare say.

I hope I have not spoiled too much of the novel for you. Perhaps I should have put ‘spoiler alert’ at the top and not here at the end? Oh well. The above is but a taste of the delights that await you in Zombies, should you dare pick up a copy.


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