Quirk Classics

 

Quirk Classics certainly lives up to its name.

A quirky (pun very much intended) little publishing house, Quirk Classics has found its niche bridging the gulf between cultured literature and pop culture.  In other words, they’ve blended the classics with modern kitsch to create both a Frankenstein like creature and a new genre of fiction.  Or, as they put it, “To enhance classic novels with pop culture phenomena.”

A Monster Mash of sorts (Classical Mash?), they’ve filled the need (and based on the plethora of copycat novels apparently there was one) in readers for a new look at such titles as Pride and Prejudice (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), Sense and Sensibility (Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters), and (hey, why not?)…Anna Karenina (Android Karenina).

Their modus operandi is to grab up a public domain title (apparently Jane Austen is an easy target), get an author to add and subtract text…but just enough to alter the storyline without destroying the original…and voila!  Elizabeth Bennett becomes not so much an old maid looking for a Husband but rather a kick ass undead rekilling machine! Marianne Dashwood is courted by a fellow who resembles Davy Jones much more than an English Dandy.  And Anna Karenina…well, who wouldn’t love a Russian epic…now with more androids!

However, Quirk is not averse to original fiction…as long as it follows the formula of combining genres.  The first foray into 100% original fiction was a prequel to P&P&Z called Dawn of the Dreadfuls, an amusingly horrifying tale of the Bennetts’ daughter’s coming of age in a world beset by the undead.  Quirks latest publication is Night of the Living Trekkies, an oddball blend of Science Fiction and Zombies, Sci Fi conventions and mayhem (okay, that’s probably not a stretch), and virgins and…well…more virgins I guess…

Jane Austen…Zombie Destroyer

The Zombie…a mindless, shambling, relentless denizen of the underworld, and naturally the subject of many a lowbrow horror novel.  Yet in a new twist on an old idea, Jane Austen has unwittingly, (and posthumously), co-authored a Zombie novel of her own.  “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” (Quirk books…$17.95 Can.) is a unique blend of old world Romanticism and New World Schlock.  Her co-author, Seth Grahame-Smith has taken Ms. Austen’s timeless tale and blended into it a mix of the classic and the macabre (85% original material/15% Zombies) and put a whole new spin on the pre-Victorian world of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett.

For an interesting review, see Ann McDowell’s take on his reworking of a classic at the Mount Holyoke News.

In an interview with the L.A. Times entertainment correspondent, Carolyn Kellogg, Grahame-Smith fleshes out  his quirky take on the timeless novel…how the characters live a zombie-like existence, frittering too and fro without much thought…so why not put them in situations where they must fight their own apathy, albeit  in a  physical form?

Grahame-Smith explains to the Toronto Star’s Vit Wagner why a novel by Jane Austen is ripe for the monster mash.  Two words…Public Domain. 

Poor Jane must be rolling over in her grave…

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