Sleeping In Is Fun Unless You Have Zombies On Your Tail  

Posted by Heidi in

Many apologies to Melanie J of Write Stuff, my guest bloggist today. I was away from my computer (French for sleeping early and late---oooh, I love me some time off from early mornings!) and didn't realize this fab post was sitting here waiting in my inbox all of that time. I have long admired Melanie for her writing skills and knew I could count on her to come up with something perfect. This is how I could sleep so blissfully with no worries, so thanks muchly, Melanie! If you aren't currently a Melanie J fan, you should check her out. (Really.)
I like to think I'm on the cutting edge of contemporary literature, but my church book group drags me back into the classics on a regular basis. Leave it to some precocious Gen-Y savant to figure out a way to combine pop culture with the classics. Zombies, of course, are celebrating a pop culture resurgence only slightly less pervasive than vampires. Consider movies like Shaun of the Dead and 28 Days. Then consider the new life Jane Austen classics have enjoyed in the hands of thousands of new fans in this new century (perhaps with a little help from Colin Firth, hm?). Then put the two together. You know, zombies and Jane Austen?

You don't know?


Don't feel bad. It's not easy to be as culturally trendy as me. You really have to commit to your television and celebrity gossip websites to stay ahead of this stuff. But I'm generous and will share my knowledge. So here you go:

This is for real. You can check it out here. If you've read Pride and Prejudice a million times like (sheepishly raising hand) me, then you know the opening lines well:"It is a truth universally acknowledged that, a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies isn't so different: "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains, must be in want of more brains."
So, the same, really.

While I don't personally believe Pride and Prejudice needed any improving, I can't say the same thing about Jane Eyre, which I was forced to read last month for book club. And no, I couldn't skip it, because I'm in charge. I think it lends itself much more naturally to the zombie mashup. I mean, the original Mrs. Rochester (SPOILER ALERT for those of you who didn't trip over this novel eighteen thousand times before finishing college) lurking up in the attic is practically a zombie anyway. Imagine how much more entertaining the whole story would have been if instead of listening to Jane wander over moors in search of food and whining about her love for Mr. Rochester, she was chased by zombies instead and was constantly having to stab them with pitchforks or burn them and stuff. And then when she whined about the impropriety of her soiled gloves, I would totally feel sorry for her instead of finding her annoying. And what if everyone Mrs. Rochester attacked became a zombie, too? Come on, tell me that it wouldn't be cool if that uppity girl that Mr. Rochester pretends to woo got eaten because she condescended to the WRONG ZOMBIE one too many times.

I guess there's a danger in people taking it too far, though. You know how it is. Jack Johnson hits it big so Jason Mraz starts singing like him. Or someone comes out with a penguin documentary and suddenly everyone else's movie has gotta have penguins, too. I'm talking to you, Happy Feet and Madagascar. Not that those were bad. But you know how one movie studio comes out with a earthquake or meteor movie and suddenly everyone else has to have one? Not all of them should get made, you know. Sometimes it's best to just leave it at the original. What if these literature mash up artists (cough, cough) started messing with the good stuff? Like Anne of Green Gables? There's funny (I'd laugh if zombies ate Mrs. Bennet or Kitty) and then there's wrong. Like suddenly Marilla is a zombie and Anne has bigger problems than a missing amethyst brooch. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

So I guess in thinking about it, I'm going to vote against the zombie/classic mashup trend, even if the book's tagline is: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you'd actually want to read. Although, if Miss Heidi turned out her third sequel with Miss Delacourt kicking zombie butt and taking names, I feel sure I couldn't resist a look-see...

Melanie J blogs at every day which is stupid, but she does it anyway. She feels sure if she blogged only Monday, Wednesday and Friday that Tuesday and Thursday would feel left out and she can't stand the guilt. Melanie actually majored in English but confesses that she swapped British lit for modern American lit on a semi-regular basis. However, she still quite likes a good classic every now and then. But not so much Jane Eyre. And she will never read Wuthering Heights.

This entry was posted on Monday, April 13, 2009 at Monday, April 13, 2009 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

29 wise, witty and wonderful comments

Um, did you just make fun of Jason Mraz? Because I'm pretty sure you're not allowed to do that.

Anyway, I loved your post. Heidi is apparently hiring THE BEST for this gig. Zombies...hee hee.

April 13, 2009 at 9:30 AM

Wow, I am such a bigot! I totally am prejudiced against Tuesday and Thursday.

And I need to read this book.

April 13, 2009 at 9:32 AM

Heather, believe me, I wanted to do some editing on that part. Nothing personal, Melanie, but Jason Mraz and I are "like this". Yeah.

April 13, 2009 at 9:35 AM

You really have something against the Bronte sisters? In truth, I've never read any of their works. I don't know how I managed that. I've also never been a fan of zombies. In any form. How annoying not to have a brain that works. But your post is interesting anyway!

April 13, 2009 at 9:44 AM

My boys might finally be interested in the classics. Anything with the word zombie gets them every time..

April 13, 2009 at 9:50 AM

Now, now, Wuthering Heights has its place. For example, say you're being eaten by zombies (slowly, in order for this to work. Imagine you're the stale Bit o' Honeys at the bottom of their Trick or Treat bag) and you know that you're, eventually, going to die, but slowly and with a fair amount of discomfort, what with the zombies and all. Whip out "Wuthering Heights" and read it, cover to cover. I'm telling you, after you finish, death is going to look like a day at the beach with Jason Mraz crooning love songs to you. Zombies snacking on your spleen will have you giggling.

And I was already a huge Malanie J fan. Now I'm a Heidi Ashworth fan, too.

April 13, 2009 at 10:14 AM

Yeah, big Mraz fan here too. But I am also a Mel J fan, so I will let it slide! :)

Funny post. What a combo!

April 13, 2009 at 10:34 AM

Oh, all the penguin movies. I just didn't see the point. And they're all so stupid.

But I loved this post! Great job, Melanie. I have never read Wuthering Heights, either. Perhaps, I should, just to say I have...but really, I probably won't.

April 13, 2009 at 11:12 AM

one summer (I was 15) I decided I was going to read the classics... all of them...

the first one I grabbed was Jane Eyre... end of that game. I started reading Mary Higgins Clark that summer instead.

Maybe I should read this book... haven't ever been able to make it through P&P... unless you count the movie...

April 13, 2009 at 11:44 AM

Um, I like Jason Mraz. But tell me I'm Yours doesn't sound like a Jack Johnson song. Anyone? Anyone?

Just saying.

April 13, 2009 at 12:06 PM

I was thinking of doing a post on this! Darn you and Kristina - always taking the best ideas.
My son and I heard about this on NPR and I thought it was a joke. But, alas, it isn't.
Wonderful guest post.

April 13, 2009 at 1:21 PM

I read Wuthering Heights not that long ago, eh, I've read worse. Like zombie books...hahahaha just kidding! :D (I feel so clever right now! tee hee!) Gonna have to go to Melanie J's and stalk her too! wheeeeee!

April 13, 2009 at 1:24 PM

Okay, I'm breaking with tradition here and saying that I agree with Melaine about Jason Mraz's "I'm yours" totally coming off like a Jack Johnson. Give me "Geek in the Pink" any day. =P

As for the zombie classics, there have been many that made me feel like a zombie. Why not mix in a few of those characters with a few brain eaters? Not all of them. But a few I'd willingly sacrifice.

April 13, 2009 at 1:26 PM

I read the title and thought you were blogging about Woody Harrelson... LOL

April 13, 2009 at 1:45 PM

Ha haahahahahah LOVE IT!

You silly goose. And I'm glad you don't discriminate against Tuesday and Thursday. And I know you're not discriminating against Jason Marz, cuz I KNOW you love him.

April 13, 2009 at 2:54 PM

First of all the Zombies/Austen combination is just wrong. Very wrong. Secondly, I was an English minor in college and yet somehow, through high school and college I never had to read Jane Eyre. I read it last summer on my own, and I. LOVED. IT. It's one of my favorite books of all time. So I'll nod and smile at all those movie and music references, but Jane Eyre rocks. She one of the best heroines I've ever read. So there. (tongue sticking out.) We can still be civil, though, okay, Melanie? ... okay?

April 13, 2009 at 3:59 PM

I think Jane Eyre is already a zombie book.

I plan on doing a post on Wuthering Heights as soon as I'm done reading it. I started it in January. I usually read a book in 2 or 3 days tops. I can't tell you how much it sucks. Sucks rocks, as I'd have said when I was 20 years younger. And I generally LOVE 19th century British novels. But! Painful as it is.

April 13, 2009 at 5:45 PM

I can't believe you totally dissed my Brontes. But me lovey the zombies. I already knew about P&P&Z, so I'll enjoy this fleeting feeling of hipness.

April 13, 2009 at 5:49 PM

If Jason Mraz tells me I'm YOURs one more time I'm going to drop kick him..and he does sound like Jack Johnson...But I still like him.

I can't believe that is really REAL that book...huh? and Zombie's and huh?

April 13, 2009 at 7:10 PM

I am slightly offendend at the supposition that zombies would make pride and predjudice or even Jane Eyre better. Okay. I'm over it.

Next it will be how vampires will make pride and prejudice better. . . shudder. . .

April 13, 2009 at 8:17 PM

GASP....No to Wuthering Heights? What is this world coming to?

April 13, 2009 at 10:45 PM

Yay, I get to be next to April. Melanie, I am so releived that you draw the line for Anne. No Zombies would not do on Prince Edward Island.

I read Jane Eyre in High School and actually liked it. I am sure I was stupid and immature at that time.

Great post. Can't wait for tomorrow.

April 13, 2009 at 11:01 PM

I never read the book but I have heard of this iteration of it. Sounds like an interesting way of getting people to read the original.

April 14, 2009 at 7:01 AM

I'm currently wading through Emma for my book club. And I say, bring on the zombies!!

April 14, 2009 at 8:54 AM

Aw, Becky--I LOVE Emma! I'm sorry it's a snoozer for you!

April 14, 2009 at 9:03 AM

I'm surprised they didn't start with Wuthering Heights. The scene where Heathcliff digs up 18 year dead Catherine (I think that's her name...) and tells her that she's still as beautiful as the day she died will forever be burned into my memory. If at this point Catherine lurched up and started eating Heathcliff, I think Wuthering Heights would be elevated into another plane of literature.

But, I do like Jane Eyre. Sure, she's whiny. And a little self righteous. But I like the idea of being a governess and having your (single, of course) incredibly rich employer fall madly in love with you.

April 14, 2009 at 9:49 AM

That book cover picture is seriously freaking me out. I don't go for the zombie pictures. Or the books, I bet. People are weird.

You aren't though, Melanie! You're just funny.

April 15, 2009 at 11:20 PM

So funny, Melanie!

Lover of the classics that I am, I was never able to get through Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights either. Something tells me Zombies might have improved them both. (And I don't much care for Zombies.)

I actually wish that you DIDN'T post every day...only because I LOVE your posts, but I can't keep up. I hate to miss the stuff in between. :)

April 16, 2009 at 7:23 PM


That's all.

April 18, 2009 at 9:49 PM

Post a Comment