Monday May 4th, 2009

National Dumbing Down Continues Apace

lincolnResearching the most recent installment of The Cherry & the Pit (below), I came across this recently acquired book:

Janet Mullany’s THE IMMORTAL JANE AUSTEN, a humorous novel about Jane Austen in Regency England who joins the vampire resistance in Bath when England is invaded by French forces.

This is on the heels of the bestselling Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which, as the cover copy charmingly puts it, “transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you’d actually want to read.”

The author of that book, Seth Grahame-Smith, has been signed to write a novel about Abraham Lincoln that re-imagines the 16th president as a vampire slayer. Don’t worry, though; Grahame-Smith’s editor reassures us that “. . . rather than just toss vampires in wherever he feels, Seth is doing a lot of research to see where they could fit in properly to the actual events of Lincoln’s life.” Whew. I’d hate to read something that turns Lincoln into a vampire slayer in some slapped-together, unrealistic way.

News of the first Jane Austen-zombie mash-up didn’t bother me too much. I’m pretty irreverent, and there’s comedic potential there. But of course, the book publishing industry, in its unending quest to become Hollywood without the profits, will now ride this idea into the deep, cold ground.