Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Review: Mansfield Park and Mummies: Monster Mayhem, Matrimony, Ancient Curses, True Love, and Other Dire Delights

Mansfield Park and Mummies: Monster Mayhem, Matrimony, Ancient Curses, True Love, and Other Dire Delights
Mansfield Park and Mummies: Monster Mayhem, Matrimony, Ancient Curses, True Love, and Other Dire Delights by Vera Nazarian

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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Book Info: Genre: Classic Literature parody
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of Jane Austen who enjoy a laugh, people who enjoy parodies, Vera Nazarian fans

My Thoughts: This was the first of the supernatural Jane Austen parodies that Nazarian wrote. I can see that her abilities have increased with practice, as this one is not nearly as rib-splitting as the second, which is not nearly as hilarious as the third. Nonetheless, now I see from whence came both the Brighton Duck and the horrible afflictions found in the third book; it is all developed starting here. Therefore I shall say that while the books may indeed be read out of order, I recommend that you read them in publication date if you are able, just to see that development.

The parody aspect of this book is good, but not as good as the two later books in this series. I imagine it's due to the source material, as Mansfield Park was just a snorefest to me. The book is very long, and there is much too much handwringing and “oh dear” and “what will the neighbors think” and general fluttering for me. And “poor little timid Fanny”—oh, I just wanted to wring her neck sometimes! I know Jane Austen in the original was probably as much making fun of society as anything, but there was just too much in this one to hold my attention or amuse me as much as the others. This absolutely will not stop me from pouncing on any new books that Vera Nazarian might decide to parody, of course, as her satires and parodies are top notch.

You have to realize that this book probably suffered in comparison to its two excellent followups as well, because books 2 and 3 in the Supernatural Jane Austen series really tickled my funny bone, so I had very high expectations for this one. Probably if I'd read this one first, I would have enjoyed it more. I was quite amused by Lady Bertram and her vague fondnesses and her obsession with Egyptology, although I didn't much care for the unfaithful and vindictive Maria nor Julie, and Mrs. Norris was an obnoxious waste of resources.

If you like Jane Austen, if you like classic literature parodies, if you liked Mansfield Park, then you might enjoy Mansfield Park and Mummies. Do not miss the other two books in this series, which in my opinion are much funnier than this one; that information is below.

Series Information: The Supernatural Jane Austen series consists of parodies of all of Jane Austen's major books. They are all standalone and can be read in any order. The order listed is simply the order of publication.
Book 1: Mansfield Park and Mummies: Monster Mayhem, Matrimony, Ancient Curses, True Love, and other Dire Delights
Book 2: Northanger Abbey and Angels and Demons, review linked here
Book 3: Pride and Platypus: Mr. Darcy's Dreadful Secret, review linked here

Disclosure: I purchased this book for myself. No review has been requested. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: Spinsterhood or Mummification.

Ancient Egypt infiltrates Regency England in this elegant, hilarious, witty, insane, and unexpectedly romantic monster parody of Jane Austen's classic novel.

Our gentle yet indomitable heroine Fanny Price must hold steadfast not only against the seductive charms of Henry Crawford but also an Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh

Meanwhile, the indubitably handsome and kind hero Edmund attempts Exorcisms... Miss Crawford vamps out... Aunt Norris channels her inner werewolf... The Mummy-mesmerized Lady Bertram collects Egyptian artifacts...

There can be no doubt that Mansfield Park has become a battleground for the forces of Ancient Evil and Regency True Love.

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