Published August 1, 2010.
What better place than pale England to hide a secret society of gentlemen vampires?
In this hilarious retelling of Jane Austen’s “Emma,” screenwriter Wayne Josephson casts Mr. Knightley as one of the most handsome and noble of the gentlemen village vampires. Blithely unaware of their presence, Emma, who imagines she has a special gift for matchmaking, attempts to arrange the affairs of her social circle with delightfully disastrous results. But when her dear friend Harriet Smith declares her love for Mr. Knightley, Emma realizes she’s the one who wants to stay up all night with him. Fortunately, Mr. Knightley has been hiding a secret deep within his unbeating heart-his (literal) undying love for her… (goodreads.com)
My stopping my reading of EMMA AND THE VAMPIRES didn’t really have much to do with Josephson’s add-in of the vampires to EMMA. It was Emma herself. I’m going to take a shot in the dark here and assume that the EMMA text really wasn’t touched all that much; only where needed to amend for the vampire insertion (well doesn’t that sound pornographic). I thought it blended nicely enough except for the fact that it appeared people only had problems with certain kinds of vampires and were conveniently oblivious to them when it suited them. For instance some people whom they knew were vampires but were far more civilized were noted as having a curious aversion to the sunlight and hung black-out curtains and never ate. It was weird and kind of off-putting. I really didn’t understand the ignorance for some but not for them all. Why was it odd that a guy didn’t like the sun if you already knew he was a vampire? It seemed really disjointed and I couldn’t get my head around it for what I read.
Really my distaste was for Emma. What a freaking snatch she was. Her nose was so far in the air I’m surprised she couldn’t smell bird farts. She thought exceptionally highly of herself and just couldn’t imagine associating with people she felt were lesser than her. Oh the horror. Her open disdain for “lower” people made me want to smack her. And I certainly don’t understand why this is appealing to read. Is it satirical? Does she get her mouth smacked and get knocked down a peg at the end of the book? Because she needs a serious dose of reality. I just couldn’t stand her. I didn’t find her outlook on life appealing. I didn’t find her pretentious setting-up of rich snobs quirky. I wanted to hit her with a bus.
So I’m pegging this DNF down to Austen herself. While the vampire insertion (*enter porn music here*) wasn’t all that bad the bi-polar behavior of the characters was at times confusing and irritating. But Emma? The creation of Austen? That’s one baby that needed to be aborted. Drech. Now I have a bonafide reason to avoid Austen novels because if they’re all in that style I may end up lighting them on fire.
Ban Factor: Medium – Only because the vampire aspect would get banner attention. But upon reading (doubt it), they would find Emma the proper lady fastening her stake to her leg with pretty little ribbons. Yak.