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Emma and the Vampires: A Jane Austen Undead Novel    by Jane Austen & Wayne Josephson Amazon.com order for
Emma and the Vampires
by Jane Austen
Order:  USA  Can
Sourcebooks, 2010 (2010)
Softcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

The trend of taking classics and enlivening them with the (un)dead is strong in Emma and the Vampires. As can be guessed from the title, Wayne Josephson has taken Jane Austen's classic Emma and added in vampires. Now, I have never read Emma, even though Clueless is one of my favorite movies, but Emma and the Vampires takes what seems to be a highly palpable classic and adds more humor than gore.

Emma Woodhouse is determined to set up all her single acquaintances with the eligible bachelors of Highbury. While Emma does know that vampires roam the countryside feasting on the blood of vulnerable young women, what she does not know is that almost all the men in Highbury are vampires. It seems there a few different types of vampires those of the classic horror variety who want human blood; those more refined ones who will wait for the right woman to marry and then take her blood and turn her; and others referred to as vegan-vampires who do not take human blood but only those of small animals.

The refined gentlemen of Highbury fall into one of these later two categories, which is how they get past Emma undetected, although she often wonders why they never eat and have empty hearths in the cold winter. While Emma has the perfect man for everyone else, she cannot see who is perfect for her, leading to plenty of humor with or without vampires.

For the most part, Josephson's inclusion of vampires into Emma fits well and adds quite a few chuckles. The thing that got me the most were the references to vegan-vampires. I think this was a misnomer as, if they were true vegans, they would not take the blood of anything, but rather drain vegetables of their essence, a la Bunnicula. But other than that, Emma and the Vampires is a highly enjoyable romp if you are looking for entertainment, not the depth of classic literature.

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