Apr 11

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – What the?

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - Austen & Grahame-SmithDespite the fact that I am a die hard Austen fan, when I heard about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Quirk, 2009) by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith I was still mildly intrigued – enough to check out the publisher website anyway.

Apparently this mashup of Austen’s 1813 classic and a zombie rampage storyline has made it to number three on the New York Times bestseller list. Not having read the book, my guess is that this success would be more attributable to the cult status of P&P than any literary revelation attributable to the zombie additions, but I could be wrong.

Far more fascinating than the novel itself, which seems to me a novelty concept that would be read once then put aside, is the internet buzz amongst book bloggers stirred by a rather bizarre publicist letter included with review copies for bloggers.

Rather than rehash everything here, you can find the details at:

The fundamental issue seems to be whether book blogs are equivalent to print book review columns and whether bloggers should be accorded the same respect as print journalists.

Personally, I can’t see why book bloggers wouldn’t be given equal credit. In these uncertain times with the ever decreasing readership of newspapers and other print media, internet journalism in various forms seems the way of the future. In my admittedly inexperienced viewpoint, this is the time for publicists and marketers to be harnessing the power of online reviews rather than alienating bloggers.

As with anything else, there are good, bad and ugly examples of book blogs out there and they are certainly not all of equal value and/or quality (as is also the case with newspapers and magazines). My personal preference is for book blogs that convey some personality and a sense of humour in addition to intelligently and well-written reviews.

Discussions of the latest Austen distortion aside (these are more than adequately covered on the sites linked above and others), what role do you see book blogs having now and in the future? Do you have a preference for a particular style or format and do you think a blog review is equivalent to a review in print?

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  1. Kat

    I mainly read (and blog about) romance genre fiction, which doesn’t get much coverage in the mainstream press, so bloggers tend to be well treated by publishers and publicists.

    I don’t really have a preferred format. I look for bloggers whose preferences are similar to mine so I know that if they recommend new books or authors, there’s a good chance I’ll like them too. I do have a weakness for witty, snarky reviewers whose sense of humour is similar to mine.

  2. Susan

    Thanks for your comment, Kat.

    Most of the book blogs that I visit regularly offer snappy, personality filled reviews. I like reviewers that don’t take themselves too seriously and who are happy to point out the flaws in the books that they read as well as the strengths.

    My reviews at Suite101 are presented in a format that precludes strong personal opinions. I’m hoping to find an outlet for reviews with more personality here, although I’m finding it is taking me time to adjust to the more relaxed approach I can use here.

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