Posts tagged ‘mashup’

May 10th, 2011

Kafka Makes My Head Hurt, Even with Cuddly Kittens.

by Gwen

Franz Kafka (1883-1924) is lauded as the one of the best writers of the 20th century. Sadly, he only really finished one novella, The Metamorphosis, before his death. The rest of his work was published posthumously by his executor, Max Brod. He passed on from this mortal coil before knowing that he would become such a famous guy. Sucks.

His work is considered existentialism, which is a neat way of saying that he focuses on the human condition. You know, the meaning of life, responsibilities, emotions, and all that rubbish that makes my head hurt when I start pondering it and has nothing to do with the rising gas prices.

Now, here is where the kittens come in.

Quirk Books has come out with a mashup of The Metamorphosis. You may have heard me mention mashups before, they take a classic book and throw a crazy wrench into it. The most famous is Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. (and it’s prequel & sequel) They also adapted Anna Karenina into Android Karenina.

In the original, the main character, Gregor Samsa becomes a bug. In this gem, The Meowmorphosis,  he becomes a fluffy kitten.

It is still full of existential twaddle, but now there are pretty kitties as opposed to some praying mantis thing. I don’t like cats. They make me sneeze, seem not to give a care whether I live or die and just don’t give the love that my Murphy Grace does.


If you have never read Kafka, the cats do make it easier to digest, but this one just isn’t as much fun to read as the other mashups have been. The others made me want to read the original versions of Tolstoy and Austen, this one made me remember why I never really “got” Kafka and dislike navel gazing in general.

However, the discussion questions in the back of the book were totally worth the price of admission. I seldom read them, but am so glad that I did. Made. Me. Laugh. So. Hard.

3. Is your manager an ass?

9. Franz Kafka had some issues, didn’t he?

The Meowmorphosis by Franz Kafka and Coleridge Cook

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Quirk Books (May 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159474503X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594745034
  • Tags:
    March 22nd, 2011

    Dreadfully Ever After by Steve Hockensmith

    by Gwen


    Say what you will, but I am a huge fan of the mashups. I thought the concept was crazy and they would never be able to mix classic literature and zombies seamlessly. Then I read Dawn of the Dreadfuls and something magical happened. Suddenly, I was something that I never thought I would be, a Jane Austen fan. I read Android Karenina and when I didn’t want to pull my hair out like I usually do with Tolstoy, became a total convert. They are like classics with a twist and I will never say no to any genre or series that attract people that usually don’t read. Think about how many people read more thanks to Harry Potter?

    Because Austen never wrote a sequel to Pride & Prejudice, Steve Hockensmith was able to take Dreadfully Ever After to a whole new level. It’s a bit darker, more bleak, steeped in dreadfuls, and yet, is true to the stringent themes and mores of the Regency period.

    Elizabeth Darcy nee Bennet is feeling frustrated with married life. She still loves Darcy, it’s just the standards of society requiring her to put down her katana and stop fighting dreadfuls the moment she got married. Then, horror of horrors, Darcy is bitten by one of the dastardly demons from who knows where and Elizabeth contacts Lady Catherine de Bourgh for her help.
    Darcy, the love of her life, must not become a zombie. So Lady Catherine sends Elizabeth to London, in search of a rumored cure. Is Lady Catherine sending her into the lion’s den to save Darcy or as punishment? Elizabeth can’t be sure, but she goes.

    Soon the Bennets are back in action, together in London and they all rise to the challenge in their own ways. I would say more, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

    Have you tried one of the mash-ups yet? If you haven’t, what stops you?

    Just so you know, Quirk Books is celebrating the release of Dreadfully Ever After with a giveaway. You just have to like the Facebook page for the book to enter.

    And while I am imparting great knowledge, you should also know that Quirk sent me this book gratis. What I probably shouldn’t tell you was that I was so excited to get it that I kissed the UPS man on the cheek. Don’t tell anyone.

    June 8th, 2010

    Android Karenina by Leo Tolstoy and Ben H. Winters ~ Review

    by Gwen


    Tolstoy isn’t for everyone. I have even written about Russian Literature and why it confuses me. Still, when I heard that Quirk Books and Ben H. Winters were coming out with Android Karenina, a mash-up of a story that I love, I just had to read it. I have read all of the mash-ups and if they can make me like Jane Austen, certainly they can make reading Tolstoy palatable.

    Was Android Karenina more palatable? Yes and no. No, because it was still hard to get into; I think I was in over 100 pages before it felt less like work and more like fun. Yes, because all of the android craziness adding many interesting facets to the story and once I got into it, it was like a cool glass of water.

    Things that usually bother me about Russian classics didn’t faze me, which I was grateful for. Characters were easy to identify and Winters kept the switch of patronymic names, nicknames, and other names to a minimum. Thank you!

    Is this new mashup for everyone? No, sorry, it is still Tolstoy and a chunkster at 538 pages. Do I think that it will appeal to a new group of readers? YES, if you like steampunk, please try this. Android Karenina is a great introduction to Russian Literature for those that have run the other way in the past.

    One funny thing that kept hitting me while reading…My favorite movie version of Anna Karenina is the 1948 one starring Vivien Leigh. The whole time I was reading, I was picturing her as Anna. If only she could play the part when and if they make a movie of Android Karenina….

    Want to win a Quirk prize pack? (I won one of these when they released Dawn of the Dreadfuls and it is cool! To win, go to the Quirk Classics blog and let them know that you read your review here at Chew & Digest Books.

    Prize pack includes:

    · Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith

    · How To Survive a Horror Movie by Seth Grahame-Smith

    · Dracula’s Heir: An Interactive Mystery by Sam Stall

    · Extreme Encounters by Greg Emmanuel

    · How to Tell if Your Boyfriend is The Antichrist by Patricia Carlin

    · And more!

    Don’t forget, go to the Quirk Blog, and say that you saw it at Chew & Digest Books to win.

    I want to thank Quirk Books for their striving to make classic literature fun and bring it to the masses. They sent me the book as well, thanks.