April 25, 2012

Review: Jane Goes Batty by Michael Thomas Ford

Series: Jane Fairfax 2
Format: Paperback
Release Date: February 1, 2011
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
After two hundred years undead, Jane Austen still has bite. But will her most recent literary success be her last?

Life was a lot easier for Jane when she was just an unknown, undead bookstore owner in a sleepy hamlet in upstate New York. But now the world embraces her as Jane Fairfax, author of the bestselling novelConstance—and she’s having a killer time trying to keep her true identity asthe Jane Austen a secret. Even the ongoing lessons in How to Be a Vampire, taught by her former lover Lord Byron, don’t seem to be helping much. Jane can barely focus on her boyfriend, Walter, while keeping him in the dark about her more sanguine tastes.

To make matters worse, Walter announces that his mother is coming for a visit—and she’s expecting Jane to be Jewish. Add in a demanding new editor, a convention of romance readers in period costume, a Hollywood camera crew following Jane’s every move, and the constant threat of a certain bloodsucking Brontë sister coming back to finish her off, and it’s enough to make even the most well-mannered heroine go batty! 
The cover doesn't say much in fact it looks boring and very old fashioned and the publishers need to change it when the next edition comes out.

Anyway, I love parodies but it can also be tricky because if it's not done right it ends up being tacky (i.e. Disaster Movie). Gladly this series was done right, this was a well thought out comedy and though it has a lot of ridiculous moments it wasn't dumb.  Now I've read a couple of not so good reviews about this but I have to disagree with a couple of them. 

First of all looking at the synopsis one could tell that this should not be taken seriously nor the book is thesis material. Sure the heroine is Jane Austen but the situation Ford puts her in is far from something that requires serious criticism. Some of the premise might seem "typical" but if one takes another look at it, it's more of a challenge to Jane's character than a go signal for her to fall into the stereotype box. 

What got me laughing with JANE GOES BATTY is that Jane Austen, now Jane Fairfax, still a famous  romance novelist but rather than deal with the politics of men monopolizing the print industry, she now has to deal with an annoying book blogger, Beverly Shrop, whose blog entries are suspiciously massive. As per Jane's calculations, Beverly should be reading at least 6 books per day to come up with those reviews, that or she's "borrowing" comments from other reviewers *ehem*. Then Jane has to deal with her future mother-in-law, her new editor who doesn't seem to like her plus a movie deal that's not exactly going her way. 

And even if this is set in contemporary America, Jane remains very British complete with tea and reined-in manners. Lord Bryon is a playboy, Jane's bestfriend and mentor, he can also be infuriating and a pot stirrer of sorts. Charlotte Bronte is the villain in this series, she is Byron's ex flame and a loose canon dead set on destroying Jane Austen. 

I'm sure the circumstances are exaggerated but it also happens in real life and to see that played out from an author's stand point was hilarious to me. And who wouldn't want to read a fictional smackdown between Bronte & Austen with Byron as the referee? 


  1. There's NO WAY I would have picked this up on my own (partly because of the boring cover) but your review has me REALLY wanting to read it! I'm convinced! This sounds like a fabulous read!

  2. I love this series. I just haven't gotten around to reading this one yet. I swear these books should be the example beside mayhem in the dictionary because they are hilarious.

    Thanks for sharing your review!


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