It is hard to read this book without comparing it to the other Quirke Classics release, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Unfortunately in Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters the sea monsters felt far less integral to the story. While I found myself chuckling out loud during parts of Zombies due to the absurdity of some of the scenes, Austen's characters and the zombies realistically inhabit the same space. In Sea Monsters, however, the Austen and Winters stories advance as if they were two. In one particular scene, a servant at Sub Station Beta is destroyed by a sea monster as most of the party in the room attempt to pretend the event is not taking place. Winters writes that visitors to the Sub Station are meant to look beyond the workings (and workers) of the station, a furthering of the world of face and manners that permeates Austen's original work. But it feels beyond absurd that the people within the dome barely take passing notice of a man dying outside its walls. While authors like Joseph Heller or Terry Prachett might successfully play out a scene such as this, their success is usually due to the deft manner in which they firmly establish and draw the reader into the absurd workings of the world. Winters is nowhere near as effective. Still, I chose to read this book because I wanted to read something light. While disappointingly not as well constructed as Zombies I still found it reasonably enjoyable. It is well-paced which makes for a speedy read.
Up next: The Time Machine, H.G. Wells
The White Tiger, Aravind Adiga