Two weeks ago, I indulged in a biannual desire to buy books off of Amazon. I know I shouldn’t, mainly because I have too many books as it is, but also, it’s expensive and it adds up and ADMITTING IT IS THE FIRST STEP, right?
Anyway: I was originally looking for the DVD of the BBC series of Sherlock. I had watched the first episode on Masterpiece Mystery and fell in love with it, and hey, it was cheaper on Amazon than at Borders! Plus free shipping!
And then I started looking at other things, and this is what I ended up with:
You may ask, what the hell is all that crap? Well, the thing on the left is my copy of Sherlock, which I highly recommend for any fans of Sherlock Holmes. This is a reimagining of the classic detective: Sherlock is in his, I’d guess late-twenties-early-thirties, and John Watson is still an army surgeon, but this time the escapades take place in modern London. Holmes texts Lestrade and uses nicotine patches to help him think (the first escapade, “A Study in Pink,” is apparently a “three-patch problem”).
The letter is something that came in the mail to me. Its return address was somewhere in Philadelphia, but it didn’t have the appearance of a mass mailing. Curious, I opened it, and found a wonderful handwritten note inside:
Dearest Neighborly Acquaintance,
Please excuse the impropriety of dropping you this note unannounced. However, I thought it my duty to warn you of the danger that is overrunning dear England. A horde of reanimated corpses — known as unmentionables, dreadfuls, or zombies, depending on your dialect — is spreading a terrible plague against which you must defend yourself.
As you may already know, I, Elizabeth Bennet, lived a life of peace and propriety in the English countryside until a pustulent plague of unmentionables rose from the earth and began to wreak havoc on dear Hertfordshire. Thankfully, my sisters and I were trained in the most vicious defense techniques: swordplay, hand-to-hand combat, musketry, and sharp wit. “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” is a tale inspired by my family’s struggle to defeat the unmentionables, and includes descriptions of our various tactical techniques — and occasional social foibles.
I hope we can remain in contact as the number of zombies rises. I have purchased a Macintosh computer and am attempting to spread the word of my quest through the internet. You may find my digital correspondence, as well as those of my friends and family, at quirkclassics.com/zombies. Please help my cause by spreading the word — and above all else, take care.
HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!
The final thing — and the item you’re probably scratching your head over the most — is the book on the right. The Tiger Lily, by Shirley Busbee. That, my friends, was the first historical romance I ever “read.” And I definitely want to use those sarcastic quotation marks, because I didn’t read it so much as look for the naughty bits.
See, I was probably about 11 or 12. I had just learned what “fuck” meant on the playground and, though nowhere near as advanced as today’s youths are, I was learning about sexual relations as well. I don’t remember much from this book aside from some twenty-page-long sex scenes (including one in a gazebo!), but I remembered it fondly as my introduction to smut.
And then my mother sold it in a book sale or whatever and it disappeared. And I’ve been searching for it ever since.
And now (or, over the next year, when I finally get my to-read pile down again), I’ll read it from start to finish, and I’m sure I will giggle away many a night at the atrocity of its writing.
Seriously, I was so excited to see that these packages had come in the mail, I jumped up and down A LOT. I haven’t been this happy since I figured out how to turn a bag of alcohol into a Capri-Sun.