Bad Book Reports: Jane Eyre by Jon Wesick

Orphan Jane Eyre lives a depressing life at Gateshead Hall under the care of her relatives. Her time as a student at the Lowood Institution is even more dismal. 

MEANWHILE: The Marquis de Sade and his companion Kwai Chang Yang arrive at the village of La Chemise as the townsfolk are about to burn a woman as a witch. De Sade’s reputation as a libertine is only a cover. In reality, he is a superhuman vampire hunter whose scientist father sent him to Earth in a rocket ship after planet Lypton’s destruction. A kindly family of wine growers raised him as their own on a vineyard in the Loire Valley until he entered the service of Louis XIV. Yang is a Buddhist monk who trained in the martial arts at the Shaolin Temple. He fled China with a price on his head after killing the emperor’s nephew in a duel. De Sade tells the townsfolk to leave the woman alone but they refuse so he sends Yang to defeat them with his martial arts knowledge of backflips, somersaults, and kicks to the face. After seeing three-dozen citizens bruised and unconscious, the mayor apologizes for the misunderstanding and takes de Sade to a brothel. De Sade has sex with dozens of women while Yang drinks tea and discusses philosophy. Belle de Jour is the only courtesan who can keep up with the marquis. Not only is she smokin’ hot but she’s the sister of the woman de Sade saved. 

The following night, de Sade goes to visit Belle but the brothel is closed. As he and Yang walk back to the inn under the light of a full moon, a dozen wolves attack. De Sade and Yang defeat them using laser vision and kicks to the face, which are much easier since wolves’ heads are closer to the ground than people’s. The wolves turn back to humans when the sun rises. One of the attackers is the mayor. Under questioning, he reveals that the town is composed of two feuding clans of werewolves. The mayor leads the clan that turns into wild animals that attack humans and livestock. Belle leads the clan that turns into Great Pyrenees dogs who want nothing more than to lie in front of the fireplace and occasionally bark at the mailman. De Sade and Yang help Belle de Jour defeat the bad werewolves and the remaining townsfolk elect her mayor.  

BACK IN ENGLAND: After a slog through a series of dreary events, Jane Eyre gets married and has a baby who will no doubt work in a coal mine and die broke and alone from black lung disease while the owners have orgies like those in D.H. Lawrence novels.

Jon Wesick is a regional editor of the San Diego Poetry Annual. He’s published hundreds of poems and stories in journals such as the Atlanta Review, Berkeley Fiction Review, BOMBFIRE, New Verse News, Paterson Literary Review, Pearl, Pirene’s Fountain, Slipstream, Space and Time, and Tales of the Talisman.  Jon is the author of the poetry collections Words of Power, Dances of Freedom and A Foreigner Wherever I Go as well as several novels and short story collections. His most recent novel is The Prague Deception