Mr. Darcy Becomes a 'Vape God' in Viral Classic Literature Parodies

In Elizabeth Bennet's eyes, Mr. Darcy has no flaws, apart from the vape cloud that apparently follows him everywhere—according to author Dick Cody Heese anyway.

Parody author Heese's latest work sees Mr. Darcy become a "vape god," in Pride and Prejudice: But Mr. Darcy is a Vape God, with a single line from each chapter added to suggest Mr. Darcy vaped.

Heese's parody of the literature classic was shared to his popular TikTok account on May 27, and has already gained over 200,00 likes.

"So this is Pride and Prejudice: But Mr. Darcy is a Vape God. It's an exact retelling of Pride and Prejudice, but now there's a sentence in every chapter to infer that Mr. Darcy blows utterly bodacious clouds. While the vaping references are small, the value they provide to the original story is even smaller," explained Heese in the TikTok video.

According to the online description of the parody book, "fans of the original will loathe this derivative work entirely, and the author profusely apologizes to Ms. Austen and her estate for this indiscretion."

It's own description might not be full of compliments, but the TikTok comments certainly are. "It's the only version I want to read," wrote one user.

"I will be gaslighting my posterity into thinking this is the original," added another.

For Heese, the light-hearted takes on the classics are a way to draw a new audience in to the books he loves so much.

Heese told Newsweek: "I knew that I had an interesting concept to work with. I figured that a 'barely altered' parody could entice people to read great literature by offering a small bit of comedic relief to look forward to in every chapter. Classic lit has a lot to offer its readers, but can be imposing and a slog at times. However, I think my parodies meet people where they're at in terms of their willingness to engage with the classics."

@dickcodyheese

Sorry for the long wait on Pride & Prejudice: But Mr. Darcy is a Vape God #fyp

♬ original sound - 🅱️ICK CODY HEESE

"The reaction from readers has been generally positive. Although most of the books only have a sentence added per chapter, people seem to enjoy the hyper-ironic humour. I'm upfront with my audience about the fact that the parodies have minimal alterations, and I think part of their attraction is that they preserve the majority of the source text. While my intended audience is people who are less-interested in the classics, it's been great that fans of the original works are also intrigued by the parodies," said Heese.

As the literature version of Weird Al, Heese's foray into the writing world consists only of parody classics, which he shares to his TikTok account. The Great Gatsby: But Nick has Scoliosis, is another of his classics-which-aren't-classics.

"It's essentially an exact retelling of The Great Gatsby, but no win each chapter there's a reference to Nick having a mild case of scoliosis. It did really well, it was available on Barnes and Nobles online, reached 80,000 on Amazon's best seller list, but not it's banned everywhere except Amazon Japan," explained Heese in a video.

"The miniscule references arguably add an immense depth of beauty to Fitzgerald's original work," reads the book's description. The Great Gatsby: But Nick has Scoliosis even comes complete with its own cover art, taking on the original cover but with a graphic of a spine added.

Similarly, Frankenstein: But the Monster is Allergic to Gluten is another of his parodies, being an "exact retelling of Frankenstein but there are throwaway references to the monster having a celiac disease. Like Gatsby, it was banned everywhere but Amazon Japan."

"I only sell parodies that derive from public domain books, which are all works from 1925 and earlier," Heese said. "If I sold any parodies with a post-1925 source text, I would likely run into some IP legal battles, which I can't really afford as a college student.

"As for creating the parodies, I generally try to conceive of a detail that would be the most inconsequential to the original story. The less value it brings to the original work and the more absurd it is, the better. The public domain works that I select for parody tend to be what's most prevalent on high school and college reading lists."

Although the books were once removed from places like Amazon and Barnes and Noble, Pride and Prejudice: But Mr. Darcy is a Vape God is stocked on both. While Frankenstein: But the Monster is Allergic to Gluten and The Great Gatsby: But Nick has Scoliosis are both back on Amazon. All with five star reviews.

"His parents are very proud of him," according to Heese's self-written author's biography.

Newsweek has contacted Heese for a comment.

Pride and Prejudice 1940 film
Kino. Stolz Und Vorurteil, Pride And Prejudice, Stolz Und Vorurteil, Pride And Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet (Greer Garson), Mr. Darcy (Laurence Olivier), 1940. A parody author has transformed Mr. Darcy into a 'vape god'. (Photo by FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images) Getty Images