Author: Jane Austen & Seth Graeme-Smith
Genre: classic, dystopian, Horror/zombies, Humour
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”
So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield. Can Elizabeth vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you’d actually want to read.
I’m going to start off with a statement that might be quite shocking to some readers: I’ve never read Pride and Prejudice or any other Jane Austen books. I know, I know, how can I call myself a bookworm, when I haven’t read the classics, but I’d just never gotten the chance. So when I spied Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, I thought I might give it a try…
Because I only had a vague idea of who the characters were, and what was going to happen, most of the events were new and exciting. Especially the new zombie scenes, that were dotted all over the place, filling the classic novel with horrifying ‘unmentionables’ or ‘dreadfuls’, as they were called in the book.
I think that the zombie aspect was a very interesting idea, (that Jane Austen would never have seen coming), and in the very few, short scenes where they featured, it was a fun, yet horrifying read. But they did only feature in a few very short scenes. If you are going to introduce a whole new aspect to a classic novel, especially one as big as a zombie apocalypse threatening England, then it needs to actually play a big part in the story. The changed characters were perfect for it, but the scenes where they had to showcase their skills just weren’t there. Instead, the book kind of seemed like a spin-off Pride and Prejudice, with a few random scenes where they killed some zombies… then back to normal Pride and Prejudice again.
In saying this, they did begin to feature more toward the end, which made it a little better. I think that incorporating a topic so different from the original story might have proved a little difficult to Seth Graeme-Smith, and it seemed unnecessary or not important.
The language used for the book and characters was still the original formal polite speech, but this time mixed in with some funny sarcastic humour, spoken both by characters, and the author of the book as well. This made it quite entertaining, and had me snorting sometimes.
Why should you read it: I don’t know whether to recommend it to Jane Austen readers or not. You could find it quite hilarious, and enjoy the spin-off, but then you could also feel like it was a silly, unnecessary book. It’s not a bad book, and I enjoyed reading it, and getting an understanding of the story-line, but I also wouldn’t read it again.