4 August 2011
REVIEW: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES
Author: Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
Series: Yes, #1
UK Publisher: Quirk Books
UK release date: April 2009
Genre: Zombie, Historical fiction
Kindly sent by the publisher for an honest review
In order to fight the blight of zombies plaguing 19th century England, the Bennet sisters have been trained in the deadly arts of fighting unmentionables. However all their mother can think of is seeing her daughters married off to rich and handsome men. Whether Elizabeth will find the haughty Mr Darcy a suitable prospect when she has set her heart to killing zombies is another matter.
Review: Seth Grahame-Smith took on the hard task of reworking a well-known classic fiction by Jane Austen and adding in zombies. Imagine the Bennett sisters in their ball gowns slaying zombies. I can imagine many a Jane Austen fan might blanch at the thought, but oddly enough it works. To start it is a little difficult to adjust to changes and additions to the story but as you get further into the story it takes on a life of its own.
I was surprised by how much of the original text was kept and that the plot was very much the same, however adapted as it is, it’s amazing to see how well the zombie element fits into the original plot. It didn’t distract from the story of the Elizabeth and Mr Darcy but very much added another layer to it. Soldiers are employed to wipe out unmentionables, training in the deadly arts is another way for higher society to condescend those below them, and the plague itself can be seen as a metaphor in the case of Charlotte who is inflicted during her marriage to Mr Collins.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies takes the humour, wit and irony that Jane Austen infused into her characters and kicks it up a notch. There are some real humorous and comic moments that will have you smiling in twisted glee. Indeed Elizabeth is sassier, cheekier and even more brazen, but completely in keeping with her true character.
I also can’t help but think that Seth Grahame-Smith gave some characters their just deserts, and who could blame him. His cutthroat approach to dealing with malevolent characters certainly brings them down a peg and you can’t help but smile and agree.
Having studied the book in school and appreciated Jane Austen’s wit and irony, I can see how well the zombie element adds to this. But I can easily imagine that those new to the story entirely may find zombies and 19th century social satire a rather odd mix especially when faced with the original language and focus on women marrying and social standing.
Humorous, romantic and gruesome, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies takes the best of the original story and gives it an entertaining zombie injection.