Friday, July 3, 2009
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
He scarcely needed an invitation to stay for supper; and before he went away, an engagement was formed, chiefly through his own and Mrs. Bennet's means, for his coming next morning to shoot the first autumn zombies with her husband.
Let me add my chorus of praise to the long list of favourable reviews for this clever take on a familiar classic. I laughed out loud when I read the paragraph above. It wasn't the first time either. I'd no idea zombie mayhem could be so entertaining, and in case you're wondering what the undead spawns of Satan look like - there are pictures!
As a diehard Pride and Prejudice fan, I'm surprised I liked it as much as I did. But beware you purists out there, the original text has been altered much. Of course, he kept all the best lines, and most of the general story remains intact, but he condenses and paraphrases a lot of the descriptive paragraphs. The book overall is about 75 pages shorter than the original, if you're anal, like me, and keep track of that sort of thing.
Grahame-Smith did seem to have it in for some of these characters. Few are spared being touched by this devilish plague that has consumed the countryside, which leads me to my main, tiny complaint: What's up with this plague? Where did it come from? What dark events led to its destroying England? Helloooo..big questions here.
That aside, I must say it was fun to see the characters and their fates altered a bit. Of course, Elizabeth can beat the crap out of Mr. Darcy. It makes perfect sense! And I know I've secretly wanted to kick Wickham's butt around more than once, and Mr. Collins! If you've seen the new movie - Lost in Austen you'll know what I'm talking about, Mr. Smelling Fingers! Gross.
What if you, like Mr. Grahame-Smith could alter these memorable characters. Whom would you change? Would all survive until the end?
Sadly, it seems the author plans no further zombie tributes in line with other Austen Classics. Maryann and Eleanor will never brandish a sword, Anne's sickly sister will probably not catch the zombie plague, and unfortunately Mr. Elton will continue living. Darn it all. I guess instead I'll just have to use that thing Mr. Grahame-Smith has in spades - my imagination. 4 stars
Other excellent reviews that far exceed mine: