Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
by Seth Grahame-Smith
by Seth Grahame-Smith
"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, 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 really don't know where I stand when it comes to this book. I did enjoy it, because it made me laugh quite a bit. However, I am pretty squeamish. I am anti-gore. I can't watch it, and I can read it for the most part. This book almost pushed me to my gore limit. (Although this was not a real deciding factor for my overall enjoyment of it).
Also, I found many instances to be rather risque. Discussions about balls aren't exactly my cup of tea.
The book stays rather true to the original novel, but I still feel that at times this novel was WAY more concerned with the war against zombies and its overall Comedic Value versus keeping true to the original. I found Elizabeth Bennet to be excessively vulgar. I understand that the environment she's in has changed, but I would have thought it better if she could maintain a certain sense of propriety and modesty while still being able to battle unmentionables. Her level of attraction would have increased greatly. And did the first proposal scene from Darcy REALLY have to change that much? In the original novel, that was one of my favorite scenes, because of the relative eloquence used throughout the encounter. In this rendition, it has been altered to nothing more than a squabble between sexes. There are so many faults that I have found in this scene. First of all, Mr. Darcy would never 'fight back.' Gentlemen do not physically quarrel with ladies, no matter how improper and vulgar she may be. I must say that Mr. Grahame-Smith failed to capture the essence of Elizabeth Bennet for me. Just before Darcy enters to inquire after her health, she was thinking of plans to kill Darcy AND his cousin! In that aspect, she comes across as slightly unstable mentally speaking. This is not at all how I would have EVER imagined Elizabeth Bennet to act. One of the reasons she has become one of my most beloved heroines in literature is because of her propriety as it blends with her personal strength. Her greatest trait was her ability to remain mostly proper even in the most uncomfortable of situations. I always believed this to be one of the contributing factors to her attractiveness and part of why Mr. Darcy came to love her in the first place.
I've always considered courtship to be the driving factor when it comes to Pride and Prejudice. While courtship is still present in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, I can't help but think of how much it is downplayed because of the zombies. Everyone seems much more occupied with learning deadly arts (understandable considering the circumstances) than getting married in order to procreate (which is still pretty important during a zombie apocalypse). I just feel that there is WAY too much going on in this novel for it to be really true to Miss Austen's original. I enjoyed the zombie aspect at first, but then after consideration realized that it is for mere commercial enjoyment. The ninjas were a bit too much though....I could have done without the ninjas.
Overall, this book is great for laughs and when you don't need anything really serious. However, it does not come at all close to the brilliance of Miss Austen's original masterpiece. Expect adventure and gore, not a true rendition of Pride and Prejudice.
Enjoy your zombie-free life!
Until my next post,