Sunday, 30 October 2011
Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Author: Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
Publisher: Quirk Classics
Publication Date: April 4th, 2009
Genre: Fiction, Horror
When England is stricken by a zombie plague, Mr. Bennet puts all of his energy into training his five daughters in the deadly arts so that they can fight the Unmentionables. His wife, however, is only concerned with finding suitable husbands for the girls. When Netherfield Park is let by the handsome Mr. Bingley, she hopes that he will marry one of the Bennet girls. While Bingley takes to Jane Bennet at once, his friend Mr. Darcy slights Elizabeth. Since the Bennet estate is entailed to the closest male heir, a distant cousin, it is important that the girls marry well. But how will the ever be able to find suitable husbands when they are can’t leave their house without being attacked by zombies?
I should start by saying that Pride and Prejudice is one of my favourite books of all time. My Mom is a huge Jane Austen fan and I don’t remember not loving P&P. I was obsessed with the BBC Pride and Prejudice when I was about five or so and used to act out the wedding scene with my dolls. I first actually read the book about ten years ago, and I pretty much grew up with Pride and Prejudice. Despite that, I was surprisingly open minded about mixing Jane Austen’s classic with zombies. It’s definitely an original idea, and I thought it could be quite funny. Although there were funny parts, it was usually because everything was just so ridiculous. You would assume that a book about zombies would be exciting, but this book became boring a few chapters in. It wasn’t scary or suspenseful, and the zombies just felt like an annoyance rather than something life threatening. The zombies were added to the story with few changes to the plot, and I think it would have worked better if more alterations to the original story were made. Some of the changes didn’t make sense to me. Considering the circumstances, why would Charlotte Lucas choose to marry Mr. Collins and leave her family and friends? Although there were very few differences in the actual plot, Elizabeth was a completely different character. Instead of the witty and charming Elizabeth I love, Grahame-Smith’s heroine is bloodthirsty and often rude and cruel hearted. I don’t think that the writer did a good job of imitating Austen, and he often over explained things. Although this was a dumb-downed version of the original, I somehow found it harder to get through. It only made me want to re-read Pride and Prejudice.
Overall, not sure I’d recommend this one. If you have already read and loved Pride and Prejudice, I’d say you would be smart to skip its zombie parody. It would have been better if more changes were made to the plot. However, the idea was very clever and I’d have to give Grahame-Smith 5/5 for originality. But as a whole, I was disappointed.
“The business of Mr. Bennett’s life was to keep his daughters alive. The business of Mrs. Bennett’s was to get them married.”