When I saw Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith, on the shelf at the bookstore I had a good chuckle to myself, what would Jane Austen think about such a reworking of her classic? She would roll over in her grave… or rise out of it! Either way, I had to buy this book and find out for myself how well a novel about 19th century relationships, social expectations and manners would translate with some bloodshed thrown in, and to my surprise, it worked quite well.
I was very skeptical when I picked up the book that I would not like it, that the author had taken a beloved novel and ruined in by throwing in mindless, brain eating monsters. However, I can happily say that this novel, in itself, is quite good. It sticks to the story of Pride and Prejudice only changing a few things, which is needed to incorporate the zombies. Between the usual quarrels, and themes of love and acceptable behaviours, we have fights to the deaths and gore. It is actually quite amusing. I found myself laughing often while reading this novel, and even the reading questions at the back of the book gave me a good chuckle. I also liked it how Seth Grahame-Smith attributed everything to himself and Jane Austen as co-authors. As it states on the back of the novel:
“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 as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead. Can she 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.Jane Austen is the author of Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, Mansfield Park, and other masterpieces of English literature.Seth Grahame-Smith once took a class in English literature. He lives in Los Angeles.
I would recommend this book to anyone who liked Pride and Prejudice, as long as your in the right mind frame to take it as a joke. If you are going to get offended on Jane Austen’s behalf, then don’t bother. Although I am sure that even those who did not like Pride and Prejudice will like this book, probably more so.