Saturday, July 4, 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:


Amanda said...

I heard, and can't remember where, that his next work was going to be about Abraham Lincoln and zombies? Now I have to try to see where I found that at...

L said...

Honest Abe and zombies? Excellent. Might wear off some of its newness though. Once you've read about mistaking cauliflower for brains, you've read it all.

Amanda said...

Jason corrected me - it's Abe Lincoln - Vampire Hunter.

Christina said...

It was surprising how Grahame-Seth kept close to the Pride and Prejudice while incorporating the zombie elements. I know he changed some details and characters, but the main story seemed to remained intact. He must've done a good job if Austenites like it, but I realize it's not everyone's cup of tea.

Abe Lincoln Vampire Hunter - dang! I might have to add that to my TBR or wish list.

L said...

There is a book called Mr. Darcy, Vampyre I just found. See here -

It was only a matter of time..
What's next, Wickham the werewolf?

Serena said...

I keep hearing about this book. I haven't picked it up yet, but I adore authors with vivid imaginations. Does Mr. Collins get touched by the plague??? I hope so. Guess I'll have to read it to find out.

Serena said...

Lula: Apparently, at least according to the publisher, Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, was planned long before the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies book, but is only just being released.

I have it to read over the summer and plan to review it. Let's hope its good.

TK said...

Hey! Thanks for the review of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies! I’m with Quirk Books, and I wanted to let you know that we’re announcing our next title in the Quirk Classic series very soon. Yes - yet another classic piece of literature will be cleverly mashed-up with monsters!

Our Quirk Classics Facebook fans will receive a special update on July 15th at 12:00 a.m. EST! Or you can always check out Thanks again for the review!!

L said...

Serena - I'll not tell if you don't want to know about Mr. Collins. Just know that I didn't see it coming. And I bet the author of Mr. Darcy, Vampyre is a little pissed about being upstaged by this zombie book. And she wrote it first! I say the more the merrier, as long as it's not like Harry Potter, or Buffy, or Twilight, ha! I just got her other book, Mr. Darcy's Diary from the library. I've heard it's good too.

TK - I think the undead can spruce up any classic. I look forward to more editions!