Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies

by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

Buy the book here.


Plot: A family with five daughters trained in mortal combat live in Regency England, which has been over-run with zombies. When the girls aren't sending the damned souls back to the fires of Hell, they're trying to find husbands.

Let me start off by saying that before reading this book I had never read Pride and Prejudice or anything else written by Jane Austen, nor do I plan to without it having been improved by the addition of zombies or sea monsters or whatnot. From what I gather, all her stories are about silly girls chasing after guys in Regency England. In other words: pointless and boring. Pride & Prejudice & Zombies is equally pointless, but at least it's not boring.

I didn't really start caring about the characters until about the middle of the book, when Mr. Darcy proposes to Elizabeth (and she beats the shit out of him.) The only reason I continued reading past page 50 or so was for the zombie scenes. I'm glad I did, though. The ending is superb, and I say that as a person who hates happy endings. There are no happy endings in life; everyone dies eventually.

Aside from Austen's basic flawed plot concept, the only thing I can really complain about is how the revisions were added. I found myself continually looking for the seams in the story - trying to separate the original story from the zombie mayhem. On a superficial level, it was easy (probably too easy, sometimes it felt like Seth Grahame-Smith was trying too hard to stick in a zombie reference), but in some areas I puzzled over what had been omitted, and was distracted from the novel as it stands. Hopefully, it's just me having not read the original and being a little too nerdy for my own good, rather than a fundamental flaw in the writing style. Unfortunately, there is no way for me to answer that for you; you'll have to read the book to find out for yourself.