Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Pride and Prejudice And Zombies

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith. 2009. Quirk Publishing. 317 pages.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.

As you can see, this isn't your traditional Pride and Prejudice. And Elizabeth and Jane aren't your traditional heroines. Meet the Bennet family. "The business of Mr. Bennet's life was to keep his daughters alive. The business of Mrs. Bennet's was to get them married." Why is life so dangerous? Zombies, of course! Fortunately, all five of his daughters have been trained in the deadly arts. All know how to defend themselves from the unfortunates, the undead, the unmentionables.

If you're familiar with the original, you'll recognize the basics. Yes, some of Jane Austen's lovely text remains. It definitely provides an outline for the rest.

Here is a classic scene which you'll remember if you've read the book or scene the movie:

"Upon my honor!" cried Mr. Bingley, "I never met with so many pleasant girls in my life as I have this evening; and there are several of them you see uncommonly pretty."
"You are dancing with the only handsome girl in the room," said Mr. Darcy, looking at the eldest Miss Bennet.
"Oh! She is the most beautiful creature I ever beheld! But there is one of her sisters sitting down just behind you, who is very pretty, and I dare say very agreeable."
"Which do you mean?" and turning round he looked for a moment at Elizabeth, till catching her eye, he withdrew his own and coldly said, "She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me; I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men."
As Mr. Darcy walked off, Elizabeth felt her blood turn cold. She had never in her life been so insulted. The warrior code demanded she avenge her honour. Elizabeth reached down to her ankle, taking care not to draw attention. There, her hand met the dagger concealed beneath her dress. She meant to follow this proud Mr. Darcy outside and open his throat.
But no sooner had she grabbed the handle of her weapon than a chorus of screams filled the assembly hall, immediately joined by the shattering of window panes....(13-14)
Here is another one of my favorites, the scene where the highly critical Catherine meets Elizabeth for the first time:

"Have your ninjas left you?"
"We never had any ninjas."
"No ninjas! How was that possible? Five daughters brought up at home without any ninjas! I never heard of such a thing. Your mother must have been quite a slave to your safety."
Elizabeth could hardly help smiling as she assured her that had not been the case. (126)
Yes, the book is gimmicky. But it's clever and fun. Though personal taste plays a big role in rather you find it so. I enjoyed most of this one. I loved some of the twists and turns. Some of the lines were just genius. There was only one chapter which angered more than amused. (But I won't spoil that for you!) You'll find all the same characters and situations...but the women--as warriors--are more empowered than the originals.

As a comedy, this works. And Pride and Prejudice becomes a page-turner for a whole other reason.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
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Anonymous,  12:06 PM  

All right! I've been waiting to hear from somebody whether this is just silly or actually fun enough to give it a read. I'm convinced. Bring on the zombies!

Eva 1:18 PM  

I was sort of on the fence about whether or not to read this book, but now I am ridiculously excited. Great review!

Nymeth 1:19 PM  

I so need to get my hands on this :D

Darla D 1:57 PM  

Oh, that sounds like tons of fun. Great review!

Lenore 2:35 PM  

Looks like I will have to read the original again to refresh my memory. That should make it even more fun, shouldn't it?

Chris 3:51 PM  

OMG I really need to read this! lol...I should probably read the REAL Pride and Prejudice first though, huh? And then I'll get my zombified version!

Kailana 7:20 PM  

Not being a huge Austen fan, I still wouldn't mind reading this...

Janssen 11:37 PM  

Doesn't this just make you want to say "Shall the shades of Pemberley be thus polluted?!"

Just seems so hilariously perfect.

Anonymous,  5:41 AM  

I so want to read this book. :D

Thanks for the review!

Amanda 8:02 AM  

This cracks me up!! I'm definitely going to have to check this out. I'm glad to see a review of it. :D

Jennie 12:42 PM  

Oooo... now I want to know *what* chapter angered you! If you don't want to ruin it, just give the page numbers! I'm almost done. This really is very well done.

Catherine (On The Nightstand) 10:38 PM  

Oh, this sounds even more hilarious than I thought!


Rhinoa 3:17 AM  

I have seen a few reviews around of this and definitely need to get a copy. It sounds like a lot of fun. Some parodies are rubbish, but this one definitely sounds good!

Serena 9:41 AM  

you've convinced me that I should read this novel. thanks for the great review!

Anna 12:29 PM  

I can't wait to read this one. It sounds like a fun read.

Diary of an Eccentric

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