Friday, 5 April 2013
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith (2009) - Zombie Horror Book Review
I have just finished reading this book for the second time. I made the unfortunate error the first time around by reading the traditional Pride and Prejudice and the one with added zombies back to back which led to me becoming quite bored of the new updated version.
The book follows Elizabeth Bennet; the 2nd oldest of 5 sisters who live a mostly quiet life (apart from the odd zombie) in the English village of Meryton when the appearance of a prideful dashing man Mr Darcy turns her life upside down. What follows is a series of events that shape her life and her sisters lives forever...and much slaying of ninjas, zombies and the odd bout of deer chasing.
Even without zombies the book is a classic, this is a horror blog though so I wont dwell on that. The additions are smoothly placed into the story with subtle tweaks to events to include our undead friends. They are also very unsubtly crammed in at times but usually for comedic effects. The book is very funny it must be said with some genius moments.
I started off the trilogy by reading Dawn of the Deadfuls, I was quite prideful at the time, prejudiced against this book by declaring that one better, but no! no this is not true. For one thing there is a complete lack of effort made to reconcile the events of that book with this one, such as the fact that it is clear here that the zombies have been around all the Bennet girls lives yet Dawn stated that they only become trained to fight 4 years previous, a lot of niggly little irritations made me realise that it is a good book but this, the one that started it all is far superior.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies takes what is essential Austen's original tale and tweaks and changes, it is still essentially her story and not a new one, but that's what makes it work, especially if you are familiar with the classic. Her friend Charlotte slowly turning into a zombie after her marriage to Mr Collins, her irritating mother constantly vomiting when upset, Lady Catherine getting into a fight to the death with Elizabeth and setting an army of ninjas on her all funny changes. The polite society regularly discuss about severely beating people, about their training in Japan and China and, of course talk about the zombies they name 'unmentionables' who are a nuisance rather than anything to be scared by even by the most mild of people.
What is already a great book is made into something different, often funny the alterations and additions of zombie slaying are perfect. Being quite old some of the book can get bogged down in stodgy, stuffy writing, meanwhile I don't really like the whole Japanese ninjas being added in, just more zombies would have done. You should read this if you have any interest at all in the old classics, a fantastic idea to do this!