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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith


None April 9th, 2009

Pride-And-Prejudice-And-Zom

Quirk Books

Yes, it's exactly what you think. Two of those above words I am all about. The other? Not so much. I stay far away from scary, as a rule. And I definitely don't do paranormal scary. But, I've made an exception for "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies."

Elizabeth Bennett faced her share of monsters in the standard "Pride and Prejudice" "” the horrible Bingley sisters and George Wickham, to name a few "” but a zombie plague is a whole different beast. And that's just what faces young, feisty Lizzie. You know, between sparring with Mr. Darcy and all.

Seth Grahame-Smith "” who, according to his bio, once took a class on English literature "” takes Jane Austen's classic 1813 novel and gives it was critics long say it was lacking: the risen dead feasting on human flesh. Finally! Grahame-Smith follows the same general plotline of Austen's admittedly sub-par attempt at social critique, even sticking to 19th-century text and dialogue, but adds his own subplot. Let's see if you can spot the subtle difference:

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of good fortune must be in want of a wife."

That's the opening line of Austen's plain old "Pride and Prejudice." And here's Grahame-Smith's:

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

"Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" opens in once-idyllic Meryton, where Mrs. Bennett's sole concern is securing advantageous matches for her five daughters. Mr. Bennett, however, has other things on his mind: chiefly, fighting the horde of zombies "” the people of Meryton call them "unmentionables" "” that have descended upon the town with the intent to eat brains, not marry any of his girls. Elizabeth Bennett, both Austen's and Grahame-Smith's heroine, is determined to wipe out the hungry menace that plagues the English countryside, but a certain dashing gentleman has her distracted with witty banter. Not to mention $10,000 (!) a year. Can she fight the zombies and make it with Mr. Darcy?

"Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" is quirky, disgusting and seriously fun. It even comes complete with some lovely illustrations with captions such as "A few of the guests, who had the misfortune of being too near the windows, were seized and feasted on at once," and "'My dear girl,' said her ladyship, 'I suggest you take this contest seriously. My ninjas will show you no mercy.'"

I'm not sure what the intersection is of "zombies kick ass" and "Jane Austen makes my heart go aflutter" in a Venn diagram, but this book needs to be on everyone's list. And if you are one who loves 19th-century authors and reanimated corpses equally, this is what you've been waiting for your entire life. You're welcome.

"”Jenny Coon Peterson

 
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