Saturday, April 17, 2010

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

Book Details
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
Paperback, 320 pages
2009, Quirk Books
ISBN: 1594743347

'It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.' So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she's soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead. Can she vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you'd actually want to read.

Pride and Prejudice was a good book. It's a literary classic and should be respected as such. But, let's face it, it's antiquated and not exactly relevant to our times. It contains many beautiful tragically romantic story lines, but it lacks the action most readers of popular fiction crave.

Enter Seth Grahame-Smith. He took a famous and beloved story and transformed it into something fresh and, dare I say, better. We get to experience all of the romance of the original, but with the bonus of zombie action in place of the dry wordy parts. It may not make the story more modern, but it certainly makes the story more accessible to the masses.

I personally like the idea of paranormal/classic mash-ups. Grahame-Smith has pioneered an entirely new sub-section of literature that enhances stories commonly dismissed as being too old to be entertaining. The addition of zombies to Pride and Prejudice gives the characters more dimensions. Lydia is made even more obnoxious as she dismisses her duties in favor of flirting. Mrs. Bennet is portrayed more self-centered by risking Jane's life in order to have her under Bingley's care. All of the Bennet girls are given a purpose beyond waiting for a husband. The zombies make them stronger.

Strong women are hugely popular in fiction today. You can suffer weak and whiny characters for only so long before you lose interest in the story. The Bennet girls are warriors. They don't need men, but they would like to find husbands just the same. It's empowering without losing the basis of the original story. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a beloved classic with a modern twist that takes it to an entirely new level of entertainment.



  1. I am glad that you liked it. I have to admit that I have decided not to read these mash-ups. I love the original's so much, I would even go so far as to suggest that despite how long ago Pride and Prejudice was written, and the style inwhcih it is written, it is still relevant to our times in some ways. I enjoy reading everyone's reviews of these mash-ups though. I read an article in the Sydney Morning Herald all about them a little while ago too which was an interesting read.

  2. there seems to be a thing going on with all the classics turned into some kind of paranormal lately, I heard about this one a while ago and I've been afraid to read it because I'm a wimp,(yes I am!) I don't like zombies but I've been told this one is good several times so I think I'll give it a try. =)

  3. I love your review! I'm so glad you liked it!At the beginning I was a little skeptic about this book, but I liked it very much!

  4. I liked it but thought it was so crazy. Interesting idea.

  5. I'm glad you liked it! Do you think you'll read his Abe Lincoln Vampire Hunter book?

    Tara SG --

  6. I've heard a looot about this book, and I now feel like reading it already! But.. the book might not even come to my country. LOL i'll check

  7. I loved this book so much, I read it and also listened to the audio book! So much fun!