Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Grade : A-

Normally, I am all for leaving classic works alone and have been known to frown severely when they are mucked about with. However, I do admire sheer audacity, so when I heard about a book entitled Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, I gave my sedate self a vacation and just dived into it. Gentle readers may quail, but I had a wonderful time with this one.

The plot and characters from Pride and Prejudice are all here along with large chunks of Jane Austen’s prose. Her co-author Seth Grahame-Smith adds hoards of flesh eating zombies (delicately referred to as the Unmentionables) to this classic tale and showcases the Bennet sisters as the scourge of this nasty plague. All the Bennet girls are trained warriors, having studied in China under Shaolin Masters (Lady Catherine de Bourgh is not impressed, everyone knows the socially correct place to study zombie killing is in Japan).

When Elizabeth meets Darcy at the assembly at Meryton, she is at first incensed when he says she is not handsome enough to tempt him, and pulls out her katana ready to give him a real cut direct, but when a troop of zombies invades, Elizabeth mows them down with lethal efficiency, leaving Darcy very impressed. When Elizabeth comes to Netherfield Hall with her eyes shining and her petticoat six inches deep in ichor (she ran into some zombies on the way), Darcy can’t help but notice how her eyes were brightened by the battle.

If you’ve read Pride and Prejudice, you know what happens. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies follows the events of P&P very closely, although the book does put an Unmentionable spin on a few plot points. Instead of arguing with Lady Catherine, Elizabeth fights her ninjas, Charlotte is slowly turning into a zombie, but Mr. Collins is too dense to notice, and when I got to the fate of the smarmy Mr. Wickham I had to laugh and then wince. I’ll let you discover it on your own.

I suspect that Janeites will greet this book with either loud laughs, or outraged cries, depending on their temperaments. One thing I do know, when the movie is released, women whose significant others normally balk at going to a chick flick will break down the theater doors for this one.

P.S. Don’t miss the Reader’s Discussion Guide questions at the end. They are almost worth the price of the book alone.

Buy it at A/iB/BN/K

Reviewed by Ellen Micheletti
Grade : A-

Sensuality: N/A

Review Date : June 19, 2009

Publication Date: 2009

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