Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - Seth Grahame-Smith

"It's a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in posession of brains must be in want of more brains."

Elizabeth Bennet is a servant of His Majesty the King and sworn protector of Hertfordshire when it comes to despatching Unmentionables. She also happens to be one of five girls in a family with an extremely irritating mother. Her sisters are flighty and spend most of their time thinking about soldiers. Lizzy spends her spare time killing zombies but when a new tenant moves into Netherfield, things start to get complicated.

The story made me want to know more about this world and how zombies came to ravage England. There are hints peppered throughout the book that the 'plague' started a generation earlier and that London is now a walled fortress. I also liked how Grahame-Smith changed aspects of the plot to fit in with the new zombie storyline. Unfortunately my expectations for this book were blown out of proportion. I thought that the combination of Jane Austen and zombies was a win-win situation but I found myself hung up on the original book.

I found it almost impossible to reconcile the Lizzy Bennett of Austen's book and the interpretation by Grahame-Smith. There are scenes with the original thoughts and dialogue and then there are scenes where Lizzy is having not only violent but sexual thoughts. At one point she thinks about chopping off Lydia's head and during another mentions loving Darcy's trousers clinging to hsi My understanding of Regency England and the refined manners of the upper and middle classes does not jive with this interpretation. I know it's supposed to be a fun beach read but I think the fact that I've read "Pride and Prejudice" won't let me forget what actually happened. It's more of a modern take but I like Austen to be Austen.

I also found it quite easy to distinguish the two writing styles despite Grahame-Smith's best efforts. His additions to the book felt indelicate at times because of the violence and veiled sexuality. Also, several parts seemed to have been summarized in favour of action.

This is one of my books for Everything Austen Challenge.

Rating: 2.5/5


rhapsodyinbooks said...

It's too bad that the changes weren't just satirical or something. I have Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters and will be interested to see if the same thing happens.

theduckthief said...

I wish they'd just been satirical. I hope your book proves more enjoyable than mine.