August 22, 2010

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

Let me preface this by stating that I am not a fan of zombies. In fact (confession time), I found the zombie scene in Pirates of the Caribbean to be so disturbing that I had to close my eyes and I couldn't watch it.

However, I am a fan of Jane Austen, and when a friend whose taste in books I generally respect (waves to Kirsti if you are reading this!) suggested this as a fun read, I decided to give it a try.

Basically, this book takes the events of Pride and Prejudice (which I'm pretty sure that most people are familiar with, either from the book or one of the many film versions), and sets it in an England that is under attack from zombies. Elizabeth, as well as being intelligent and well read etc, is also a fierce warrior, taking delight in beheading the "unmentionables."

The bare bones of the plot are essentially the same as in the original, with any possibility to include gore and fighting added in.

Was it entertaining? Yes, for the first 50 or so pages, until the novelty of the re-write wore off. I found myself missing the language and the subtlety of the original, as it tended to be over-simplified in this version. Not surprising though, considering the whole premise of zombies!

So I think from now on, I will stick with re-reading the original. And maybe occasionally drooling over Colin Firth in the BBC version!


Loni said...

Sorry you didn't like it. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was the kind of book I really like. Classic Austen and Zombies! I read it back to back with the original and found that it helped me appreciate the small changes more.

Kate said...

Loni - I thought it was a neat gimmick, but found that it got stale too quickly for me. I did notice a lot of the changes, but found a lot of the subtlety of Austen's writing was lost. Have you read any of the other books in the series? How did they stack up?

Loni said...

Hmm... I thought I replied to this already. Oh, technology.

I haven't read Dawn of the Dreadfuls (though I intend to). I did read Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. It's okay. If you didn't like PPZ, you're not going to like SSSM. The changes are much grander and it definitely loses much of the Austen feeling.

Kate said...

Loni - I will definitely give S&S&SM a miss in that case! I'll be curious to know what you think of Dawn of the Dreadfuls...