Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,oh my!
It may be April Fool's Day but please trust me when I tell you that the high level of entertainment attained by reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is no joke.
As re-imagined by Seth Grahame-Smith(who shares the author spot with Jane Austen here),The Bennett family has more to contend with than just finding suitable husbands for the girls.
All of England has been overrun by zombies,with London being divided into patrolled sections and burning pits for the recently dispatched "unmentionables" becoming part of the local sights of the countryside.
All of the Bennett sisters are skilled in the deadly arts,thanks to their father's insistence on having them train at the Shaolin temple in China and the girls are fully dedicated to eradicating the unholy menace whenever it shows up,even at a ball,until they are married.
The story does keep to the original plot points of the text,with a mixture of zombie related twists and turns written in.
The Netherfield ball,for example,has the same amount of romantic tensions and moments of social mortification with the added inconvenience of Mr. Darcy having to clean up the kitchen due to an unfortunately ill timed attack upon the staff by what he refers to as "manky dreadfuls".
There are other bits of off color humor slipped in as well,which oddly suits this classic horror remix to a T. Zombies are also rather appropriate here,since the herd mentality amongst the middle and upper levels of polite society held strong sway during this time period. The feisty independence of Elizabeth Bennett is well channeled into battles with the living dead,yet perhaps Mary's singing would be just as effective against zombies as a well placed kick to the head:
The book also has a number of illustrations,in the manner of C.E. Brock(who did some of the better known artwork for a popular edition of P&P back in 1895). They are delightfully gruesome and fully enrich the zombie hijinks on display.
A few liberties are taken with minor characters but nothing that a good natured Austen fan can't endure as well as have a good laugh over. After all,is it really hard to imagine Lizzy knocking Darcy across the room during that first rude marriage proposal?
I've always pictured that major showdown between Elizabeth and Lady Catherine to be a sword fight of sorts,so having ninjas attend Her Ladyship here is not too much of a stretch:
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has gotten quite a bit of publicity,with talks of a sequel already in the works. It's pleasing to report that this bold blend truly lives up to the hype and then some. The book is on sale now and if this timely little tome manages to bring in new readers to Jane Austen as well as amuse those fully devoted to her charms,it will be quite the accomplishment.
Thank you,Seth Grahame-Smith and company,for making Pride and Prejudice and Zombies the ultimate rom-zom-com classic of the year. May your reign of humor and horror keep folks smiling for a long time to come:
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