Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
Amazon.com Summary of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice:
In a remote Hertfordshire village, far off the good coach roads of George III's England, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet -- a country squire of no great means and his scatterbrained wife -- must marry off their five vivacious daughters. At the heart of this all-consuming enterprise are the headstrong second daughter Elizabeth and her aristocratic suitor Fitzwilliam Darcy, two lovers in whom pride and prejudice must be overcome before love can bring the novel to its magnificent conclusion.
Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is one of the Great Classics that I think every girl reads at some point in high school or college. If she hasn’t read the book, she’s at least seen a movie version of it. The lavish lifestyle revolving around balls and romance is just too much to resist. But after nearly two hundred years, the material’s a little dated. It’s also a torturous book for the poor boys forced to read it for school assignments. Luckily, Seth Grahame-Smith is here to rescue readers with a fresh update on the material in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
The original text of Pride and Prejudice has been preserved; rather than writing another book from scratch Grahame-Smith has kept Austen’s original passages with only the slightest of changes, and the addition of new scenes. (85% of the original text remains.) The Bennet daughters are now fierce warriors determined to snuff out the zombie menace in service of the Crown. Zombies are not enough to distract Mrs. Bennet from the necessity of marrying off her five children, and her character is as fussy and frustrating as ever. In fact, as the book starts off one is lulled into a false sense of “Oh, this isn’t so terribly” different as the ‘unmentionables’ are brought up casually in conversation; but their influence grows and suddenly zombies are bursting into balls and eating up the servants, the sparring is physical, not just verbal, and there are ninjas appearing everywhere! (I admit, the ninjas really threw me. I was not expecting them at all.) Throughout the mayhem and the madness, love blossoms and Austen’s original comedy of manners and intentions shines.
Is it ridiculous? Oh yes. Is it a bloodbath? Oh yes. Is it funny? OH YES.
Fans of Pride and Prejudice will laugh at this truly twisted version of a most beloved novel; those who have never read the original story will find the book altogether quite silly. If Pride and Prejudice and Zombies does well, I’m sure we’ll see more monsters brought to the classic novels. Vampires in A Tale of Two Cities? Werewolves stalking Wuthering Heights?
If you were to re-write one of the 'Great Classics,' what book would you pick, and what changes would you make?