I had never read Jane Austin. My husband made me read Bronte (and how does a crazy guy in a moor rate a love story anyway/), but never the Lady Jane. When I read the title Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, I realized it was time to break down and see what the fuss was about.
It was suggested to me that I read both Pride and Prejudice and the Zombie version at the same time. I decided to go with the original first and work my way over to Zombies. For those who don't know, Pride and Prejudice is a "drawing room love story". One of those old fashioned things where class could actually cause a problem if you fell in love outside of the one of which you were a part.
Formulaic writing is as follows:girl meets boy, boy thinks he's too good for girl but can't stop thinking about her, girl remains stoic thinking that he's an egotistical moron, boy and girl come to terms with being in love and get married. In the Zombie version, well...it's identical.
The difference is that in Zombies, England has been infested with frogs. No wait. That was Egypt. Zombies. England is over run with zombies. They may as well be frogs, as they don't seem to be all that smart. One of the best scenes in the book (spoiler) is the visualization of zombies in a vegetable garden eating cauliflower because it looks like brains. And people wandering around beheading the zombies as they feed. It still brings a smile to my face whenever I think of it. We planted cauliflower this year, just to be on the safe side.
While Austin is all about class distinctions, Mr. Grahame-Smith has the conflict be about different disciplines of martial arts. There is a lovely scene in the parlor (spoiler) where Austin has her heroine playing the piano, while Grahame-Smith has her balancing on her fingertips to show off her martial arts background.
I don't know how much Mr. Grahame-Smith actually can be credited with writing this, since many things seemed to be directly copied from Miss Austin. But the things that he has added and adapted from the original are down right entertaining. You don't have to read Jane Austin, Zombies can stand on it's own, but I felt it to be a rewarding experience and it made the humor stand out so much more when you had something to compare. I raise my machete in hand and salute you Mr. Grahame-Smith. And I think I see something in my cauliflowers that I need to take care of now.
I tried my best to appreciate Jane Austen. I was an English major in college, after all; it is practically a requirement for graduation. I took a seminar, I read the cannon cover to cover, the only book I liked was Mansfield Park because of the underlying allusions to female slavery. My modern ideals placed Elizabeth Bennet so far removed from myself that I could not fall in love with what has been called one of the best romance novels of all time. It was just not happening, … more
I have been an Austen fan since I was a youngster. Never, in all my wildest dreams, did I imagine that someone would someday mix the living dead with Austen's literature. As I read through this book, I was astounded by the level of humour buried within the original text that was enhanced by the modern insertions. I laughed out loud again and again. I highly recommend this novel for Austen lovers or anyone who is looking for a good chuckle. Or for anyone who loves zombies … more
This is the closest I've came to reading Jane Austin so can't comment on the original story. However it does seem to lend itself to the inclusion of the unmentionable zombies very well. It's almost as if Jane Austin perceived that one day her book would be adapted and left the story open to zombies.
Most people say 'take it lightly' or 'this is just for laughs' and tell you to read this book. The honest truth is though, it's shallow. The only depth or creativity in the book comes from rewriting Jane Austin. It's a pathetic attempt at comedy from one who is incapable of actually writing a whole novel.
I love Jane Austen. And I thought this would be a fun read. But I just couldn't get into it. I'd recently reread Pride & Prejudice, and it just felt like I was reading it again, with zombie bits thrown in random places. Which is exactly what it was. It was a cute idea, but it didn't keep my attention for the length of the whole book, so I just gave up.