Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Jane Austen and Seth-Grahame Smith
This is going to be a short review, because there’s nothing I can say about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies that you don’t already know by reading the title. If you like Jane Austen and zombies, you’ve already read this book. I can’t really be bothered about zombies, but I like Jane Austen, which I sometimes forget because she’s so popular with women who completely misunderstand her. The frequency of Jane Austen fan-fic is a weird and terrifying thing, especially as pertains to Mr. Darcy.
I’m not sure if this books counts as fan-fic, but if it does, I may start questioning my disdain for the genre. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a really fun read, to say the least. It is, as you might imagine, an amalgam of Jane Austen’s actual book with some zombified detail, which makes it, as my sister says “ideal to give one’s son if he has to read Jane Austen for English class.”
The premise is basically exactly that of Jane Austen’s actual work, except this one is set in the middle of England’s war for survival against the plague of zombies. To be honest, Grahame-Smith doesn’t always work particularly hard to meld the two together in an even mildly sensible way, and pretty much abandons the effort entirely by the end. This, however, makes the book no less enjoyable, and he comes up with some pretty creative ideas along the way. Ever wondered why Charlotte Lucas married Mr. Collins? She was a zombie, obviously. Lady Catherine De Bourgh? Zombie killer. Lizzy Bennett is, of course, trained in martial arts by a Chinese master (which, for some reason, is seen as inferior to Japanese training, a distinction which garners a weird amount of attention in the book), because why not. An explanation of why Mrs. Bennett is so obsessed with getting her daughters married off in the midst of such crisis is never attempted, which didn’t really bother me (in fact, it made her obtuseness all the funnier), but the odd fate of Mr. Wickham was a little too strange and inexplicable to look past. A lot more vomiting goes on in this book than the original, which was not entirely unwelcome (a little polite vomiting livens up any Regency-era literature). But honestly? At the end of the day, all I can really tell you is that it’s Jane Austen with zombies, and that this effort was totally good enough to make me look forward to purchasing Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.