Tuesday, April 28, 2009

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

This book was a life-saver during the read-a-thon. It definitely kept me going when my brain was starting to wander, and I myself felt a bit zombie-like. The first line alone makes me giggle every single time I read it:
"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains."
This sentence shows how the whole book is written - much of it is Austen's original text, which Grahame-Smith has added to to make it a horror story. It was very well done, although you could see the difference between the two writers clearly enough (if the fact that one wrote all the zombie parts wasn't clue enough). Austen is still very witty, and while Grahame-Smith tries to keep up with her, he definitely pales in comparison.
I loved the original Pride and Prejudice, so I wasn't really sure what to expect from this book, other than that I really hoped to enjoy it. And I found this book completely entertaining. The level of violence actually surprised me, which sounds stupid, since it is a zombie book ("Now with ultra-violent zombie mayhem!"). But the characters themselves are ridiculously violent. Elizabeth spends most of her time contemplating killing something, whether that be zombies, or someone who has offended her or her family's honor. It is actually very amusing, I was just surprised. One of my favorite things about the book is the discussion questions at the end. Those made me laugh out loud.
I am not sure that I would recommend this book for everyone. I got copies from the library for two male friends of mine, one who has read (and enjoyed) Jane Austen, and one who hasn't. So far the Austen reader hasn't finished the book, but my other friend finished it before I did and loved it. So it's good for zombie-lovers, and for Austen lovers who enjoy zombies, but for Austen lovers alone? I can't say.
I signed up for the Suspense & Thriller Reading Challenge ages ago, and I somehow have not managed to read anything that I think qualifies all year. The goal of the challenge is to read 12 thrillers from a list of thriller sub-genres. There are many sub-genres to choose from, so picking twelve is not difficult. This book fits nicely into the Comic Thriller, described as "a thriller played for laughs, whether through a spoof of the genre or wisecracking interplay between the protagonists." I think this one fits both of those descriptions. It was also just published in 2009, and so qualifies for the Pub 2009 Challenge.


Rebecca Reid said...

I have no interest. I love Jane Austen. Zombies? Not so much.

Jessica said...

Yeah, this is one of those where you have to at least find zombies amusing. :)

Anna said...

I love Austen, and I think this is such a unique take on her best known book. I've read a lot of Austen sequels, etc., and I think I need something new in this realm. Sounds like a fun read, and I have to get my hands on a copy. Thanks for the review.

Diary of an Eccentric

Jessica said...

I have to say, I don't really read Austen sequels, as a general rule. So I really don't know how to compare this one to any of them. But I guess it's different since it actually uses Austen's writing.