Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is the story of the five Bennett sisters who were trained in martial arts in China to fight off the zombie plague that has threatened to overtake Britain over the last fifty plus years. The British carry on though and as the Bennett estate is entailed away to a distance relative, Mrs. Bennett works on trying to find husbands for her five girls. When Mr. Bingley purchases the neighboring estate of Netherfield Park (after zombie incident carried away the previous owners), the girls are excited to meet the new tenants. Mr. Darcy, a zombie hunter friend of Mr. Bingley, is visiting the estate and he and the Bennett’s second daughter, Elizabeth take an instant dislike to each other. Will the Bennett sisters find happiness? Will zombies carry England away? One will find out by the end of the novel!
If I had to describe this novel in one word, it would be hilarious. Therefore my review will be chock full of that term. Grahame-Smith has put together an inspired mash of classic literature with zombies. He kept most of the original text of the novel, only replaced words or added phrases to add in Zombie mayhem. This works out quite excellent and actually makes the book really funny. One can readily imagine the British “carrying on” with balls and whatnot after an invasion of the “strange plague.” It makes it especially hilarious to have Mrs. Bennett and Lydia to be so man obsessed under such circumstances.
This novel is a very witty work. I can imagine Miss Austen’s sharp wit approving of it. I also loved the great illustrations. I am a very great fan of Pride and Prejudice and have read the original novel numerous times and have watched the 1995 mini-series and 2005 movie more times than I can count. I thought this was a great parody of the novel and hilarious. A lot of the jokes though were funny because I am such a fan. What do those that are not fans of Austen’s work think of this novel? Please comment away – I am curious!
My favorite additions/changes were as follows:
1. Mr. Collins. I actually felt more sympathy in this novel for him then I ever have before. It was hilarious when he didn’t realize that Charlotte was becoming a zombie (and a great way to explain why she married him!) . . .yet I teared up when he committed suicide after having to kill Zombie Charlotte. He really loved her!
2. I loved when Mr. Wickham is crippled and being carried around on a stretcher, but Mrs. Bennett and Lydia are just excited that she has a husband. Hilarious! I laughed out loud numerous times during this section.
3. I loved Elizabeth kicking Darcy during his ill-fated proposal. Take that Darcy!
4. I also loved Lady Catherine and Elizabeth’s battle to the death. In the original, they had a battle of words, in this version; they also had a physical battle.
5. I also loved when Elizabeth fantasizes about chopping Lydia’s head off when she prattles on forever on the carriage ride home. I laughed out loud at this too.
One thing I didn’t like about this book was this quote on the back, “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something that you'd actually want to read." Excuse me, but I love the original version and know that it has a rabid following. I say change that quote on the next reprint!
I’ve heard this may become a movie. I hope so – I’d be in line at the theatre to see it!
TK from Quirk Classics has commented on this blog and said that on midnight, July 15th, Quirk Classics will unveil their latest classics / monster mash-up. I’ve become a friend on Facebook, and I really hope that the newest one is a couple of ideas I saw on the comments there. Wuthering Heights Bites would be great. It would be so easy and fitting to make Heathcliff a vampire. I mean, he’s not a nice guy and he does dig up Cathy’s grave . . .twice!! Jane Eyre Werewolf Hunter also sounded inspired to me. What would you like to see in this genre?