Tag Archive: Jane Austen

Mar 18

Book a Week Challenge (Double Edition) – Book 11

WHAT’S PLAYING:  Stephen Jerzak featuring Leighton Meester “She Said”

The second book for this week is Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith.

The story follows the plot of Pride and Prejudice, but places the novel in an alternate universe of Regency-era England where zombies roam. In this version, Mr. Bennet has molded Elizabeth and her four sisters into a fearsome zombie-fighting army using martial arts and weapons training.

Zombies freak me out. Movies, books, even commercials for The Walking Dead give me the wiggins. A friend gave me a copy of Zombie Haiku: Good Poetry for Your… Brains by Ryan Mecum, and I had nightmares for a week.

That being said, I wanted to like this book. I really did. Most of my friends enjoyed it and I thought the premise was clever. The problem was that it didn’t feel like a complete story in and of itself. The zombies weren’t an organic part of the storyline, and the lines between the two authors were obvious and jarring. Grahame-Smith just took Pride and Prejudice and threw in a bunch of zombies, ninjas, and references to Shaolin monks as an afterthought.

It just didn’t work for me.

I did like the fight scene where Elizabeth took on Lady Catherine and her cadre of ninjas.

What I Learned: If you’re going to screw with the classics, then you had damned well better make them your own. What Grahame-Smith did in this book was like drawing a moustache on the Mona Lisa. Unnecessary and a little perverse. I think it would have worked better if he’d just done his own version of the story and left Austen’s alone.

Favorite Line/Image: A long-dead female zombie stumbled out of the woods, her modest clothing slightly tattered; her brittle hair pulled back so tightly that it had begun to tear the skin of her forehead. In her arms, she held something exceedingly rare; something none of the sisters had ever seen, or ever wished to see—an unmentionable infant. It clawed at the female’s flesh, emitting a most unpleasant series of shrieks.

Bottom Line: Unless you’re a true fan of zombie books or Jane Austen, I’d pass.

Coming up next week: Twelve by Jasper Kent.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.jacquitalbot.com/2012/03/book-a-week-challenge-double-edition-book-11/