Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
From the back cover:
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”
So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty & arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead. Can she vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism & thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you’d actually want to read.
Okay, I read this out of curiosity. Personally, I enjoyed Pride and Prejudice as it was, but I had to wonder if zombies would be a fun addition or a horrible idea. Over 80% of the text was straight out of Austen’s original, and, yes, of course you could tell the parts that were added or change. He added zombies, there’s nothing subtle about that, and some of the illustrations were down-right gross.
Do I recommend it? Yes and no. It was fun, there’s zombies and ninjas, and the Bennet girls were great “servants of His Majesty, protectors of Hertfordshire, beholders of the secrets of Shaolin, and brides of death,” but it’s kind of like a one-trick pony. Once you’ve gotten over the zombie thing, you know where the basic story is headed. Granted a couple of characters’ fates differ from the original, but Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are going to survive, after all they are both master fighters, and they’ll realize they’re in love. And we have happily ever after, except there’s no end to the zombie plague in sight.