Title: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Authors: Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
Date Finished: 2 April 2009
My Rating: 3 Stars
Challenges: 100+, New Author, RYOB, Pub
"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains."
I picked this book up at a bookstore a few weeks ago and promptly began skimming through it and looking at the illustrations. What I read and saw I found very amusing and I was eager to jump into this book.
When I started reading I was laughing out loud a lot and thoroughly enjoying myself. I was all prepared to tell all those devout Janeites out there who were up in arms about this book to relax and enjoy this parody for what it is, a fun, entertaining spoof of Pride and Prejudice. Didn't Jane herself parody popular fiction of her time?
Then I got about 50 pages in and realized that the novelty had worn off rather quickly. Reading about zombies in Meryton and Elizabeth Bennet being a skilled warrior was funny at first but then I realized that what made Pride and Prejudice so enjoyable was missing. Gone was Elizabeth Bennet's wit, replaced with the desire to rip out and taste the heart of any one who said anything that upset her. Funny, sure but just lacking long term reading enjoyment.
Maybe if it had been shortened or if there had been more original content it might have been more enjoyable. I'd guess 80-90% was not original content but just Jane Austen's novel with a few inserts about brains, blood, and battling zombies. I honestly found myself skimming large passages because, well, I know the original so well and was really reading this for the bits of parody scattered here and there throughout the novel. The bits and pieces that were written by Grahame-Smith did seem to, usually, fall into the narrative easily, but at times they were spaced so far apart that I found myself rolling my eyes at the unbelievability. I'd forget I was not reading Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice but Grahame-Smith's zombie parody.
Entertaining and humorous at first but quickly descended into the tedious.
Of course, with all that said, this is by far more enjoyable than the vast majority of Austen sequels and fan fiction out there that have turned Pride and Prejudice into little more than bodice rippers.