"Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" - Hilarious

I’m kind of sick of the whole zombie thing, but my wife’s a Jane Austen fan and picked up a copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

I have to admit the book’s hilarious. Seth Grahame-Smith knows and appreciates his source material and his work is amazingly well done; you should know that the book is still mostly the original story and text, with the zombie backstory very cleverly worked in. Chapter 1 alone is worth the price of the book.

Run out and get it.

Also, bonus fun:

There’s ninjas!

That’s nice to hear; I just put in a purchase request for this at a local library.

PaPaZ was at #11 on Amazon’s fiction sales rankings today.

Note that the global Amazon Sales Rank is 13.
That means that it sells approximately 200 pieces per day on Amazon.

I haven’t read the book yet because I can’t decide if this is a funny idea, or galling that someone got a book n’ movie deal based 85% on another’s author’s work.

Yep, Jane Austen’s rolling over in her grave. And wresting the lid off her coffin, clawing her way through the dirt, and shuffling off towards town.

From Chapter 12, when Mr. Bennet is teasing them with hints about Mr. Collins’s coming to dinner, Mrs. Bennet says:


How far back are you going to mine that indignation, I wonder? :slight_smile:

I was so pumped for this book, have had it on my Amazon wishlist for a couple months, and was so disappointed. I wanted the actual book, with zombie crap thrown in between the sentences. That would have been awesome. The reimagining is so dumb. Maybe I should write it the way I wanted, it can’t be hard. What are copyright laws on literature? 50 years after the death? I have no clue. This was a great idea, and poorly executed, in my opinion.

ETA: I should clarify, I wanted no zombie stuff mixed with original text. I also didn’t finish it, because it just got tiring. May have been tiring if done my way, who knows!

SPOILER alert: do not read if you don’t want to have things spoiled.
I’m also disappointed with it. I recognize that every over-the-top aspect to Seth Grahame-Smith’s re-imagining of the novel was done for comic effect, and much of it was funny. But his alterations took unsupportable liberties with the characters and the plot, IMHO, so I kept wishing for a more realistic and true PaPaZ, one that makes more sense within its own rules, as silly as that sounds. After racing through the first half of the novel in a day or two, it took me another two weeks to force myself through the rest of it.

It was an… interesting choice Grahame-Smith made in presenting a zombie uprising that had been ravaging Britain for some 55 years as of the beginning of the novel, so that the Bennett girls were perfectly at ease with the plague as an ongoing phenomenon, and so that the Britons had long since developed governmental and cultural responses, such as the gentlemen’s committees, the fairly widespread sending away of boys and girls both for extensive martial arts training in Asia, and the modification of ideals of pre-Victorian womanhood to accomodate, in unmarried and widowed females at least, a pragmatic glorification of their zombie-killing prowess.

But that’s where this exercise went off the rails for me. Imagining not just Lizzie but all her sisters as being true warriors somewhat undermines their original characters (would Lydia really be that wild, and Jane that placid, naive and saintly, given their extensive Shaolin training? – although it can’t have been all that much training, for Lydia to be returned to England by the age of fifteen). Their father’s being able to have sent them all away to China for years is also at odds with their lower-gentry means (the entailment problem aside), the key factor driving their desperation to be well married in the original version. Nor does their sojourn in China square with their mother’s continuing infantile emotionalism (either she could never have been prevailed upon to have parted with them, or she would’ve matured in their absence to become a more sensible wife and emotionally detached mother.)

I hate to cavil with the implied math of the situation but it seems to me that Grahame-Smith depicted the zombie hordes as if the plague were newly developed and in an early expansionist/viral phase, instead of being an ongoing phenomenon of two generations’ duration. Why should the hordes be so numerous still, when so many zombies must have already been dealt with? And why do the rains still bring them forth from the cemeteries? It’s not as if England is prone to droughts, let alone decades-long ones. Given the enterprising Brits, you’d think they’d have long since “mined” their graves with water hoses and such to purposely bring forth the zombies under controlled conditions (i.e., under movable iron cages and with lots of zombie hunters waiting for their emergence) in order to defuse the menace. Instead, you have young people everywhere going about their errands and lives unarmed, only to get mauled or bitten by newly emerged “unmentionables”… a huge non-sequitur. On the flip side of “too many zombies,” there’s the problem that there’s, given the attrition rate in the novel, of too many healthy Brits still about, especially if they’re still as silly, feeble-minded, or prone to drunkenness and debauchery as in the original.

Then there’s the subplot involving poor Charlotte Lucas. Mr. Collins is supposed to be a fulsome, unctuous fathead, not blind or retarded. Simply not perceiving the most obvious possible signs of infection would be the last thing that anyone, in a population terrified of becoming infected, would ever do.

And sorry, but I’m not buying that Mr. Wickham would ever agree to be crippled from the neck down (leaving him with no options but to enter the ministry at last) by Mr. Darcy as part of his deal. Wickham was an inveterate cad, with seduction and whoring being his greatest pleasures.

But the most egregious bits were where our erstwhile sensible, self-possessed heroine Elizabeth Bennett tore out the ninja’s heart and took a bit triumphant bite out of it (she is also known to drink blood from her non-zack conquests), crab-walked upside-down around a drawing room and, later, punished herself with the “seven cuts” following her refusal of Darcy’s proposal. Really now, that’s no way for an English Regency-era gentleman’s daughter to behave! :wink:

That’s “shambling,” by the way. Or “lurching.” Whichever.

All of the above cavils are valid - but I really was won over by Mr. Bennet’s wild cry for “Girls! Pentagram of death!” in the early ballroom scene. (I’m thinking of adopting it for my very own motto.)