Pride & Prejudice & Zombies – that well known classic?

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”

In the 19th century, a mysterious plague turns the English countryside into a war zone. No one is safe as the dead come back to life to terrorize the land. Fate leads Elizabeth Bennet , a master of martial arts and weaponry, to meet Mr. Darcy, a handsome but arrogant gentleman. Elizabeth can’t stand Darcy, but respects his skills as a zombie killer…

Ever since seeing the trailer for the movie of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (I am yet to see the movie itself) I have been intrigued by this book – it was a spur of the moment purchase, and actually I was pretty impressed with it.

The double satire of this novel is one of the reasons it is so enjoyable, with both the satire Austen incorporated into her original novel but also the satire added by Grahame-Smith towards Austen herself. I also really like how the style and structure of the language is maintained throughout the book in a way similar to Austen and her contemporaries – most notably in the dialogue, despite conversations about martial arts and beheadings.

The story remains extremely similar to its original, but with a lot more “badass-ness”. I particularly like Elizabeth as a proud warrior, not afraid to beat Darcy with an iron rod whilst he professes his love for her!

A drawing from the novel

I have read some pretty mixed reviews for this novel: some dislike it completely, some love it, and others had some general complaints. For example, the zombie device, according to some, gets old very quickly. I understand why people would think this, and to a certain extent I agree, but I also believe it’s not the zombies themselves that are important to this novel, instead it’s the effect their presence has on  Austen’s world and her characters – which I love.

Overall I enjoyed reading this book despite some of its (minor) failures. It’s just a fun book, especially if you like Austen, and has made me want to watch the film now too! Although obviously nothing will beat Austen’s own original novel.

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