50 Book Challenge, 4/50: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

4 Feb

Tonight I finished book No. 4 in my quest to read 50 this year: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith. First is Amazon.com’s take on it, followed by mine.

Amazon.com Description (NOTE: Small Spoiler Alert)

It’s difficult to tell if critics’ reactions to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies should be characterized as praise or astonishment. Some reviewers treated the book as a delightful gimmick. Others found that, beneath the surface, the book actually constituted an interesting way of looking at Austen’s novel. Zombies answer certain puzzling questions: Why were those troops stationed at Hertfordshire? Why did Charlotte Lucas actually marry Mr. Collins? (She had recently been bit by zombies and wanted a husband who could be counted on to behead her — of course!) But critics also pointed out that this parody shows that Austen’s novel has remained so powerful over time that even the undead can’t spoil it.

My Review

As a preface to my thoughts on this book, you should know that I have a Bachelor’s degree in English. As such, the stereotype is that I eat, sleep and breathe classic literature such as Jane Austen’s novels. And I have to admit that, while I do not despise writing from this particular time period, I’m not a huge fan of it. The language of it has always been a challenge to follow, though I’ve developed more of an appreciation for it since I left school (where we were forced to read literature instead of choosing it).

The fact that so many wonderful period movies have been made from some of Austen’s novels don’t hurt, either. :p

So I will side with critics who think the book is delightful, because I certainly did. The author chosen to incorporate the “ultraviolent zombie mayhem” (and copious vomiting, for some reason) wrote very much in the spirit of Jane Austen, so the added storylines were seamlessly woven into the rest of the novel. If nothing else, I now want to re-read Pride and Prejudice to see what specifics — if any — the new version parodied.

I also hear they are making this into a movie. I think I’d prefer it stay in print form, thankyouverymuch.

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