Thursday, October 20, 2011
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES by Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice... but with zombies.
I wanted to like this book more than I actually did. I enjoy reworkings of classic tales, but in this case I felt that the execution was not as good as it could have been. The core of the problem was that, despite there being a zomie infestation to counter, the zombies didn't add any real tension to the plot. I found I was more interested in watching how the relationships between the characters developed than in seeing how they fought the undead. The additions to the story were clever and funny at times, but they didn't impress me the way I hoped they would.
The zombie presence is already an established fact when the story begins. All five of the Bennet girls trained to fight zombies in China and are "skilled in the deadly arts." They have no trouble vanquishing the unmentionables who lurch out of the woods and attack carriages every once in a while. I think the book would have been more interesting if the zombie infestation was new, or if they had to learn the fighting skills on their own or if there were some weaknesses to overcome. Instead, Elizabeth simply cuts down zombies when she sees them, Jane kills zombies, but is as nice as ever, and Kitty and Lydia are just as silly despite their intensive training.
The author does a nice job of maintaining Austen's voice as much as possible. Almost all of the original words are still in the story, and the additions fit in seamlessly. Her story is as compelling as ever, and it is fun to read it with fresh eyes. There's a hilarious set of discussion questions at the end that left me with a better impression of the book as a whole. I appreciated the humor and irreverence, but this is a book that I probably wouldn't bother to read again.
Seth Grahame-Smith's website
I paid $0.99 for the Kindle edition
What is your favorite retelling of a classic (book or movie)?