Jane Austen & Seth Grahame-Smith,
Pride & Prejudice & Zombies
(Quirk, 2009)

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

From the very first sentence, Pride & Prejudice & Zombies lives up to its name. This is not your typical Jane Austen romance. Co-author Seth Grahame-Smith takes the beloved classic and morphs it into an action-packed zombie massacre while at the same time maintaining all the elements of the original that made hopeless romantics like me fall in love with it.

In this updated version of the classic novel, England has been overcome by a zombie plague; everyone lives in fear of zombie attacks or, worse, being stricken with the affliction themselves. The Bennett sisters, like many men and women throughout England, have been highly trained in deadly combat so they are able to protect their home from the Unmentionables. The events of the novel follow those of the original closely, with some added action and violence -- the ball at Netherfield is attacked by zombies, for instance, and Elizabeth fighting ninjas in Lady Catherine's Dojo during her visit to Hunsford -- and these are just a couple examples.

Grahame-Smith does a great job of blending Jane Austen's classic style with the murder and mayhem of a zombie war. Even a die-hard Austen fan such as myself can find little to complain about in this novel. The transition between Austen's prose and Grahame-Smith's is almost seamless and adds to the humor of the book. It's hard not to be amused when Mr. Bennett instructs his daughters to perform the "Pentagram of Death" formation as they battle zombies in ball gowns.

This novel is a great read, whether you're an Austen fan or not, but I think it's easier to appreciate Grahame-Smith's contributions to the story if you're already familiar with the original. However, you don't have to be a Pride & Prejudice fan to enjoy it. The best thing about this book, in my opinion, is that it will introduce a whole new audience to a timeless classic.

review by
Charissa Jelliff

6 March 2010

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