Book Review Club: Pride and Prejudice… and Zombies?

P&P and Zombies coverPride and Prejudice and Zombies
By Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen
Published October 1st 2009 by Quirk Books

I tried to resist this book, but when the movie was on TV last fall, I recorded it. Then when my readers group decided to do Books into Films as a topic, I checked out the library e-book and read it. I have to say, I found the book to be kind of weird, mostly Jane Austen but with the zombie stuff and martial arts thrown in. I didn’t think the author did a good job of really making the zombies seem an integral part of the story, but I did kind of like the idea of Lizzy and her sisters as kick-ass martial artists and zombie killers. The class distinctions were played up by the aristocrats, like Darcy and Lady Catherine de Burgh, preferring Japanese martial arts, and looking down on the Bennett girls, who were trained by “Chinese peasants”.

In the final analysis, I enjoyed reading P&P again, and I chuckled at many of Grahame-Smith’s insertions.It’s pretty hard to improve upon Jane Austen. Impossible really.

A friend who is in graduate school told me that zombies, which are so popular nowadays, are “a metaphor for modernization or modernity, at least that is the way literary scholars are interpreting the book, where life increasing eats people up and turns them into walking dead…”

I have to say, I really didn’t get that from the book, and honestly, I don’t think that was Grahame-Smith’s reason for writing the book. I think he was looking for a high concept read that would sell lots of books and land him a movie deal, which is what happened. But color me cynical.

DVD coverAfter reading the book, I watched the film. The movie script, which actually changed Jane Austen’s plot, made more sense to me as a zombie movie. They really upped the stakes and made the zombie threat seem credible and menacing. I liked the actress who played Elizabeth, but I wasn’t as crazy about the actor who played Darcy. But then, I hold Colin Firth up as the model for the perfect Darcy, so that’s a high standard to meet. 😉

It’s very unusual of me to say a movie was better than the book it was based on, but this is one of those exceptions.

I’d love to know what others thought of the book and/or movie, so leave a comment. And click on the graphic below for more great reviews in Barrie Summy’s Book Review Club.


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@Barrie Summy