After watching the film adaptation of this book recently, I picked up the book in a local charity shop. As it was amongst quite a large bookhaul (as is always the case, right?) I didn’t get to the book right away. However, after finishing After Alice this caught me eye.
Firstly, about the photo: Pride and Prejudice, and many of the other Jane Austen works, are some of my most treasured reads. They opened my eyes to quality classic literature and I will always love them. A few of my P&P copies are in the background. Also, I picked up this candle today – it’s Pomegranate and it’s amazing!
Spoiler Free Review
Title: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Author: Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
Published: Quirk Classics, 2009.
A quick recap of the plot for those of you who haven’t encountered Pride and Prejudice before (although you probably have – it has trickled into our society, our pop culture and our hearts ever since it was published!). The story centres around the Bennet sisters. For most families who had daughters in this time, their main ‘goal’ in life (and certainly for Mrs Bennet) is to make an advantageous marriage. In come Mr Bingley and Mr Darcy – modern men with lots of cash. But the road to true love is never easy, especially when pride and prejudices get in the way (see what I did there!).
In this novel, we encounter a familiar tale, except in this version a question is answered: what if the Bennet sisters were trained Zombie assassins, and England was overrun with ‘unmentionables’? This tale turns the original text on its head and makes for a funny, romantic and blood-gushing read.
First off, I really enjoyed this read. As I mentioned, Pride and Prejudice is one of my favourite books, and I was really interested to see how my favourite characters would fare in a Zombie-fied England. The answer: yes, they fare just fine and the Bennet sisters are even more kickass than ever! Because of the added Zombie element, the strong female characters we encountered in the original tale have to be more forceful, and wield more power than ever before. We see Elizabeth struggle between wanting to continue to be the best warrior in her county whilst feelings begin to stir for Mr Darcy. This battle of the heart resonates now more than ever – we hear every day of women working hard and balancing work life and family life, and being generally awesome! In P & P & Z, I was able to see how real the character of Lizzie really is, and it reiterated the fact that Lizzie is a strong female (for her time) in the original text too. Gosh, she’s just fab!
A word about the movie: I have seen the movie version recently and although plotlines are similar between the two versions of the story, the movie has put a greater emphasis on the violence encountered because of the Zombies. I entered into the book thinking I was going to read exactly the same story – this was not the case. But I think I enjoyed it more because of that: the book stayed very true to the original text, using most of the same language too, and this made it even more of a comforting read for me.
If I’m going to be a little bit picky, I would state that it was easy to see where the narrative differed from the original text – and this, I guess, would be easily seen in any novel, because no two people write the same. But since this novel focuses on one narrative – and most of the books I have read where there are two authors, have focused on different character narratives between them – I would have liked to see a little more consistency. However, this is only a really small thing and could only be seen at a few points in the book.
Since reading this, I have found that there are two other books in the series – Dawn of the Dreadful, which is a prequel to this book, and Dreadfully Ever After, a sequel. Although I did enjoy this book I probably won’t be rushing out to get these two. I’m always a little bit sceptical of continuing a retelling after the original text is finished. But, you never know!
If you are a fan of the original text and want a quick, easy, and exciting read then I’d say this is for you. However, if you are like my Dad (who saw what I was reading and said it as ‘blasphemy!’ to change the original text) then maybe you should sit this one out. Or, you know, pick up the original book.
As always, the thoughts above are from my own head and so if you don’t agree that’s okay. Each to their own!
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars!
This book will also be mentioned in my July Wrap Up post – look out for that nearer the end of the month!