Top critical review
211 people found this helpful
Promising concept, pedestrian delivery...
on April 23, 2009
How can you not want to read a book with this title? I've enjoyed Jane Austen, though I'm not one of her devotees, and I like zombies when they're handled well, though they've always fared better in films than in print. So such a mashup seemed promising. Unfortunately PPZ doesn't deliver. For a parody to work, the parody really has to read like the original, and the author's prose can't touch Austen's effortless, elegant, and, most of all, witty style. (Admittedly, there's a lot of actual Austen here, but it's always pretty obvious when the 21st century collaborator's voice enters.) And the depth of character that makes Austen such a great read is seriously damaged here. The first warning sign comes when Elizabeth seriously intends to cut Darcy's throat for insulting her, something which Austen's Elizabeth, zombie-killer or not, would never have considered. The zombie attacks are predictable and frequent, the interior illustrations are amateurish (though I suppose one shouldn't complain, since one never expects them), the new dialogue is bland rather than charming, and it's really a one-joke book. If your expectations are low, you may enjoy this, but personally I couldn't finish it, as all I found was more of the same as I went on. And for those of you who will chivvy me because of that, as you've done to other negative reviewers, let me just say that after I eat a bite, I don't have to finish the entire fish to know it's bad. I'll add a star for the delightfully grim cover -- if only the book itself delivered a fraction of its impact.