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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls (Quirk Classics) Paperback – Bargain Price, March 23, 2010

4 out of 5 stars 166 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this prequel to Seth Grahame-Smith's Jane Austen revamp Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the town of Meryton has grown quiet and complacent while the long-lived zombie menace lays dormant. Taking place five years before Bingley moves into Netherfield, and sightings of "unmentionables" have become routine, this story kicks off with a certain Mr. Ford sitting up in the middle of his own funeral. In response, the Bennet sisters begin intensive training in the deadly arts with their warrior father and a new Master. Their neighbors, much slower on the uptake, are variously dismembered, disillusioned, and eventually convinced to prepare for a terrifying final confrontation. With a sure grasp of Austen's characters and the social structures of the times, Hockensmith is loyal to the material's roots but, divorced from any particular text, he's able to take Grahame-Smith's silly, raunchy, violent tone much farther than in the first volume. Mixing taught horror-movie action with neo-Austen meditation on identity, society, and romance, this happy sacrilege is sure to please fans of Grahame-Smith's original mash-up. 15 b&w illustrations.
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From Booklist

Edgar winner Hockensmith turns to zombie lit in this prequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2009). Ever wondered how the Bennett sisters got to be such great zombie killers? Hockensmith explains all in the story of the return of the zombie plague and Mr. Bennett’s secret history. When a neighbor rises up out of his coffin in the middle of a funeral, Mr. Bennett shrugs off the lifestyle of a Regency England gentleman and returns to his old calling as a warrior dedicated to eradicating the Unentionables. Turning the greenhouse into a dojo, he trains all five Bennett girls, with the help of fellow warrior Master Hawksworth, to take up his quest—just in time, too, as a deadly incursion is under way. Hockensmith does not abandon Austen’s original characters. Mrs. Bennett is the most true to the original, and even silly Kitty and Lydia are the same, only they fight instead of fuss over men. Elizabeth, from whose point of view significant elements of the story are told, is the most fully developed, and while she departs a little from the original, it’s not so far as to make Austen fans cringe (given that they’re OK with zombies, of course). This is a must-read for the growing legion of alternate-Austen fans (including, naturally, everyone who has read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies). --Jessica Moyer
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Product Details

  • Series: Quirk Classics
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Quirk Books (March 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594744548
  • ASIN: B005GNJ6M4
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (166 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,375,918 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on March 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
When you remove the novelty from a novelty novel, you end up with something akin to "Dawn of the Dreadfuls." Mind you, there is nothing particularly wrong with Steve Hockensmith's prequel to the surprise hit of last year, "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies"--it just seems somewhat unnecessary. I will defend "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" as an ingenious experiment, but its foremost success was to meld actual Jane Austen text with a story of the undead. This is what made the experience unique and daring. Seth Grahame-Smith challenged modern readers, and horror readers at that, to revisit (or in many cases, visit for the first time) Austen's prose in an audacious new way.

As a stand alone volume, "Dawn of the Dreadfuls" is a perfectly readable, enjoyable and pleasant little book. Charting the journey of the Bennet family in the years prior to "P&P&Z," we see the rise of the unmentionables within the sleepy little countryside and the call to arms of the Bennet daughters. From frivolous schoolgirls to lethal warriors, "Dreadfuls" plays as more of a family saga. Headstrong Elizabeth is still at the forefront, but all the characters get their due. Since "Dreadfuls" isn't tied to a particular format as "P&P&Z" was, the opportunity for more zombie mayhem and bloodshed presents itself. The spectacularly staged grand finale is even reminiscent of an upscale "Night of the Living Dead."

Hockensmith does try for the tone of Austen, especially in the romantic dalliances, but not the language. Funny and irreverent as it may be (and that's a good thing), it just lacks the novelty and cleverness factor of its predecessor. In broad strokes, he stays true to the idea of the characters if not their specifics.
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Format: Paperback
I am an ardent Austen fan girl and read far more of the published fan fiction than is probably entirely good for me. Along this vein, I could not resist picking up Pride and Prejudice and Zombies when I heard of it. I expected hilarity, but got what I found to be a shoddy, lazy job. That book seemed to have been written primarily through the use of Word's ctrl-f replace function, changing terms like "practicing the pianoforte" to "practicing the deadly arts." There were a few clever elements, but, for the most part, I hated it. Nevertheless, I could not resist giving the prequel a try.

To my surprise, this one was much better. The reason for this is that Hockensmith could not simply change a few words and sections in an already published novel. He actually wrote a story. It is silly and sensational and gory, the plot rather ridiculous, but that is all to be expected. For my part, I recommend reading this and skipping the book it is prequel-ing, but everyone can make their own decision on that.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Let's start off with some reviewer honesty, here. I've never been fond of Zombie stories, or movies. C'mon, who could be afraid of something that walks with the efficiency of a two-toed sloth, while shedding body parts. More than once, I've shouted, 'don't scream---just run.' Now Vampires, my favorite creatures of the night, they're a different story. You can't run from them---and they can be so darn seductive, too. Not so with gooey, smelly, Zombies. Ugh!

Now you know why I've avoided Seth Grahame-Smith's work, to which 'Dawn of the Dreadfuls' is the prequel. Then destiny unfolded and Hockensmith's work was a Vine offering. My curiosity was piqued by the brilliant cover art. I hesitantly made the selection with limited expectations. Zombie's aside, I wasn't quite sure how I'd feel about anyone messing with Ms. Austen's masterpiece, P&P. I was prepared to be the worst critic.

I'm here to confess that, 'Dawn of the Dreadfuls,' was some of the most fun my free-child has had, in a long time. It was nothing like I expected. From the moment that dear Mr. Ford becomes an animated cadaver, at his own funeral, the action starts and there is scarcely a dull moment.

All of the characters are well developed and delightful, but the Bennett girls steal the show, particularly Lizzy. The girls experience many of the societal ills witnessed in P&P---that of a patriarchal society with strict social and moral boundaries. As in P&P, the girls were content to spend countless hours primping, daydreaming and searching for the perfect suitor. Of course, Mrs. Bennett is in typical form, pushing them toward higher social status. Then suddenly, their lives change.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
3.5 stars

As one review stated you have to read this as a tongue in cheek farcical take-off of Pride and Prejudice. I was smiling at the nonsensical action all the way through. This is not my usual fare in reading although I have read hundreds of Jane Austen Fan Fiction books and P&P is my favorite variation. But it is almost unthought-of for me to read of fantasy creatures in connection with these romances. Books about Vampires, Werewolves, Sea Creatures, and Zombies belong on other book shelves in my opinion.

However when I learned that a movie is being released in February of 2016 titled Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (from the sequel to this book) the thought of reading the novel began to rattle around in my brain. I then learned from a friend, Claudine, that there was both a prequel and a sequel. So I finally decided to dive in.

I don’t want to relate too much of the story although I can’t really say that there was much mystery involved. Language from canon is used on various pages but rarely as in canon. The characters are few of those with which we are familiar: Mr. and Mrs. Bennet and 5 daughters, Charlotte, Mrs. Long and Mrs. Hill and the setting is Hertfordshire with Meryton, Longbourn and Netherfield. We have 3 men posturing for 2 of the sisters. But nowhere to be found in this book are the Bingleys or the Darcys or even Colonel Fitzwilliam. There is, however, a mention of Lady Catherine and her role is a surprise.

The undead/THE DREADFULS enter upon this tale immediately as we read of a funeral service during the which the corpse stirs from his casket. His wife is all happiness as she believes he was NOT dead and that a mistake has been made and she wants to embrace him.
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