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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance - Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem! Paperback – Bargain Price, March 1, 2009
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From Bookmarks Magazine
It’s difficult to tell if critics’ reactions to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies should be characterized as praise or astonishment. Some reviewers treated the book as a delightful gimmick. Others found that, beneath the surface, the book actually constituted an interesting way of looking at Austen’s novel. Zombies answer certain puzzling questions: Why were those troops stationed near Hertfordshire? Why did Charlotte Lucas actually marry Mr. Collins? (She had recently been bitten by zombies and wanted a husband who could be counted on to behead her—of course!) But critics also pointed out that this parody shows that Austen’s novel has remained so powerful over time that even the undead can’t spoil it.
Copyright 2009 Bookmarks Publishing LLC
This may be the most wacky by-product of the busy Jane Austen fan-fiction industry—at least among the spin-offs and pastiches that have made it into print. In what’s described as an “expanded edition” of Pride and Prejudice, 85 percent of the original text has been preserved but fused with “ultraviolent zombie mayhem.” For more than 50 years, we learn, England has been overrun by zombies, prompting people like the Bennets to send their daughters away to China for training in the art of deadly combat, and prompting others, like Lady Catherine de Bourgh, to employ armies of ninjas. Added to the familiar plot turns that bring Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy together is the fact that both are highly skilled killers, gleefully slaying zombies on the way to their happy ending. Is nothing sacred? Well, no, and mash-ups using literary classics that are freely available on the Web may become a whole new genre. What’s next? Wuthering Heights and Werewolves? --Mary Ellen Quinn
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And I have to add these sexual innuendos, and he thinks to get a laugh. I groaned. @63% (Mr. Darcy has shot some zombies on Pemberley grounds while Elizabeth and the Gardiners are visiting.) “She remembered the lead ammunition in her packet and offered it to him. ‘Your balls, Mr. Darcy?’ He reached out and closed her hand around them, and offered, ‘They belong to you, Miss Bennet.’” Out of the blue – Really? And when Jane asks Elizabeth when she realized she was in love with Darcy “…I hardly know when it began. But I believe I must date it from my first seeing the way his trousers clung to those most English parts.”
Then must you additionally portray Mrs. Gardiner as having adulterous behavior? @ 64% “…she set off in quest of her former acquaintance, and (unbeknownst to the sleeping Mr. Gardiner) her evening was spent in the satisfactions of intercourse renewed after many years’ discontinuance.” Is this really necessary? It, again, adds NOTHING to the plot! The Gardiners have always been favorites of mine and I don't like to see this written of her.
There are so many WONDERFUL variations written in JAFF and if you want to use one with paranormal characters and stories I can easily find others which are not only the author’s own creations but also a better story line; not this man’s simple adding to the best of stories. Oh, I do know why a paranormal tale was selected by Hollywood: what with Twilight, Grimm, Vampire Diaries, Once Upon a Time, etc, being so popular but it seems the fact that this author wrote Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows simply gave him the connection and the Hollywood crowd took the easy way of finding a Jane Austen tale with paranormal shades.
Elizabeth in this tale is a different character: she refers to herself as the bride of death. And she has some grim thoughts when confronted by annoying or even bad behavior: thoughts of chopping off a sister’s head, of both cutting out Darcy’s heart and cutting off his head to present to Jane as revenge for how he separated Bingley from Jane.
The activity with the zombies does not provide a grand adventure, a teaming up of ODC to win a battle, but rather some occasional skirmishes: walking into Meryton, visiting a church, the Netherfield Ball, etc. our characters are beset upon by the undead and they use their skills to dispatch one and all. There is some argument about whether having trained in China or in Japan has provided the best Masters and there is also the matter of the architecture at Pemberley being rendered in the Oriental manner.
So do you have to read this book to anticipate the movie? NO. As most is Jane Austen’s canon you know what to expect. Way over priced as it is not creative at all.
After seeing the movie, I decided I should probably read the book. It was dreadful (pun intended).
I understood this to be a re-write of P&P, but with the assumption that zombies existed and Lizzie Bennet engaged in war against them. I expected zombies to be integral to the plot and the quality to similar to Austen’s original work.
Instead, it felt like Grahame-Smith just replaced words in Austen’s story with the word zombie. Most of the time, the mention of zombies made no sense in the sentence or scene. It seemed the zombies where just dumped in without consideration for how they connect to the plot. It ruined the story. The idea of Lizzie as a warrior was fantastic, but the execution was cheesy, amateurish, and ridiculous. The constant references to their time in China and the over-the-top training they supposedly received – seemed ludicrous and stupid. If they were so well trained, Lizzie wouldn’t lose control and nearly behead Darcy just for insulting her. Lame. And zombies weren’t the only thing dumped in. Grahame-Smith also added odd things that had no influence on the story - like Mrs. Gardner having an affair with an old boyfriend. Why would you add that in?
My other main complaint is the inconsistencies in the story. For example, at the time of the story, zombies have been around for 20+ years. So why do they still have zombies coming up from the earth, new, each spring. Why aren’t people cutting the heads off – in particular because it is the law? And after a while, with all the roving bands of militia, the warriors like Elizabeth and her family, and Darcy and his family - do you still have these large packs of zombies? After a while, you’d simply kill all the ones above ground, and dig up and kill all the ones in the graves? The population seems to shift it’s attitudes towards zombies based on whatever suites the plot at the time. This creates characters that change – one page they are ignoring basic zombie safety, the next berating other characters for their lack. There was also a lack of consistency in the supposed British manners – sometimes it seemed society praised the skills of the warrior and others, the girls were shunned and whispered about for carrying sword.
In the end, I had to shift my thinking. By treating it as I would, say, an episode of Power Rangers, meaning, I suspend hope or expectation of consistency or reality, I assume the author is an amateur and the intended the story for a immature audience, was I able to finish this book. It almost was enjoyable once I stopped expecting it to be good. Not sure how this made it to the top of the best-seller list with it being so dreadful…..
Zombies has been on my To Read list a long time and finally my book club picked it, giving me the perfect excuse to move it to the top of the queue. I did the majority of reading in one day.
The film makes a departure in the plot revolving around Wickham. Both the book and film are good in their own rights.
I enjoyed the book from start to finish and wasn't the least bit disgusted by the zombies, heart eating, or vomit, which made appearances in the story.
Lizzy and Jane are the same as ever. I appreciated the improvement of Mary's character. Absolutely loved the proposal scene and Lizzy's fight with Lady Catherine. Wickham's take down at the end in regards to the marrige worked for me. Lydia, is as ever, an idiot. The most interesting liberty was taken in regards to Charlotte's story line. So sad.
I'd be happy to read a continuation of this tale. Or other monster renditions of Ms. Austen's books.