Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

[openbook booknumber=”1594743347″]


In what should come as no surprise to anyone, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a novel about Pride and Prejudice… and zombies. Fully living up to its publisher’s title, Quirk Classics, this novel contains the far fetched, the hard to believe, and the down right insane antics of Jane Austen’s signature characters plunked down in a world over run by brain eating, flesh rotting, and by no means bright “unmentionables” whose presence change a classic into “something people would actually want to read”.

Also, this book is illustrated! I enjoyed the art in it, even if some of the costumes depicted weren’t completely true to the era, they were far more fitting for the level of fighting that was going on in the book.

Now, I will admit right off that, aside from the occasional dalliances with Resident Evil and I Am Legend, I had no experience with zombie titles before this. I imagine that this novel was supposed to pantomime the zombie horror genre just as much as it was pantomiming this classic novel. The creatures were far fetched at best, and England’s reaction was, to say the least, not precisely consistent with the era in which it was supposed to take place.

A few of the guests, who had the misfortune of being too near the windows, were seized and feasted on at once. When Elizabeth stood, she saw Mrs. Long struggle to free herself as two female dreadfuls bit into her head, cracking her skull like a walnut, and sending a shower of dark blood spouting as high as the chandeliers.
       As guests fled in every direction, Mr. Bennet’s voice cut through the commotion. “Girls! Pentagram of Death!”
       Elizabeth immediately joined her four sisters, Jane, Mary, Catherine, and Lydia in the center of the dance floor. Each girl produced a dagger from her ankle and stood at the tip of an imaginary five-pointed star. From the center of the room, they began stepping outward in unison – each thrusting a razor-sharp dagger with one hand, the other hand modestly tucked into the small of her back.

If you mean to enjoy this book you have to take it in the spirit it was written in. Be prepared to laugh at over the top absurdness, far fetched plot lines, insatiable blood-lust, and super human abilities. And, we haven’t even gotten to the zombies yet. Elizabeth and her sisters are warriors, trained in China to be sworn protectors of the crown of England and defenders of Hertfordshire in general and Longbourn in particular, Lady Catherine de Bourgh is a great and mighty warrior with a small highly trained army of ninjas at her command, and Mr. Darcy rides to the rescue with a Brown Bess and Katana at his side, ready to shoot and be-head any of Satan’s servants that cross his path.

The ridiculous I can forgive, the disbelief that I had to suspend could be attained, almost always, but I have to say that there were times when the story went a bit too far even for the lark that this book was intended to be. There were also times when I wish that I was a trained ninja myself just so that I could karate kick the editor that did such a shoddy job on this book.

Normally I can forgive a typo here, an awkward sentence there, and even occasions where the author managed to forget what time and place he was talking about and so changed the name of it… once. All of these things happened far too often to be forgiven in this novel. There was an awkward sentence where some bad splice editing resulted in, “she would never see him again, on good terms again.” What? Also the author was attempting to convey the great honor Mr. Darcy and his sister did to Elizabeth by visiting the day of her arriving and not the day after as originally planned. This was done by saying she would arrive the day after, saying she did arrive the day after and then saying afterwards that it was so nice of her to arrive the day of. What? And, finally, the place of Wickam’s banishment was changed several times from Kilkerry to Kilkenny to Kilkerry to Kilkenny again. It’s Kilkenny, by the way.

My other problem with the book is that the author clearly didn’t comprehend the scenes he was editing. When he wrote in his additions, it was pretty obvious he didn’t completely understand what was being said, why it was being said, or what was really going on in a given scene. There were numerous examples of that throughout. Also during some scenes he wrote in stuff gratuitously just to satisfy what a modern day person would want to say or do in a given situation, not what would have been done in the times it was written, zombies not withstanding. Yes, we all wanted to rip Wickam a new one when he came home to Longbourn with Lydia on his arm. Elizabeth had more wit and class than to actually do it, though. No, not literally rip him a new one, with this book you do have to specify.

But, other than that, if you are in for a book of silliness, zombies, and some old Pride and Prejudice favorites mixed up in a way that’s sure to have Austen spinning in her grave then give Pride and Prejudice and Zombies a whirl. As long as you don’t have high expectations you won’t be disappointed.

3 Responses to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

  1. Celticlady
    9:45 am on December 3rd, 2009

    I was not impressed with book as a matter of fact I did not finish it and had to give it away on my blog. Zombies, werewolves or vampires do not belong in Jane Austen… in my opinion anyway. So I will not buy the seguels from Quirk…

  2. Bitsy
    3:03 pm on December 3rd, 2009

    Yeah, it was bad enough reading him butcher Pride and Prejudice, I’m not sure I can bring myself to read his attempts to “re-write” Sense and Sensibility as well!

  3. tanabata
    9:27 am on December 5th, 2009

    I haven’t had any desire to read this so I’m quite thrilled to read your review. I think I’ll stick to the original, thank you very much. 🙂

Leave a Reply