Saturday, January 2, 2010

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES - Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

Jane Austen must have rolled over in her grave so many times that she is nothing but dust.

I'll admit that I was ashamed to read this book. As an admirer of Jane Austen, I thought that this book was a cruel attempt to solicit laughs and publication ("now with ultraviolent zombie mayhem!").

However, it was recommended to me by several people. That is my reading goal for 2010 at Books for Breakfast, Drinks for Dinner: to read the books that people (hairdressers, students, mentors, friends, butchers, candlestick-makers) tell me "is amazing," "made me cry," "is my favorite all-time book," etc. So, this is the first of many reviews where I may hurt someone's feelings.

Yes, this book follows the original tale, but with many more 21st century twists. For example, at the end in the clever reader's discussion guide, it asks, "Does Mrs. Bennett have any redeeming qualities?" Tee-hee.

So, upon reading this, I found myself split in half:
English Professor: This is horrible! Poor Jane Austen.
Naughty Self: (while laughing out loud) This is how I pictured Mrs. Bennett in my head! "... I am sure my dinners are good enough for her, since she is an unmarried woman of seven-and-twenty, and as such should expect little more than a crust of bread washed down with a cup of loneliness."
English Professor: No one will read Austen now, and my students will quote from this book as if it were the original; however, more students will understand references to Mr. Darcy.
Naughty Self: Another "balls" joke. (more laughing out loud)

I suppose if I have to combine the two reactions, I believe in the "imitation is flattery" argument. If anyone dares touch To Kill a Mockingbird in such a way, I shall have to suffer the seven cuts of shame and use my blade to smite all involved.

2.85 out of 5.0 Zombies.

P.S. Natalie Portman purchased the rights to produce and star in the movie version. And I thought her colon was made of cement.


Kristin Dodge said...

To be part of my experiment for 2010, post *your* favorites here.

BaSH PR0MPT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BaSH PR0MPT said...

I tend to refuse to rate anything over a four out of five, unless it has zombies. This is the first and only time Jane Austin's classic--albeit reimagined--will achieve a five out of five rating from me. :P

Jane Steen said...

I skimmed this book at B&N and laughed several times. Oh, poor dear Jane, how we abuse you! Yet somehow I get the feeling that she would have laughed too, once we'd gotten through explaining zombies. She loved sending up the Romantic genre with its mad monks and vampires.

So I'm thinking this book may have a place in the approved JA ripoff canon. Thanks for reviewing it for us.

Dawn Simon said...

I love PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (the original) so much. And while I think Jane Austen would be very surprised (!) to see this version, I found PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES to be super entertaining. The fun was knowing the original story and seeing it with a funky, undead twist.

Disgruntled Bear said...

P&P w/Z was worth the read. Has anyone had a chance to check out "Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters" yet?

Jillian said...

And now it's vampires and Lincoln!