I would first like to say that Jane Austen was a genius, and I am a hardcore member of the Pride and Prejudice fan club. That being said I remember saying that I would never read the new adaptation of her most famous novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I am quite pleased to say that I am very glad that I did.
I know that some fans of the book take it very seriously I however chose to approach it from a comedic point of view. I, like the Bennet girls, dearly love to laugh, so I chose to leave my skepticism behind and take the book with a grain of salt. I was in a fit of laughter from line one and I thoroughly enjoyed all of the tweaks thereafter. You surly know that the first line of Austen’s original book is one of the most famous in literature: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife” (1). This famous line was delightfully altered to read: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains” (1). This first alteration had me smiling through the entire book.
The story is essentially the same except for the addition of violence and zombies of course. and some of the recurring images in Austen’s original novel have been altered to accommodate the use of the undead. The traits of an accomplished woman are shifted from and ability to draw and play the piano to the ability to slay zombies, which is referred to as the “deadly arts”. The social requirement of a governess to raise children has been replaced by a need for ninja’s to protect a household. I believe that all of these changes can help the book be more appealing to a younger audience who may not have the patience for Jane Austen’s original love story.
The characters are also shifted and Lizzie Bennet has turned into a warrior woman trained in China to serve the King of England against the undead. The Lizzie in Seth Graham Smith’s adaptation is much more violent and often imagines herself beheading fellow characters such as Mr. Darcy and his aunt Lady Catherine. I so think that this is a little too far fetched when I think about the original character, but I could see her being a very popular heroin that fits in well with the other popular female characters in today’s young adult genre. There are also several characters who come to a much more unfortunate end than their original counterparts. SPOILER ALERT: Charlotte Lucas and Mr. Collin’s very much fail to achieve any semblance of a happy ending while Mr. Wickham’s fate is also rather depressing, no matter how disliked he is.
Overall I was very pleased with this book and think that anyone who is fan of Pride and Prejudice and The Walking Dead would also find it an amusing read. There is one scene that I am particularly fond of in which Lizzie is returning musket amo to Mr. Darcy. She offers the amo to him saying “your balls Mr. Darcy” to which he responds with “they belong to you Ms. Bennet” (209). LOL. I know I should get my mind out of the gutter but I think the characters understand the innuendo there as well, because they also start giggling after this exchange. Anyway, I know this book isn’t for everyone but I am very much looking forward to watching the movie after reading it myself.
Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. New York: Modern Library, 1995. Print.
Grahame-Smith, Seth, and Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance–now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem. Philadelphia: Quirk, 2009. Print.