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Sunday, 31 July 2011

***Review*** Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen & Seth Grahame-Smith

On the Back of the Book
"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains."
So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton --- and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she's soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilised sparring between two young lovers - and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield. Can Elizabeth vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you'd actually want to read.

Pre Read Thoughts

Put simply this is a title book. I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw it sitting there on a shelf in WHSmith. I picked it up and read the synopsis, I was instantly intrigued as to how the two worlds would mix. I wanted to see what had been done to Pride and Prejudice (which is sitting on my TBR pile). According to my copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies I paid $12.95 unfortunately I live on an island known as the UK and over here we use the pound not the dollar so I have no idea how much that is. So after some research on Amazon I have discovered that the UK RRP is £8.99 so I'm going to assume I paid something like that for it. Saying that, if I did pay £8.99 for it then it's £1 more than the average adult paperback. I'm not impressed. If I'm honest the cover freaks me out more than a little, I really don't like it. I'm going to try to avoid looking at it as I read the book.

Post Read Thoughts

I had high hopes for this book and in a way maybe that was this book's downfall, I just wanted too much from it. I felt that the author was trying to hard to make the zombie parts amusing when in fact the joke got old... fast. The story really dragged and it was a struggle to stay awake, never mind actually focusing on the actual story. I'm not sure how much of this is Jane Austen and how much is Seth Grahame-Smith so I can't comment on the quality of the writing.

The characters felt dull and lifeless, like they were forced into being something they weren't. Though I suppose this is exactly what's happened. The zombies were a complete and utter farce, I didn't like the way that they were portrayed and they just felt like an unnecessary sidenote to the story instead of the integral part they could have been.

Overall this book has so much unrealised potential, unless it's the author's intention to make me grab my copy of the original book and find out what it's all about. What I want to know is if the failings of the book are the fault of Austen or some fool who thought they'd cash in on the undead phase that as readers we seem to be lapping up right now. I found no enjoyment on the majority of these pages although there were some moments of genius, the end in particular was pretty good. It captured my attention nicely. Another thing I enjoyed were the illustrations. I love a good picture in a book.

My Rating

2 stars - This book is average at best. The premise is really good as I've mentioned previously and my only regret is that it wasn't carried out as I would have liked it. Maybe moving away from the original plot could have given Mr Grahame-Smith some artistic freedom. I don't recommend this.

A Final Note

There's a bit of bad language but it isn't used in the way that we use it today. Also there's a bit of gruesomeness so not one for people of a sensitive disposition.


Alyssa (Reader's Refuge) said...

I've heard much of the same from others. My friend gave me her copy because she didn't like it and one of my writing professors told us that it just wasn't all that good. I think that's why I still haven't read it even if it is sitting on my bookshelf. Great review! I think "unrealised potential" basically sums it up. :)

CharmaineElaine said...

Goodreads reviews are pretty much the same but I got the book ages ago and finally decided to read it. I think it's one to read if you're desperate. Thank you. I do too. =)


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