Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

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I know this is by no means a current book, and it’s a little sad that it actually took me this long to read it since I’m a huge Austen fan. But here’s why not reading it actually made me feel like I was being a true fan.

This book came out while I was working at a book store. I was actually appalled when I found the stack in the back room, ready for me to shelf it. I thought, how dare he?! Who does this Seth think he is, defacing the memory of Miss Austen’s most charming masterpiece with ZOMBIES?! She’s probably rolling in her grave at the thought of her book being so mistreated!

I can’t confirm whether or not Austen rolled over on this, but I will admit that I was being a little stuck-up on this topic.
First, I had read many adaptations of Pride and Prejudice before this moment. What makes Bridget Jones’s Diary and the various YA novels I read any different?

Second, throwing Zombies into the mix was actually a clever way to introduce Miss Austen to thousands of readers who never before dared to read her. I was actually stunned to see men reading Seth’s book (the same customers who told me they would never put a classic in their hands, let alone a romance).

And third, it’s still Austen. Seth didn’t try to rewrite her words. He used her words, but sandwiched his own silly ideas in between. He was good enough to put Austen’s name on the cover, even before his own. I’ve got to applaud him for that.

It took me a long time to accept this book. After the sequels came out (and his other Austen adaptation, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters) and the movie was announced, I realized that maybe Seth was on to something. After I saw the first trailer, I was sold. It looked way too epic to be ignored. I had to read the book before the movie came out.

Let me start this book review by saying that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was HILARIOUS. Anyone who is a fan of the classic can’t help but laugh at the ridiculous nature of Seth’s additions. The storyline is as close to the original as Seth could manage with his additions. I would say it’s about 85% Austen and 15% Seth. One of the few things that he changed was making specific characters Zombies, where their transformation accounts for their illness or rash decisions. A good example would be Charlotte, accepting the icky icky Mr Collins because she wants marriage and security before she fully transforms. His other change is making the militia zombie fighters, as well as having the Bennet sisters and Darcy as great zombie fighters. So instead of scenes of reading, needlework and leisure, the girls train. Everything about this additions proves to be comical amongst the classic love story. We still get to see Lizzie and Darcy fall in love, but they do so while chopping the heads off of the undead. It also added a little excitement to the novel I had read so many times before. Instead of knowing the next line or action, I was pleasantly surprised every once in a while when something new happened. The zombie problem added a bit of spice to the novel (not that Austen needs it, but it’s always nice to find new reasons to love your favourite authors). Even though Austen never would have dreamed of putting zombies into her novel, I have to say that it works fairly well.

For anyone who wants to give classics a try but doesn’t know where to start, use Pride and Prejudice and Zombies as a gateway novel! You’ll still get to enjoy Austen’s masterpiece, but you’ll also get hooked on the addition of the cultural phenomenon of zombies. You’ll laugh, you’ll cheer, you’ll sit on the edge of your seat during battles, and you’re heart will still melt at the romance.

For those who only saw the movie, I recommend reading the book too. The movie was good in its own respect, but it changed a lot from the original classic and Seth’s parody. Everything after Darcy’s first confession of love is different in the movie; they focus on the war more instead of the problems at home and Lizzie’s visit to Pemberley. I was glad that it was slightly different from the book because it meant I didn’t know everything that would happen, and it played out very well for a movie. The action was thrilling, and I’m so glad I got to see it on the big screen. But read the book to give your imagination a chance to explore this story! It’s very entertaining, and I’m certain that even die hard austen fans will love it; if I can enjoy it, so can you, Austen fangirls!

So enjoy this horror parody, Book Babies! I’m off to add Seth’s other novels to my list of books to read!

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. mizschoneng says:

    Same. It took me long to read this too and didn’t really like it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess it’s a hit or miss. I think I enjoyed it because I bashed the idea for so long, so I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be funny and he kept most of Austen’s story in tact. I don’t think EVERYONE should start putting books like this out now, but it was good for what it was. No need to overdue it ☺

      Liked by 1 person

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