Pride and Prejudice…and Zombies?

What the?

What the?

When I found out about this book, I thought it was an interesting take. Fuse Jane Austen with the living dead, why not? The idea appeared original. The reviews were positive. So why didn’t I like it? Maybe it was over hyped, or maybe I just never liked Jane Austen enough to enjoy this book.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Seth Grahame-Smith, literally takes the Austen classic word for word and then brings in “ultra violent zombie mayhem.” The concept is cool. A literary mash-up. I don’t know how often something like this has been tried, but I hope it’s not a trend. What I was hoping for was a retelling of this classic with “ultra violent zombie mayhem.” Instead, what I found was phrases inserted about zombies, passages extended to include zombies, and some clever dialogue about the “deadly arts”. About half way through the book, I was bored.

I would like to give the book some credit. There is some funny dialogue. Nice play on words with “balls”. When Austen’s not writing, I like this book. However, I’m willing to bet 80 to 90% of the book is original text, the rest zombie action. The Elizabeth character is pretty cool compared to Austen’s version. The zombie encounters are fresh and well written, but you have to read through a lot of slow passages to get there. This was where I hoped Grahame-Smith would take over the story and drive it away from Austen.

As far as zombie lit goes,  two out of five stars. It’s an interesting idea but you have to like Austen enough to really get engaged.