Pride and Prejudice and Zombies…really?

Title: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Author: Jane Austen , Seth Grahame-Smith
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Quirk Books; Later Printing edition (April 4, 2009)
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

About the book (From GoodReads):
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—& 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 & arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—& even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead. Can she vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism & thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you’d actually want to read.

My thoughts:
I started Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (PPZ) and my sister started Pride and Prejudice (P&P) at the same time. I was really excited to read this book. With a first sentence like this who wouldn’t?

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains

After the initial fit of giggling and comparing the first chapter with the original, I settled down to actually read the book in all seriousness. And now after having read the book there is only one question in my mind. Why was this book even written? I mean really it’s just a page by page copy of the original with occasional sprinkling of Zombies and Zombie slang here and there. It would be safe to say that it’s more than 80% similar.

Considering how well this book is doing I’m kind of surprised. I would not be fair to authors who write a book from scratch. Here Seth Grahame-Smith had everything at his disposal, a great setting, a great plot and awesome characters that you’ll never forget. To be fair the book does say it is written by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith. But does that make it alright?

Don’t get me wrong. Although I’m a huge P&P fan I’m not sensitive to altering the original or of the countless sequels if it is well done. If you read the blurb, it says “ultraviolent zombie mayhem”, I mean really? There were occasional zombie’s attacks in the book but the zombies were very easily killed or dispensed. And the attacks hardly lasted for more than a page.

I feel it was a very good idea very badly executed. The author had just modified the fate of Charlotte and Wickham in the book. The charlotte angle was well done but the Wickham one wasn’t, it was absolutely unnecessary and illogical. In fact that’s how I felt about the book. Unnecessary. I felt cheated and it feels like this book is just a ruse to make money from a beloved classic and Jane Austen. The only positive thing was it felt like I re-read Pride and Prejudice which I had been meaning to do for some time 🙂

BUT…Care, I cannot thank you enough for sending me the book. I have one book less in my “REALLY want to read” list. Also, I might as well cross out Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters from my wish list 🙂 Score!!!

If you have liked the book, please do spread some light on why is it so successful. If you haven’t tell me why you didn’t like it. If you haven’t read it, why not? Will you be willing to give it a chance?

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29 thoughts on “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies…really?

  1. Well, I really am not in for reading this book too. I am not sure why. I have not tried this genre.. and maybe someday I will read some book and decide if it is for me or not!

  2. I am fan of P&P too and had this on my To Be Read list but now I am not so sure though I do have a copy lying on my bookshelf which my best friend thought would be a great present for Diwali 🙂 🙂

  3. I love Jane Austen’s books and I’d heard that this was a complete rip-off of her words. If this had been written in his own way rather than adding a few things to the original story, I would have read it. Because I know it’s not a complete re-write, I’m leaving it be. It infuriates me – this guy isn’t an author at all. 😛 Rant over. 😉

  4. I’d heard that it was an exact copy of P&P but with Zombies added. Although I LOVE P&P I’m not a zombie fan, so I wasn’t interested in this at all. But I’ve heard that people really loved it, so there must be something interesting about it …

  5. Ooo, I really want to read this but just have not gotten around to it. Your review reinforces other things I’ve heard about it. I’m not so sure I want to pick it up anymore–or maybe from the library instead of the book store.

  6. I hear ya, I do. And yet, I think I enjoyed it because I did get a good dose of re-read of the Austen classic. just with a few zombies thrown in. I’m in no hurry to do the S&S&Seamonsters, tho. I seriously doubt I’ll ever get to it. AND or is it BUT, I do think I should try a true zombie thriller someday. 🙂

  7. I haven’t read this one and am not willing to give it a chance just because I don’t read any zombie lit, period. I have tried some short stories in the past and that was enough to let me know that it is my least favorite genre out there.

  8. I was browsing through the book at Kinokuniya Singapore, thinking of buying it, but felt that it was pointless to read it. But I settled for Mr Darcy, Vampyre instead. Thanks for your honest review.

  9. I’m sorry you didn’t much care for it. I have the book, but haven’t read it yet. I was excited about it, but the more reviews I read, the more I’m preparing myself to be disappointed. But who knows? Maybe I’ll like it. It just seemed like something fun and different, but I noticed when I flipped through it that it seemed like he just inserted a few words into the original text here and there. I did like the illustrations at first glance, though.

    Thanks for the honest review!

  10. I love P&P and have 12yod eyeing P&P. I am seriously tempted to tell her to go for the read but there is a huge part of me that thinks the read would be to heavy for her in the sense of the language. I was eyeing P&P and Zombies at the bookstore thinking that maybe this would be a way for her to read P&P as she is a big fan of paranormal/fantasy. I did not purchase it because…well…Zombies. Gag. I am glad I have read your review because I know now this is not the book for her or I, for that matter.

    Question: Do you have any thoughts on a P&P version that would be good for a 12yo who reads and understands more like a 14yo?

    • I agree, it would keep her off the book for a long time if she reads it at this age, lol

      I can’t give you any particular version, but usually when you go to a children’s section of a bookstore, you’ll find different versions of P&P for children, don’t know if they are any good though, sorry.

    • Especially because apart from the “occasional sprinkling of Zombies”, the only other changes I noticed were strongly underlined sexual puns. Mostly about balls.

      I was really looking forward to reading this, because Austen = Awesome, and Zombies = Awesome, but somehow it ended up being garlic bread with maple syrup.
      I feel like a good author might have been able to do something brilliant with it, but the only brilliance is in Austen’s original work.

      Plus side- I’m totally re-reading P&P.

  11. Sorry you didn’t enjoy it! I have it, but haven’t read it yet. However, I had read in an interview that the “author” had kept about 70% of the original contempt, so that’s not a surprise to me. I guess people like it because it’s an original take on a very well known classic. A little like a parody? I don’t know. Personally, I only want to read it out of curiosity!

  12. Yes, I feel like this book is a ruse to make money, too. Not interested, especially knowing that it’s basically Austen anyway. I liked P&P the way it was in the first place! 🙂

  13. I do know of people who enjoyed this one, but it’s not one I am even remotely curious about, I confess. I knew how it was written and it just doesn’t appeal to me. The idea is certainly interesting and had it been a completely original work, I might have considered reading it. I’m sorry it wasn’t what you expected.

  14. I haven’t read it yet. I’ve checked it out from the library a few times, but couldn’t quite force myself to read it. I can definitely see your point about where the necessaryness for this book is (i.e., nowhere). And now it seems like every book in public domain is being zombified!

  15. I guess you have to like zombies to enjoy a book like this. I really enjoyed it. It was an interesting twist on P&P and it kept me busy reading, the zombie slaying was well desribed and fun. If you enjoy this type of read, go for it, read it. I also reccomend World War Z (if you like zombies that is)

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