Thursday, September 24, 2009

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

Plot Summary: This is Jane Austen’s original novel, edited to include a mysterious zombie-producing plague and ninjas.

When I first saw this book on the shelves, I thought of Carrie Harris.

After that, I had no idea what to think. I mean, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES? Written by both Jane Austen and some guy I’d never heard of. Huh? How was this possible? And then I remembered that Austen’s books are in the public domain, unprotected by copyright laws. So I picked it up, thinking it might be amusing, and read this in the jacket flap summary:

“... Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you'd actually want to read.”

Um...I like Jane Austen. PRIDE AND PREJUDICE is my favorite novel of hers. Still, I’m not a judgmental person, so I took this statement as a joke (as I’m sure it was intended) and decided not to hold it against the author. :)

This was a weird book to read. I know the original story well, so I was basically reading this version to see where Grahame-Smith had made his changes. They had been inserted well, and the flow of the story was smooth for the most part. But, as you all probably know by now, I can’t shut off the writer part of my brain (urgh...brains...). :) There were a couple places that seemed odd, like when Elizabeth is visiting Lady Catherine, and she talks to Darcy about her short-comings as a result of lack of practice rather than inherent lack of talent. In the ZOMBIE version, it didn’t ring true to me because of the way Elizabeth’s character had been drawn throughout the story. But these places were few and far between, and I was reading with a light heart.

Overall, it was fun to read. The story is funny and very ridiculous, and I laughed my way through nearly all of it. I’m glad I read it, even though I’m sure I’ll never read it again.

There is another book that just came out, SENSE AND SENSIBILITY AND SEAMONSTERS. I also just noticed the zombification of WAR OF THE WORLDS, HUCKLEBERRY FINN, AND WIZARD OF OZ.

Thanks, but I’ll pass on these. One was funny, but all these feel like a marketing ploy.


Carrie Harris said...

Wow. I feel special.

No, seriously.

I thought this was really funny. I'm reading Mr. Darcy, Vampire right now. And I will probably read Wuthering Bites when it comes out. It's just how I roll.

Tabitha said...

That is, of course, why I thought of you when I saw this book. I mean, zombies and ninjas? That's TOTALLY you. :)

I hope you'll share when you finish those books!

PJ Hoover said...

Ditto. I'll pass. But for a marketing ploy I do think it will be a successful one.

Christina Farley said...

I'm not sure if I'd read this. But it does sound funny!

Patti said...

I was wondering how that book was.

Bish Denham said...

The thought of all these classics being bastardized makes me sad. Don't the writers have enough imagination to make up their own stories? I shutter at what will be done/has been done to the likes of The Wizard of Oz and/or Huck Finn. It seems like a cheap quick way to get published.

Tabitha said...

PJ - I agree. I've seen many people commenting on how they didn't enjoy Pride and Prejudice until they read the Zombies version. Which actually makes me sad...

Christina - it was funny, and fun to read once. But I don't think it's worth getting caught up in the others.

Patti - it's okay. It's ridiculous, and fun to read once. But once is enough for me. :)

Bish - yeah, I have to agree. I mean, it doesn't really take much skill to make a few changes to someone else's story. Real skill is needed to create your own compelling story with real characters. I thought the Zombies version was funny, but all the other stories is definitely overkill, and a ploy to make money.

Casey Something said...

I just watched the book trailer for Sense and Sensibility and Seamonsters and I was thinking the same thing. One was enough. I read P&P&Z and thought it was fun for what it is, but I adore the original. I almost think you have to have read the original to get a full kick out of the zombie version, too.

Anyway, I won't be reading any more of these either.

Anonymous said...

Okay, so this jumped out at me. I am a huge Jane Austen fan but did NOT know her work was public domain. WOW.

Anyway, ZOMBIES and Mr. Darcy. Hmmm...not something I would have paired together.