Today is the official release date of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen. As I mentioned last week, I was super excited to read it. I’m actually a bigger fan of Austen than I generally admit, so combined with my love of zombies, I thought I’d be the perfect demographic.
The problem is that I might just be too big a fan of Austen and too big a fan of zombies to fully appreciate the combination. It’s like making a sandwich with peanut butter and bacon. They’re both delicious on their own, but together?
I know people were saying all this before the book came out, but I didn’t believe them. Because, you know, everything is better with zombies. And the zombies in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies are great. There just aren’t enough of them. But, to make room for the zombies, there is also less of Darcy and Elizabeth, the characters that make Pride and Prejudice so lovable. As a result, romance and mayhem are in competition.
That said, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was thoroughly enjoyable. It was funny and gruesome and had lots of ninja vs. zombie action. Grahame-Smith’s interpretation of Regency England included ongoing humor about vomit and balls. (Historical note: “Balls” once referred to social gatherings at which guests danced, rather than, “heheh, balls.”) Really, I couldn’t put the book down.
Grahame-Smith’s literary mashup, though not wholly seamless, is a fun and fantastical take on the Austen’s classic novel. Austen was a progressive woman with a sense of humor, but she feared that Pride and Prejudice was “rather too light, and bright, and sparkling.” Had she lived in modern times, maybe she would have realized that zombies were exactly the soiling the novel needed. Maybe.
I’m giving the book four brains out of five.