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Seth Grahame Smith – Pride & Prejudice & Zombies

February 17, 2016

Grahame-Smith, Seth - Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - 40063. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen (2009)

Length: 319 pages
Genre: Horror/Historical Fiction

Started: 04 October 2015
Finished: 11 October 2015

Where did it come from? Downloaded on my Kindle.
Why do I have it? Amazon had it on sale for cheap and I figured it would be fun.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 24 November 2014.

What does a zombie
Mr. Darcy do about
(Sorry. Can’t help myself with the bad zombie jokes.)

Summary: It’s the story everybody knows: The five Bennet daughters are in need of marrying well when the wealthy Mr. Bingley moves into the neighborhood. With Mr. Bingley comes Mr. Darcy, who is even wealthier, but who is excessively proud and disdainful of what he views as lower country society. Also, the Bennets and Darcy are all trained in the martial arts as zombie fighters, the better to resist the deadly (undeadly?) plague that’s sweeping the British countryside.

Review: While I appreciate that this book is pretty much what it says on the package, it wasn’t really my cup of tea. (Or my passel of zombies. Whatever.) There’s really only the one joke (“What if Pride and Prejudice had zombies! HILARIOUS!”) that gets used over and over again, but starts to lose whatever zany appeal it may have originally had pretty quickly. I chuckled a bit in the beginning at the casual inclusion of zombies, and there were a couple of good bits later on (including some musings from the rapidly zombifying Charlotte Lucas about whether Mr. Darcy would be better for Elizabeth than Mr. Wickham, because he has a larger head… and therefore more brains. I also really enjoyed Lady Catherine’s transformation into a ninja master.) There were some other jokes just fell totally flat for me, largely involving double entendres around “balls” – either of the dancing or the musket variety. Even in a spoof, I do not want Mr. Darcy joking about balls! Not okay. Mostly, though, I got tired of the whole thing pretty quickly, and I spent most of this book wishing I were reading the original instead. 3 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: It’s a clever conceit, but it’s pretty one-note, and the conceit isn’t enough to sustain it throughout the whole thing. It’s fast, but not as funny or as charming as it thinks it is, and not something I’ll be revisiting in the future. (Except for the movie. I’ll probably go see the movie, if for no other reason than to see Matt Smith as Mr. Collins.)

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

Other Reviews: Vulpes Libres, The Word Zombie, A Working Title, and more at the Book Blogs Search Engine.
Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

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

Vocab: (see the whole list)

  • Location 469: “Mr. Hurst and Mr. Bingley were at piquet, and Mrs. Hurst was observing their game.” – A card game for two people, played with a deck from which all cards below the seven, aces being high, are omitted.
  • Location 1899: “He never said a great deal, nor did she give herself the trouble of talking or of listening much; but it struck her in the course of their third rencontre that he was asking some odd unconnected questions – about her pleasure in being at Hunsford, which bones she had broken, and her opinion of the suitability of marriage for warriors such as they.” – An unplanned meeting; A hostile encounter or contest.
  • Location 2885: “There was now employment for the whole part – for though they could not all talk, they could all eat; and the beautiful pyramids of ham, frosting, and zarezushi soon collected them round the table.” – An old term/spelling for sushi, I guess. Almost every internet source is from this book.
  • Location 3350: “His letter was soon dispatched; for, though dilatory in undertaking business, he was quick in its execution.” – Characterized by or given to delay or slowness

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 24, 2016 7:56 pm

    I picked up this one to read but have yet to start it. I was worried that the joke would get overplayed or that the whole zombie thing wouldn’t work out well. But I’ll give it a try just to see Lady Catherine as a ninja master lol.

    • February 25, 2016 3:23 pm

      The zombie thing is actually integrated pretty well — it’s cleverly done, but I stopped finding that cleverness funny after a while, if that makes sense.

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