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Monday, October 31, 2011

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Graham-Smith (R.I.P)

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies  is another book that I hoped to like, but instead found tiresome. It isn't that I dislike mash-ups.  I do like them--or some of them.  Last year I read Shakespeare Undead for the R.I.P. challenge and found it great fun.

I love Jane Austen and P & P in particular.  I've re-read the novel many times, and it has never failed to make me chuckle and to marvel at Austen's insight into human nature.

I like zombies.  Serious and scary zombies and zombie parodies, both.   Loved seeing How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse (a zombie boot camp) when we were in Edinburgh.

So...what went wrong (for me) with P & P & Z?

1.  Elizabeth in P & P & Z is NOT the witty Elizabeth Bennett of the original.  E. B. in this pastiche is simply unpleasantly blood-thirsty and offensive.  The humor concerning the zombies is forced and crude compared to Austen's sophisticated satire.

2.  The zombies are a gimmick.  In spite of the frequent zombie attacks, they are not frightening.  Or maybe I just wanted the zombies to go ahead and eat the brains of all of the characters--the entire clans Bennet, Darcy, Collins, Bingley, etc.) --preferably in the first chapter.

3.  I read the whole damn thing.  It took forever, and I probably read 5 or 6 other books during the same period.  Finishing the book is not a feat of which I'm proud.  I kept hoping that it would really engage, and when it didn't, I plowed ahead anyway.  Masochistic.

My last book for the R.I.P. challenge.

Fiction.  Mashup/Pastiche/Parody/Supernatural.  2009.  317 pages.


  1. Right? GREAT IDEA, turrible execution. I was seriously disappoint.

  2. I experienced this one as an audio book and enjoyed it. I think it had a lot to do with the reader and her English accent and very proper delivery. It all seemed like a strange contrast in plot and style, I think. Not sure I would have had the same experience if I had tried to read it.

  3. When this came out I was a bit intrigued, but frankly this is getting severely overdone and I am not really all that interested.

  4. I think the other two P&P&Z books are better, mainly because they are original writing. I felt this one seemed kind of forced, having to use Austen's original writing and inserting zombies here and there. I agree that Elizabeth Bennet's character is really changed and not for the better. I did really enjoy P&P&Z: Dreadfully Ever After, though.

  5. raych - your comment "GREAT IDEA, turrible execution" is a concise and accurate summary. (in my opinion...and all is opinion)

    Sam - Maybe I would have enjoyed hearing it better than reading it, but it is so long.

    Kailana - When a creative spark becomes a gimmick, it does get old. The freshness of the idea is gone. With so many mashups and zombie novels coming out, it is difficult to discover which ones are worth the effort.

    Anna - I do think it is better to leave the original alone and sort of proceed from there in works like this. Or to just create original characters and place them in the same milieu, maybe even with the original novel's characters simply getting a mention.

  6. Someone let me borrow this book, and I wasn't intrigued at all - gave it back without reading it.

  7. Ann - I think those who liked the books and those who disliked it are about evenly divided. :) I would say that you didn't miss anything.

  8. I didn't like this one either. I wanted to, it had such great potential but in the excution it just didn't work.

  9. Stefanie -- I was so hoping to enjoy this one; a big disappointment.