Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith, does everything that you would expect a book called that to do, combining all the aspects of the original that people know and love over the backdrop of the zombie apocalypse.
“Do you prefer reading to cards?” said he, “that is rather singular.”
“I prefer a great many things to cards, Mr. Hurst,” said Elizabeth, “not the least of which is the sensation of a newly sharpened blade as it punctures the round belly of a man.”
Mr. Hurst was silent for the remainder of the evening.
The biggest problem is that it reads as if it was written by going through a Word document with Pride and Prejudice in it and occasionally adding references to the unmentionables, the deadly arts and ninjas. There are a few significant plot points which are altered by the presence of the apocalypse (Darcy is snobbish because he believes he is better trained than Elizabeth, instead of simply wealthier, and Wickham is maimed in addition to being married off), but for the most part references are passing. To compare: in the original, main social differences come from money, which you hear a lot about. Here, money is still an issue, but skill as a warrior is (almost) equally important, and besides hearing of how Elizabeth relishes bathing in the blood of her vanquished foe it’s not really discussed. A little more backdrop would have been nice.
However, it still manages to keep the tone of the original – something that’s pretty impressive, all things considered. And while not nearly as funny as it could have been, the constant zombie attacks, sarcasm and random beheading of annoying secondary characters gives it a much quicker pace. And makes it awesome.
Quirk Books. March 2009. 320 pages.