Book Review Short: Pride & Prejudice & Zombies

It’s summer and I want to be outside playing with The Five-Year-Old. While that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped reading, it does mean I don’t want to spend a lot of time reviewing. Hence, the book review short.

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies
By Seth Grahame-Smith, Jane Austen
Quirk Classics, 2009

No summer reading list would be complete without a bit of Jane Austen fan fiction.

Grahame-Smith’s Pride & Prejudice & Zombies is amusing, but not as much fun as I had hoped based on its wonderful first sentence. To be fair, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains” does set the bar rather high.

Still, I felt the execution fell flat. The insertions of zombie-related text are very frequent and not always very smoothly done. I can definitely tell that I’m reading the words of two very different authors with two very different ideas about dialogue and characterization.

That said, the juxtaposition of Austen’s vision with Grahame-Smith’s creates some of the novel’s funniest moments. Such as the one in which Austen’s Elizabeth plots the many different ways in which she can exterminate Caroline Bingley. And who wouldn’t laugh at poor Charlotte Collins pondering whether Elizabeth would be better off with Mr. Darcy or Colonel Fitzwilliam based on the relative abundance of fresh brains for feasting that they each have to offer?

All told, I found Pride & Prejudice & Zombies to be an excellent choice for these last lazy days of summer, when my own brains were wanting a bit of a break before the renewed rush of the upcoming school year.


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