"Pride and Prejudice and Zombies"
by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
read by Katherine Kellgren
produced by Brilliance Audio
Approx. 11 hours
Being a horror fan the title of this book just screamed, "read me," but at the same time I was not looking forward to revisiting one of those classic books that you were forced to read back in the school days whether high school or college. I am really glad I did. This book is beyond any horror entertainment, it contains some great tongue-in-cheek humor. Really though, the best part of the book is that Seth Grahame-Smith stayed true to the Jane Austen writing while throwing in zombies, ninjas and Xiaolin monks (remember David Carradine & "Kung Fu"?).
"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains." That's how this book begins and right off you can tell this is not Jane Austen's novel, but I will say that for the first couple of chapters I began to wonder. It seemed like all Seth did was throw in a few references to zombies and the strange plague, but once the ball in which Mr. Bingley is to be introduced to the Bennet sisters begins and the zombies break in to attack the living, the Bennet sisters and their father form the pentagram of death stance and begin their Xiaolin warrior tactics to lop of the heads of the zombies. From this point on the reader/listener is unleashed into what may be the first zombie/romance novel.
For those of you that have read the Jane Austen novel and appreciate the great literary work, don't worry you won't be let down. In fact I think those that have read and appreciate the original may enjoy this retelling even more, and may find yourself laughing at the fun that is this novel. For those of you ought for a zombie massacre adventure, be careful you are going to be getting some classic literature thrown at you.
Without going through the entire synopsis of this story, I think I'll just point out some of the main features that makes this something worth picking up.
It is true that Mrs. Bennet is out to get her daughters married off, but Mr. Bennet feels that the girls' training in the "deadly arts" is needed to protect their home from the "unmentionables" (zombies). Elizabeth Bennet comes to despise Mr. Darcy due to prejudices she has developed against him from her observations. When he proposes marriage to Elizabeth they draw their Katanas (swords) and begin a martial arts showdown that leaves Mr. Darcy slightly wounded.
Lady Catherine, while entertaining Elizabeth in her home, wants to show off her ninja bodyguards and allows Elizabeth, with her lowly Kung Fu training, to spar against 4 of her ninjas. Elizabeth proceeds to kill all four ninjas, and does so while blindfolded. Later when Lady Catherine says she will not allow Elizabeth to marry her brother Darcy, the two match fighting prowess to the death for the honor. Elizabeth wins but as her punishment leaves Lady Catherine alive so she can witness the marriage of the two.
Oh yeah and zombies are in this book also. All in all this book is just one great mashup that is fun to read.