Review of 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies'

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen, and Seth Grahame-Smith

pride_and_prejudice_and_zombies.jpg Are you a fan of Jane Austen or, perhaps, of her style of writing? Perhaps the works of the Bronté sisters? The 19th century style of writing that concentrates on the personal lives of the wealthy as a sort of gothic soap opera? No, well, this is probably not the book for you. For myself I have to say this is not my cup of tea and several times I have attempted to start reading Austen's works and have had to simply put them down having not cared a jot for any of the characters or any interest whatsoever in the plot. Indeed, even this twisted variation on those novels, “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” is another book that I attempted to read a few years ago but gave up on despite the promise of action and, of course, Zombies to spice things up a bit. Recently my patience has increased and I decided to give it another go.

Mr Bennett and Mrs Bennet live in the stately home at Longbourn with their daughters: Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Catherine (“Kitty”), and Lydia. When attending a local ball at Netherfield home of the Bingleys. Elizabeth meets a friend of Mr Bingley, Fitzwilliam Darcy who she immediately takes a dislike to but the gathering is interrupted by a zombie horde that is driven off by the martial art talents of the Bennet daughters. Soon after, Jane is attacked by zombies while on horseback and recuperates at Netherfield joined there by Elizabeth. After recovering and returning home, Mr Bennet's cousin Mr Collins, the owner of Longbourn, arrives set on marrying one of the sisters with Elizabeth catching his eye. At another Ball there is another zombie attack that is rebuffed by Mr Darcy. Soon after Mr Collins asks to marry Elizabeth but is rebuffed so turns his attention to Elizabeth's friend Charlotte Lucas who, little does he know, has become infected with the zombie virus. Elizabeth's dislike for Mr Darcy, despite his continued attentions, grows as she hears more about him but when she eventually visits his home and meets him personally…

Are you confused? Yeah, so am I. Do you really care? Yeah, neither do I, particularly. To write the synopsis above I had to read about it on Wikipedia to get the details correct. For the most part Zombies sticks to the characters and story of the original novel “Pride and Prejudice” (as far as I am aware) with the occasional brutal, bloody action sequence thrown in. Obviously it is a comedy of manners with all of the balls, dining and stately homes inhabited by the martial arts-trained wealthy elite who think nothing of dispatching the undead by their hundreds nor think much of the death that permeates the country's plague. There are all these pleasant conversations that talk of death and destruction as if it is nothing more than talk of what to wear or gossiping about the groundskeeper. This conceit wears a bit thin very quickly, becoming boring and tedious as the story unfolds.

“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” is meant to be silly and entertaining but I found it neither…though perhaps those who like Austen…and have a bit of an open mind…might find it more amusing? Quite boring and a bit tedious but, to be fair, much less so than the original Austen novel.

Rating: “A bit better than average”

Review Date: 2022-05-08

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Quirk Productions

Publication Date: 2009

ISBN: 9781594743344

Other reviewed books by Jane Austen: