“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.” So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (PPZ) by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith, a hybrid of the classic Pride and Prejudice (PP) and the zombies. Zombies have found themselves involved in a resurgence as of late in pop culture and literature. They have fittingly risen back from the netherworld from which they have been banished for the past couple of decades.
I was excited to read this book for a couple of reasons, one being the awesome cover art that drew my attention to the story. Another is the idea of the infusion of zombies into a classic story involving women and how these women are trained zombie killers. The last reason I was looking forward to reading this story, was unrelated to the actual story; I had gotten a Nook for Christmas and this was my first purchase.
I haven’t read the original Pride and Prejudice and probably never will, as it is a genre of books that doesn’t interest me. However, I believe that these are great books that hold lots of great memories for lots of people. So, I can only assume that PPZ at least loosely follows the original PP. This being said, I would have to say that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is more Pride and Prejudice than it is Zombies.
The Zombies always being a danger and their random attacks of the people in the story was a great twist. So great in fact that because there wasn’t more zombie attacks in the story, overall I was dissapointed with the story. The zombies were more of a secondary storyline and I felt were underused as a source of angst in the story.
As far as the writing and structure of the story, I have no complaints even though it took me awhile to get used to Jane Austen’s style of writing. The zombies and the all the other parts of the story that were created by Seth Grahame-Smith were seamless and didn’t detract from the overall story arc.
The main source of angst in the story is the emotional angst that existed with the Bennet sisters and their relationships, or lack thereof, with the men in their lives. There is some physical conflict that is present when the zombies attack. These zombie attacks are a welcome diversion to the constant worrying about men and whether or not the Bennet girls will find a husband and marry.
Overall I enjoyed the book and liked the zombie addition to a classic story that I would’ve never read otherwise. Really my only complaint to the story is that there wasn’t enough zombie and zombie mayhem.
Profanity in the story is minimal and to be honest I don’t remember any standing out. I would give it a ONE just in case I overlooked any. Violence in the story would be a TWO, in that the Zombie fights are at times described in gruesome detail. Sexual content is a soft ONE, in that it is implied but not described in the story.
I give the characterization a strong ONE in that I liked the characters in the story and some of their characteristics. Their constant pining for a husband throughout the story turned me off after awhile. The plot I give a ONE, in that it was pretty one dimensional and not too interesting. Overall I give the story a ONE, as a result of what I stated earlier: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is more Pride and Prejudice than it is Zombies. If you liked the original PP and have even a passing interest in the zombie craze, then you will most likely enjoy this story more than I did. I would recommend this novel if you are looking for something different to read that’s entertaining and quick to read.
I give Pride and Prejudice and Zombies an angst rating of TWO, but wished it would’ve been a three with more zombie angst!