Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

This is the conversation I have imagined between author Seth Grahame-Smith and his buddy on the concept of writing Pride and Prejudice and Zombies:

Seth: What is up with women and Pride and Prejudice? They drool all over themselves when anything to do with that book comes up.
Buddy: Dude, I know.
Seth: You know what would make that book appealing to men? Zombies. Lots of 'em. And make the Bennett sisters kick-butt warriors in the battle against the zombie infestation of England. That would be hot!
Buddy: Dude! Awesome!

And so he wrote the book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: with ultraviolent zombie mayhem. Believe me, there is plenty of zombie mayhem. Grahame-Smith said in an interview I read online that the book is 85% Austen and 15% Grahame-Smith. I can believe that. The added parts are obvious and the essential story remains the same. The difference is that England is troubled by a constant zombie problem that has no near resolution and the Bennett sisters have been trained by their father and a Chinese martial arts master to battle against the unmentionables. So you know, pretty much the same.

Grahame-Smith's concept works, if you can buy the idea of adding zombies. You can picture Elizabeth Bennett doing martial arts and Catherine de Bourgh being the country's most formidable female warrior against the unmentionables. The book is funny at times, especially anything to do with Mr. Collins and Charlotte Lucas. It definitely feels like it was written for a male audience (who Grahame-Smith has said he wrote the book for), but who is actually going to read this book? Most likely women. I mean, it's still Pride and Prejudice and it still has the language of an Austen book and the love story is the same. If I'm right and it's mostly women who will read it, there are far too many jokes about the male anatomy and people vomiting and beating hearts being ripped out of chests to appeal to a female audience. In fact, there are only about three jokes that are recycled throughout the book. Maybe that would work better in a movie, but it's glaringly repetitive in the book.

Speaking of a movie, I also read online that the book would possibly become a movie in the future. If so, it will most likely be the first film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice to get an R rating. 'Cause there's lots of gore. Oodles. I can imagine that will be when the men turn out in droves. That's not saying that all men love gore or that women are incapable of enjoying zombie flicks, but I don't think I'm wrong by saying it's slanted towards one gender. And that's fine too. But I doubt their Mr. Darcy will hold a candle to Colin Firth or Matthew MacFayden. I'm just sayin'.


  1. I think I'll be skipping that one. I'll spend the time I would have spent watching Colin Firth.

  2. I'm glad to read a review on this book! Thanks!

  3. The whole Zombie thing got really old after a while. As did the three running jokes. I thought it was a clever idea for about the first hundred pages and then I just wanted to read the real book instead. I heard that Sense and Sensiblity and Seamonsters is better but I'm not sure I'll give it a try.

  4. I've seen the Zombie one and the Sea Monster one and have wanted to try them out. It still sounds like a very interesting concept.

  5. Your review and Rachel's comment echo the other things I've heard about it. Funny at first, gets really old after a while. Sounds like it would have been better done as a 10-minute skit on YouTube.