Book Review--Pride & Prejudice & Zombies


What I'm about to say won't make any sense, but I'll say it anyway:

I wasn't expecting the zombies. 

Jordan actually read this before I did, and he said it was pretty good. I'd heard similar reviews from numerous sources, and it was on the bestseller list too. But I still wasn't quite sure what to expect, and so I'll admit that I wasn't expecting zombies.

I actually didn't like the first few chapters. The style of Victorian literature takes a bit of getting used to, and I had to work my way back into it. But what had also failed to sink in was the fact that there were going to be actual zombies in the book. 

This is the actual story of Pride & Prejudice complete with character names, plot events, and dialogue. The difference is, when the girls are at a ball, there's a brief zombie invasion. Or when Elizabeth is walking across the field toward Netherfield, she encounters some zombies and has to fight them off.

Like I said, it took me a few chapters to get used to the randomness of the zombie appearances. My initial review (after the first few chapters) was that I wasn't sure I liked it or wanted to keep going. But after telling this to a few people and hearing them express their sadness upon hearing that I was considering quitting, I pushed on. And I am glad I did. After the experience of zombies upon the lives of the Bennet family, I'm not entirely sure I can ever read the real Pride & Prejudice again. 

As the back cover teaser of the book itself states: "Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride & Prejudice & Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you'd actually want to read." 

But it's not just random zombie attacks either, as I soon realized. Seth Grahame-Smith has done a fantastic job transforming the world of the novel itself with wording and death/zombie references on every single page. If you didn't know this was first a different book, you might be inclined to think this was one all of its own creation. 

Here's the first line just so you can see what I'm talking about: 

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains."

One thing I really liked about P&P&Z that I did not expect was the humor. I laughed out loud more than a few times while reading this, and I especially enjoyed the occasional twist off the original story, where something happened to a character that I wasn't expecting. This, obviously, would only be appreciated by someone who had read the original. 

In conclusion, I'm glad I didn't stop after the third chapter. This is a clever, humorous, well-written rendition of Jane Austen's beloved original. Yes, there are zombies, and there are a few descriptions of zombie-related activities that were a little gruesome or, for lack of a better word, disgusting. But even those were done well. 

Of course, I do have a few complaints, but they were minor and therefore not worth mentioning here. It was, overall, an enjoyable read and one I would consider again. 

Lauren said...

You know, I've heard nothing but good things about this. It continues to surprise me how people love it.

I can't believe anything would be able to alter my beloved book in a positive way... it it seems I am outnumbered. ;-)

Amanda said...

I didn't think I'd like it either, but it was interesting. You should try it, Lauren!

badgergirl said...

I have to say that I love the book. The pictures crack me up, and I just love the bizarre twists... I have actually read the other two books in the series as well. They aren't AS good, but yeah, good review haha its such an odd book :D