“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith – abandoned at 38%

“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” was my second read for my “Pride, Prejudice and Pastiches” reading challenge. Unfortunately, it turned out not to be for me. I abandoned it at 38% (a little more than four hours).

I was attracted by the wonderful title ( a gift from the author’s editor) and the fun movie (which was visually stunning) so I had some hopes that the book would be equally amusing. Sadly, it wasn’t.

The book is a roughly sewn quilt which uses small squares of the Austen original, with all the wit and nuance washed out, to hold together a Georgian zombie story.

For this to have been worthwhile, the zombie parts of the book needed to have something fresh and compelling that went beyond the unlikely juxtaposition of genteel Georgian young women, Japanese samurai sword-play and stumbling zombies.

What I was offered was a series of splatterfests that were neither funny nor gruesome and a picture of the Bennet sisters as a pack of dagger-wielding, pistol-shooting, throat-slitting, neck-slicing, psychopaths with a lust for weaponry and fond memories of abusive training by a master of the Chinese martial arts.

The Austen parts so simplified the people that I found them more horrifying than the zombie scenes. The zombie scenes were shallow and repetitive. Worst of all, Elizabeth Bennet became someone I would cheerfully have seen dismembered with her own sword.

Katherine Kellgran does a good job at the narration. Click on the SoundCloud link below to hear a sample.

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