05 November 2009

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

I picked up Pride and Prejudice and Zombies in April when it came out.  I have a long-standing loathing of any and all Austen "sequels", "prequels", adaptations, re-tellings, etc. because all lack the Austen sparkle, that touch of everyday life with biting irony and observation.  Not to mention many either devolve into bodice rippers (for serious?) or put the characters in situations that would NEVER have made it to print in Regency England (a homosexual sex ring, for instance).  PPZ, on the other hand, admitted up front that at least 80% of the original novel had been retained with the zombie plot laid over it - I'll give that a try.

PPZ is pretty funny - it is a parody/mash-up after all - and doesn't take itself seriously (which was nice because so many of the Austen-hangers-on do take themselves seriously).  There are some scenes I really didn't think necessary (Mr. Bennet calling Mrs. Bennet an "old cur" is one of them) but some scenes were hysterical.  My favorite scene was the one where Lizzie first visits Rosings and gets interrogated by Lady Catherine, only in this version it's not "governesses" who are the issue it's "ninjas," and the scene is played almost completely straight.  Very, very funny.  The author also gave a few people a decent comeuppance *cough*Mr. Wickam*cough* that was just a little more satisfying than in the original because Grahame-Smith does have the advantage of nearly 200 years of psychological and literary development at his disposal.

I had a lot of fun reading PPZ.  It was a very fast read, even for me, since I know the original Pride and Prejudice inside out.  While I had a good laugh reading PPZ I really wasn't so impressed with it.  It's a funny mash-up but it wasn't so fantastic that Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters or Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter are necessary.  Funny, but not really something I want to read again.

Clear Off Your Shelves Challenge Count: 12/16

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