Madeline's Reviews > Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith
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May 07, 10

bookshelves: no-judgements, crap-tastic
Read in June, 2009

I tried to resist. When everyone starting losing their shit over this book and pre-ordering it, I told myself that this was a literary bandwagon I wouldn't jump on. I read the reviews posted here, and saw that for the most part the consensus was that this book was grossly overrated. All the parts that Grahame-Smith wrote (and there aren't many) weren't very well done, the zombie device got old quickly, and the whole thing could have been much better.
It was with all this evidence in mind that I went into a bookstore a week ago and bought a copy.

All of the previously mentioned criticisms are true. But you know what I decided? Criticism be damned, go ahead and revoke my Intelligent Reader membership card, I don't care. Because this book fucking rocked, and was the most fun I've had reading a book in a long time.

It's the exact same plot as the original story, except it takes place in an alternate universe where England has been overrun with zombies for "five and fifty years". Why did this happen? It doesn't matter. All you need to know is that zombies are cool, and the Bennett sisters (thanks to their Shaolin training) are the best zombie slayers in Hertfordshire. Enter Mr. Darcy, who "drew the attention of the room by his fine, tall person, handsome features, noble mien - and the report which was in general circulation withing five minutes after his entrance, of his having slaughtered more than a thousand unmentionables since the fall of Cambridge."

I don't really know what else to say about this that hasn't been said already in the 1,000+ reviews already posted on this site. If you enjoy zombie movies, either genuinely or ironically, you will like this book. If you're a Jane Austen fan, you'll either think this book is brilliant or are already setting fire to Seth Grahame-Smith's lawn.

We now present our closing arguments in support of the awesomeness of this book:
-The story appears exactly as it does in the original, but with infinitely more general badassery. The scene where Darcy first confesses his love for Elizabeth becomes much more interesting when the entire converstation occurs while Elizabeth is beating the shit out of Darcy.
-"'It is your turn to say something now, Mr. Darcy. I talked about the dance, and you ought to make some sort of remark on the size of the room, or the number of couples.'
He smiled, and assured her that whatever she wished him to say would be said.
'Very well. That reply will do for the present. Perhaps by and by I may observe that private balls are much pleasanter than public ones.'
'On the contrary, I find that balls are much more enjoyable when they cease to remain private.'"
-Lady Catherine de Bourgh is a famous zombie killer, and has a personal army of ninjas. NINJAS.
-"The entertainment of dining at Rosings was repeated about twice a week; and, allowing for the loss of Sir William, and there being only one card-table in the evening, every such entertainment was the couterpart of the first. On one such occasion, Elizabeth was solicited to spar with several of her ladyship's ninjas for the amusement of the party.
The demonstration took place in Lady Catherine's grand dojo, which she had paid to have carried from Kyoto, brick by brick, on the backs of peasants. The ninjas wore their traditional black clothing, masks, and Tabbi boots; Elizabeth wore her sparring gown, and her trusted Katana sword. As Lady Catherine rose to signal the beginning of the match, Elizabeth, in a show of defiance, blindfolded herself."

PS: Austen Austen AUSTEN.

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Comments (showing 1-46 of 46) (46 new)

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message 1: by Paul (last edited Aug 19, 2009 10:06AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Paul Okay, I'm still reading this, but suffice it to say that I'd have to agree with you. Fuck this book is but good and fun. Right when my eyes start to glass over from all the manners bullshit, zombies crash the party and everyone is fighting for their lives. Awesome.

Best of all is that it still manages to capture the absurdity of the times that Austen was trying to convey, and in some senses even add to it (seriously, how the FUCK can you care about something like who your daughter marries when you are surrounded by zombies? WTF?!)

And how can you not go for lines like:

"'Let them burn,' she said. 'Let them have a taste of eternity.'"


"As guests fled in every direction, Mr. Bennet's voice cut through the commotion. 'Girls! Pentagram of Death!'"

Moira Russell or are already setting fire to Seth Grahame-Smith's lawn.

//fires up blowtorch

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) I have to read this book now. You had me at personal army of Ninjas!

message 4: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany I'll probably get flogged for saying this, but Jane Austen the Original is, in my opinion, highly overrated. The I Can't Stand Austen Club is a lonely one, but I gotta say I'm a card-carrying member. HATE her.

So I'll probably never read this book as I would never want to put myself through any version of Pride and Prejudice again, but neither am I a purist who thinks this book is a sad gimmick. Like away!

Madeline I'm not a huge Jane Austen fan either, to be honest. I like her dry, witty narration, but the truth is I just don't care that much about silly English girls getting married.

So actually, I liked the story a lot more once the Bennett sisters had bigger problems to worry about, like brain-eating zombies crashing Mr. Bingley's dinner party.

message 6: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany Haha, fair enough, and well put!

message 7: by Marina (new) - added it

Marina I love your review! You put my thoughts into words.

message 8: by Salma (new) - added it

Salma Oh- I don't know if JA's rolling in her grave. Let's not forget the woman had a badass sense of humor.

message 9: by Sunila (new)

Sunila Verma Reviews of this book have really got me intrigued. But I'm not a huge Jane Austen Fan. And I think I have to be the only person on this planet who hasn't got a thing for Zombies. I mean they are hideous, dead people who roam about in an equally hideous manner to make others as hideous as they are. I think that fact alone would make excellent zombie slayers out of us all.

I'm rather rooting for Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. Sea Monsters and Jane Austen? Now that's something I'm sure will kick ass!

message 10: by Claire (new) - added it

Claire Riley Excellent review! I saw this in waterstones the other day and was just like - wow, that sounds so crazy it has to be fantastic, and if i wasnt convinced before: i am now.

message 11: by Petra X (new)

Petra X There might be thousands of reviews of this book, but this one is by far the best.

Laura This review is absolutely awesome. I thought this book was hysterical. All of these titanic things happening in and around England, and she rights a comedy of manners? It's a great book, but in no small part because of what's not on the page. I'm delighted someone saw that same absence and put zombies in it.

message 13: by Heather (new)

Heather This is a crazy book! If you like it i recommend North Of Beautiful!

message 14: by Carolyn (new) - added it

Carolyn I like Austin and am totally amused by this book! I am not into zombie culture, but told my kids they had to read the original before they read this. I am loving it! personaly I think Grahame-Smith does a better job with the language than others who have written parallel books or sequels. Well done. Great ense of humor. Still working my way through.

message 15: by Peter (new) - added it

Peter awesome review :)

Ariane This review was amusing. I read it after finishing the book. I love your reaction to the story! I kind of feel like the zombies improved the story, but that Grahame-Smith's embellishments to the tale need some fine-tuning.

message 17: by Hineko (new) - added it

Hineko Well, you may have laughed maniacally at the book - but I was laughing like an effin' madwoman at this review! Good Lord, you should write.

As for the book, I'm not through - or even very far in - yet, but so far it is immensely entertaining. YES for kick-ass Regency-Ladies!

message 18: by Rick (new)

Rick sullivan I like your review. There are times when you just have to say "to hell with everyone else's opinion" and just enjoy a B-movie book simply for the pleasure of it.... and nothing more. Well "spoken" review, you got me interested in it.

message 19: by Katja (new) - added it

Katja Well, as a die hard Austen fan, your review just made me want to read this book. Very much! :D Because apart from liking Jane Austen, I also like zombies. So the combo should be rather awesome!

message 20: by Lemony Snicket (new)

Lemony Snicket I have read pride and prejudice but not this stuff! It looks gory, if it is I can't read it, I'm not allowed to! :(

Madeline Yes, it's gory. Faces get eaten.

message 22: by Amelia treacy (new)

Amelia treacy just how gory?

Madeline I'm not the goddamn MPAA, Amelia. If the phrase "faces get eaten" isn't enough to turn you off the book, just read it and make your own decisions.

message 24: by Amelia treacy (new)

Amelia treacy jeez don't be so mean i just asked a question! (by the way what does MPAA mean?)

Madeline jeez don't be so mean i just asked a question!

Oh child. Run away, for here be dragons.

message 26: by Amelia treacy (new)

Amelia treacy ha ha very funny speaking of questions you did not answer mine!

message 27: by Amelia treacy (new)

Amelia treacy ha ha very funny speaking of questions you did not answer mine!

message 28: by Lemony Snicket (new)

Lemony Snicket Amelia,I wouldn't read it if I were you. :)

message 29: by Amelia treacy (new)

Amelia treacy ha ha very funny speaking of questions you didn't answer mine !

message 30: by Amelia treacy (new)

Amelia treacy ha

message 31: by Amelia treacy (new)

Amelia treacy vbvhh

message 32: by Amelia treacy (new)

Amelia treacy thanks awesome i bet you'll answer my questions

message 33: by Amelia treacy (new)

Amelia treacy yeah be unintelligent by SWEARING so smart (for those of you who are dome(Madeleine) I'm being sarcastic)

Madeline I'm glad your parents finally gave you back your internet privileges, Amelia.

Cee (The Mistress Case) I hope I enjoy the book more than this review because this review is beyond entertaining.

message 36: by Steve (new)

Steve shouldn't say fucking

Madeline We also shouldn't start sentences with lower-case letters but you don't see me getting in your fucking face about it.

message 38: by Steve (new)

Steve i was being ironic. NB-you shouldn't hyphenate 'lower case'.

Madeline I can do whatever the fuck I want, Steve. Move along now.

Madeline Pro tip, child: there is no faster way to send someone into a blind rage than by telling them to "calm down."

I get comments every few months from people admonishing me to clean up my language, and it's never not irritating. I don't care if Steve was trying to be funny (it wasn't); I am tired of it.

message 41: by Amelia Astra (new)

Amelia Astra I've ever read this before

message 42: by Ryan (new) - added it

Ryan description

message 43: by Ryan (new) - added it

Ryan I might well read this one based on your review Madeline!

Miranda Quinn, he was rude and she responded honestly. It's not "all good", it's not funny, it's not ok to oppress. Steve told her not to curse, you told her not to feel emotion, and Amelia, poor Amelia. She can curse and get offended whenever she wants, just like you. I loved this book and the review was really great. Some of the commenters though...

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