Friday, September 25, 2009

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

I wasn't sure if I wanted to read this work "By Jane Austen and
Seth Grahame-Smith."

The dilemma arose from how the author herself, whose work I adore, would perceive her literature being changed from something that upholds the virtues of common sense and prudence, to sensationalistic material.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and Maureen Johnson's inclusion of zombies into one of her former blog posts, strikes me as people saying, "Pride and Prejudice is boring, and I'm making it more interesting."

But I don't think Pride and Prejudice in its' original form and glory is boring. I like the character development and the way that I get wrapped up in the story despite the relatively small world of which Jane Austen wrote. It takes talent to make the ordinary, everyday interesting, and Jane Austen accomplished it.

Initially, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is amusing. By initially, in my own case, I am referring to the first few pages. It's kind of funny to see someone re-work authentic Romantic material to include the walking dead. After a few pages, though, I think the premise can begin to wear a bit thin.

I am, however, biased.

See, I'm not a big fan of zombies. To me, they're just...gross and relentless. Maybe that makes them realistic-ish, and I admit, I have a fairly strong stomach, but I just prefer more seductive undead creatures (and no, I'm not talking about the kind that glitter in the sun).

My biggest problem with the book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, however, is that it takes a well-known, well-loved book, and changes the well-known, well-loved characters in that book. Spoilers will ensue.

Elizabeth and her sisters are zombie hunters, who have been to Asia to learn martial arts. Charlotte Lucas becomes a zombie. Mr. Darcy's aunt is some legendary zombie killer.

And, too often, where Ms. Austen's succinct prose and excellent ear at dialogue betrayed things about characters in a way that was not overly heavy on narration, in this "enhanced" edition, the author sometimes feels the need to go into explanation.

Basically, this book takes a book that is well-written and beautiful and turns it into a story that is not as well-written and farcical.

So, if you didn't like Pride and Prejudice in all of its nineteenth-century, wholly Austen-written glory, you might want to give this novel a try.

If, on the other hand, you're like me, and really enjoy Jane Austen's work the way that it is, already, I suggest allowing the opportunity to read this novel pass by.

1 comment:

Karen Denise said...

I've thought about reading this and I'm still on the fence. My fear was just as you said, it would start out amusing and then grow to be something that will make me roll my eyes on each page. Maybe I'll slim it in the store-lol.

Btw, I nominated you for Kreativ Blogger. Go check it out on my site. I hope this isn't a repeat for you.