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Book Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

This is a guest post from the enigmatic Xtine, helping me follow up on Zombie Renaissance.

X-tine works for her local library system and is an aspiring librarian who has had her nose stuck in a book since second grade when she discovered Encyclopedia Brown. Mrs. S. had a lot of old books on the shelf!  X-tine mostly reads young adult and children’s fantasy, and gives each book forty pages tops to become interesting.  Some surprising books didn’t make the cut!  And for a person who is terrified of spiders, x-tine has the unfortunate curse of being followed by them wherever she goes. . . Check out her blog at: http://xtinexlibris.blogspot.com/

Have you ever slogged your way through a “Required Reading” and thought, “This would be better with ninjas, or zombies, or fighting…or all three?”  Seth Grahame-Smith did, and thanks to his efforts we have Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

England is suffering from a decades-long plague of zombies.  We learn that “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.  Never was this truth more plain than during the recent attacks at Netherfield Park, in which a household of eighteen was slaughtered and consumed by a horde of the living dead.”

However, a Mr. Bingley has recently moved into Netherfield Park, a fact that will soon prove to be a distraction to the sisters Bennet, trained in China to be protectors of Hertfordshire against the dreadful unmentionables.  Jane can only think of Mr. Bingley.  And after meeting Mr. Bingley’s friend, Mr. Darcy, I’m afraid that Elizabeth’s mind occasionally wanders to Darcy, hopefully not while facing a group of unmentionables.  Will the sisters find true love, and will they succeed in protecting Hertfordshire against the zombies?

And so begins the classic zombie tale of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, featuring all the parts you love best from Jane Austen and now including battles between good and the spawn of Satan, and sometimes Lady Catherine de Bourgh, the most skilled fighter in all of England.

But is it any good?  Would I recommend it to an Austen aficionado?  The characters are a little more flat, but the book more than makes up for it with fighting, zombies, and humor.  But what I especially enjoyed was the way the story ended for some of the characters, particularly Wickham, Lydia, Collins, and Charlotte.  I hate to say they deserved it, but it was satisfying.  For all the book groups out there, it also includes a handy discussion guide.  I think my favorite question is #7:  Does Mrs. Bennet have a single redeeming quality?  It was a fun book, and I think that anyone with a sense of humor—even an Austen fan—would enjoy this book.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Casey July 9, 2009, 10:23 am

    I heard about this book online and picked it up for my wife since she loves Pride and Prejudice. She tore through it on a flight to New Zealand and has since started reading it again. If a purist of the original can love this new twist, it must be good!

  • Travis July 15, 2009, 1:33 pm

    You know… I’ve seen this book at my local Borders literally EVERY TIME I’ve gone in there over the past month or so, but I still can’t bring myself to pick it up.

    I can’t say I’m a special fan of Austen’s work, but who knows, maybe after hearing some good things I should give it a whirl! It does seem like nowadays more and more books like this are hitting the shelves though, as almost everytime I’m in the bookstore I see something new that attempts to sell itself through cheap gimmicks instead of actual content.

    • Josh Hanagarne July 15, 2009, 2:03 pm


      I hear you. I heard recently that they are doing a remake of Total Recall, a terrible (but fun) sci fi movie that’s barely 20 years old. There are too few new ideas coming out. For what it’s worth, I don’t like Jane Austen at all and am thrilled that someone found a way to make her interesting.