“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”
As name suggests, this book is a parody of Jane Austen’s beloved classic novel Pride and Prejudice, with a supernatural, horror spin. It follows the Bennet sisters as they find worthy husbands whilst battling the ever-increasing threat of a zombie army.
I have mentioned before (probably a lot of times) how much I adore Pride and Prejudice. It’s really no secret! It was because of this that I was a little worried about what Grahame-Smith would do with the original plot. Other than the zombies and badass fighting scenes with the Bennet sisters, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies mirrors the original book rather closely. In fact the little differences and new scenes really added to the book and helped create something new yet respectful to Jane Austen’s version. I actually really enjoyed the supernatural twists to some of my favourite sections of the original classic – probably more than I thought I would.
Even the cover is a clever nod to Jane Austen and the era in which she lived in. It is a ‘zombified’ version of the painting Marcia Fox by William Beechey, which is dated to around the same time as Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice.
I was a little apprehensive that it would be too gory and horrific for my taste but I found it to be a very lighthearted and humourous book despite the detailed descriptions of fights and zombie attacks. Even the black and white illustrations inside by Philip Smiley are funny whilst being a little graphic. I also really enjoyed the inclusion of a reader discussion’s guide at the end of the novel. At first, I didn’t think anything of it until I read it and realised, it too, was a parody of classic literature and was actually really funny.
For anyone who has watched the film, I would urge them to read the book as well because the two are actually quite different. I watched the film several months before reading the book but that did not spoil the book at all due to the different paths they took for the ending. I don’t want to give away the ending to either but I will say the book follows the ending of Pride and Prejudice more closely than the film does. However, both are extremely enjoyable for those who are fans of Pride and Prejudice and those who are not.
I strongly recommend this book and I really enjoyed reading it, especially the plot twists created due to differences in the original society compared to a zombie-ridden one.