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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Average Rating 3.5
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(97)

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(133)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

33 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

Jane Austen ate my brain long ago!

And so Gentle Readers take heed. A mysterious plague has befallen Regency England killing the living and reviving them back to life as the undead who must feed on the living to survive. The conflict in town is fierce, spreading to the countryside and into the village of...
And so Gentle Readers take heed. A mysterious plague has befallen Regency England killing the living and reviving them back to life as the undead who must feed on the living to survive. The conflict in town is fierce, spreading to the countryside and into the village of Meryton where Elizabeth Bennet and her family reside nearby at Longbourn. Mr. Bennet extricated from his library has dedicated himself instead to training his five daughters from an early age in the deadly arts, traveling with them to China to attend Ninja finishing school with a Shaolin Master. His business in life was to keep them alive. The business of Mrs. Bennet's was to get them married. When Netherfield Park is let at last, Mrs. Bennet is hopeful that the new resident Mr. Bingley and his friends might marry one or another of her daughters. When Meryton society finally meets Mr. Bingley, they agree that he is was good-looking and gentlemanlike, but his fine friend Mr. Darcy with his noble mien gave immediate disgust even though he was reputed to have slaughtered more than a thousand unmentionables since the fall of Cambridge. After he slights Elizabeth, claiming her to be only tolerable and not handsome enough to temp him to dance, the warrior code in her demands she avenge her honour and open his throat with her dagger. Her warrior duty delays her instincts as the dance is suddenly invaded by a maraudring horde of unmentionables who break through the windows, attack the guests, and devour the head of Mrs. Long. Elizabeth and her four sisters rip out their razor-sharp daggers and make short work of beheading all the sorry stricken. Darcy watches in wonder, knowing of only one other woman in England that who could match her skill, her grace and precision. The spark has been ignited. The love, *cough* zombie story begins.

It is now "a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains." We continue along in this manner following Jane Austen's plot interjected with Grahame-Smith's fanciful parody of zombie bedlam. If the concept of Jane Austen's refined country gentry and gory zombie destruction are in conflict, think again. Like the warrior Bennet sisters who have refined their deadly skills into an art of precision and style, Grahame-Smith knows his zombie lore, skillfully incorporating a genre wholly at odds to the context of Jane Austen's elegantly refined prose, yet working within its strengths to achieve his goal to have fun with a literary classic, and well, lets face it, make money.

So who will like this book? Certainly not the Austen purist without a sense of humor. They will not even get past the gruesome cover. Not zombie fans, who will be annoyed having to trudge through a masterpiece of world literature to get to the scant zombie action. So that leaves the rest of us. Those loyal and devoted members of The Gentle Reprove and Witty Banter Society who, like Jane Austen, enjoy a good campy and gory Gothic novel, recognize tongue-in-cheek humor, and have been happily doing so for over 200 hundred years.

Laurel Ann, Austenprose

posted by Laurel_Ann on April 6, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

26 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

Pretty Disappointing

I really, really wanted to like this book. I love zombie movies and Jane Austen and this book actually could have been really good. However, it suffers from some major downfalls, the two most grievous being an extreme lack of realism (for the context, don't get me wro...
I really, really wanted to like this book. I love zombie movies and Jane Austen and this book actually could have been really good. However, it suffers from some major downfalls, the two most grievous being an extreme lack of realism (for the context, don't get me wrong) and poor writing (not on Jane Austen's part).

My main problem was all the ridiculous nonsense about ninjas and dojos. I mean, come on. It is certainly believable that the sisters would have learned different fighting arts but traveling to the "Orient" and studying with martial arts masters? I doubt very seriously if they could have afforded to travel to China and it would have been much more realistic to have focused on European fighting methods. And the ridiculous "bloodlust" of Elizabeth Bennet and Darcy was completely out of character. Whoever said the characters remained true to Austen doesn't understand the characters. I couldn't get over the scene where Elizabeth kills three of Lady Catherine's ninjas and then eats part of one of their hearts.

The other major problem was the writing and editing. If you are going to try and follow another writer's style then you'd better get it right. It was painfully obvious that the author wasn't up to the task and that his editor couldn't catch his numerous mistakes. I haven't seen a book so poorly edited in quite some time.

I think this book could have been really excellent with a different author who isn't obsessed with ninjas. Honestly, it was like Kill Bill added to Jane Austen which if you like that movie, you might like this book. If they do make this into a movie, I hope they leave out all the ninja garbage and keep the characters true to who they are instead of modeling them after Uma Thurman in a Quentin Tarantino film. This book just had me wishing for the original.

posted by Hokie4VT on April 15, 2009

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  • Posted April 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Jane Austen ate my brain long ago!

    And so Gentle Readers take heed. A mysterious plague has befallen Regency England killing the living and reviving them back to life as the undead who must feed on the living to survive. The conflict in town is fierce, spreading to the countryside and into the village of Meryton where Elizabeth Bennet and her family reside nearby at Longbourn. Mr. Bennet extricated from his library has dedicated himself instead to training his five daughters from an early age in the deadly arts, traveling with them to China to attend Ninja finishing school with a Shaolin Master. His business in life was to keep them alive. The business of Mrs. Bennet's was to get them married. When Netherfield Park is let at last, Mrs. Bennet is hopeful that the new resident Mr. Bingley and his friends might marry one or another of her daughters. When Meryton society finally meets Mr. Bingley, they agree that he is was good-looking and gentlemanlike, but his fine friend Mr. Darcy with his noble mien gave immediate disgust even though he was reputed to have slaughtered more than a thousand unmentionables since the fall of Cambridge. After he slights Elizabeth, claiming her to be only tolerable and not handsome enough to temp him to dance, the warrior code in her demands she avenge her honour and open his throat with her dagger. Her warrior duty delays her instincts as the dance is suddenly invaded by a maraudring horde of unmentionables who break through the windows, attack the guests, and devour the head of Mrs. Long. Elizabeth and her four sisters rip out their razor-sharp daggers and make short work of beheading all the sorry stricken. Darcy watches in wonder, knowing of only one other woman in England that who could match her skill, her grace and precision. The spark has been ignited. The love, *cough* zombie story begins.

    It is now "a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains." We continue along in this manner following Jane Austen's plot interjected with Grahame-Smith's fanciful parody of zombie bedlam. If the concept of Jane Austen's refined country gentry and gory zombie destruction are in conflict, think again. Like the warrior Bennet sisters who have refined their deadly skills into an art of precision and style, Grahame-Smith knows his zombie lore, skillfully incorporating a genre wholly at odds to the context of Jane Austen's elegantly refined prose, yet working within its strengths to achieve his goal to have fun with a literary classic, and well, lets face it, make money.

    So who will like this book? Certainly not the Austen purist without a sense of humor. They will not even get past the gruesome cover. Not zombie fans, who will be annoyed having to trudge through a masterpiece of world literature to get to the scant zombie action. So that leaves the rest of us. Those loyal and devoted members of The Gentle Reprove and Witty Banter Society who, like Jane Austen, enjoy a good campy and gory Gothic novel, recognize tongue-in-cheek humor, and have been happily doing so for over 200 hundred years.

    Laurel Ann, Austenprose

    33 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Pretty Disappointing

    I really, really wanted to like this book. I love zombie movies and Jane Austen and this book actually could have been really good. However, it suffers from some major downfalls, the two most grievous being an extreme lack of realism (for the context, don't get me wrong) and poor writing (not on Jane Austen's part).

    My main problem was all the ridiculous nonsense about ninjas and dojos. I mean, come on. It is certainly believable that the sisters would have learned different fighting arts but traveling to the "Orient" and studying with martial arts masters? I doubt very seriously if they could have afforded to travel to China and it would have been much more realistic to have focused on European fighting methods. And the ridiculous "bloodlust" of Elizabeth Bennet and Darcy was completely out of character. Whoever said the characters remained true to Austen doesn't understand the characters. I couldn't get over the scene where Elizabeth kills three of Lady Catherine's ninjas and then eats part of one of their hearts.

    The other major problem was the writing and editing. If you are going to try and follow another writer's style then you'd better get it right. It was painfully obvious that the author wasn't up to the task and that his editor couldn't catch his numerous mistakes. I haven't seen a book so poorly edited in quite some time.

    I think this book could have been really excellent with a different author who isn't obsessed with ninjas. Honestly, it was like Kill Bill added to Jane Austen which if you like that movie, you might like this book. If they do make this into a movie, I hope they leave out all the ninja garbage and keep the characters true to who they are instead of modeling them after Uma Thurman in a Quentin Tarantino film. This book just had me wishing for the original.

    26 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2009

    Awful addition to a great novel

    I was excited when I first got the book in, since I loved the book Pride and Prejudice and I enjoy zombie movies such as Night of the Living Dead. I started reading it and got confused what century it was suppose to be in. It sounded like Jane Austen at some points then sounded modern and crude at others. Then I looked at the additional author on this book and he only took one class in english literature. I was shocked they let someone unqualified to touch this great novel. He uses modern slang such as Darcy joking that Elizabeth has his balls. Ugh! People didn't talk like that then! There is a disconnect between the Jane Austene parts and the new writer's. Apparently life continues the same even though the dead walk and all the characters have great fighting skills; doesn't seem rational to me. I don't advise anyone to buy this if you truly enjoyed the original novel. You will just be disappointed. It is just a mockery of the great novel, Pride and Prejudice.

    20 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    satire at it's finest!

    this book is so over the top goofy that you can't help but laugh out loud at so much of it. This is HIGHLY recommended for horror fiction lovers and in particular for literature snobs who need a healthy dose of humor in their lives.

    19 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Unexceptional Book

    An avid reader of anything Jane Austen I was quite excited to start this book. While I completely respect Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice I was curious to read this darker take on the very well known story. What a disappointment it turned out to be. The book is almost exactly that of the original Pride and Prejudice with the word zombie and ninja thrown in sometimes hardly in any context that makes sense. I did manage to finish the book but it was an unrewarding read.

    13 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A laugh, remember it's a parody!

    I was a purist at first. I'm such a purist that the ONLY P & P out there is the A and E version. So I immediately labelled this book as sacrilege and ready to burn the heretics that ever thought of such an idea and to ruin the most romantic book in the world (in my opinion). Then I slowly gave in. I went into a zombie phase were I watched the movies, and then read some books (World War Z as an example) and thought to myself. Fine, let's put my purist thoughts aside and give this book a chance.

    I do not regret it one bit. The moment I read the first few lines I just cracked up laughing. The thought of the sisters Bennett being a pack of Buffy's and instead of vampire slaying they're zombie slaying is just hilarious. They crash into a party, never fear! the Bennets are here! hahah. I loved every bit of this book. It stayed 90 percent true to the main plot with a few deviations here and there (you'll laugh about Mr Collins and Charlotte). Which I find perfectly acceptable. In my opinion, Elizabeth Bennet could kick Buffy's butt any day. She's got Shaolin training damnit! :D

    There are parts in the book where it can be extremely ridiculous but you will have to keep reminding yourself that this book is a parody of the actual story. To be prepared to take it all with a light heart (set all purist thoughts aside!) does help and makes the story much more enjoyable and a fun read all the way through. The book even supplies some very nice detailed illustrations for your viewing (or not) pleasure. Note, my favorite illustration? will have to be the last one. It made me laugh, but it gave me the warm fuzzies too. You'll see what I mean once you get there.

    I would say the only negative besides the little parts of over silliness? it's not for the faint of heart. Some parts are graphic and detailed. You just have to remember this is a parody and it's meant to be funny. If I can set aside my purist thoughts, I'm sure you can.

    11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 30, 2009

    A surprisingly excellent storyline in a classic favorite book!

    At first I scoffed at the title thinking "who'd have thought of redoing a classic Austen storyline? I browsed thru the first few pages and set the book down. But I could not just leave the bookstore without purchasing it. I was glad that I did. It was well written and read like it was all written by Austen herself. I have recommended it to friends and family. I totally enjoyed the book even if I am not a zombie fan. The zombies inclusion in the storyline actually made sense. I just regret not meeting the author when there was an opportunity to do so.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Fun Read

    When I saw this book I instantly wanted to read it, I love all of Jane Austen's work, I'm a big fan and I think this book is great. It's funny, and if you can't laugh at it then maybe you're a little too uptight. It was made to be funny and I think any Austen fan would like it.

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Call Colin Firth and make this movie now

    I have never been a fan of Pride and Prejudice but I am a big fan of zombies. this book is awesome, the satire is "biting" and the writing is really well done. As a bonus point my wife is happy I'm finally reading Pride and Prejudice.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Warmed Over Meatloaf

    I love Pride and Prejudice and I love horror/fantasy. What should have been like chocolate and peanut butter ended up being warmed over meatloaf. Let me explain,I have watched the 1940's version of Pride and Prejudice many times,its my favorite movie. The book uses verbatim the script from that movie with a few zombie sentences thrown in. Seth Grahame-Smith gave credit to Jane Austin but he should have also given credit to MGM. I had a lot of difficulty reading this book because it was like reading the screenplay from the 1940 movie. Seth had a creative idea for a book but was lazy when he wrote it. Unbelievably he makes what should have been an exciting book,a boring one. Next time Seth use your own words.
    P.S. I would like to add that I have also read Jane Austin's original "Pride and Prejudice". Maybe the book would have been more interesting if he had written it in that same vein. Trust me rent the movie and you will be shocked at the uncreative plagiarism.

    8 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I should have passed on this one...

    I was really disappointed in this book because I like my zombies to be over the top and blood thirsty, but I found these zombies to be pretty lame. Yes they did crash a few parties, but they were so easily killed that they weren't exciting. I was excited about this book because I was hoping that the writer would just do some crazy things like turning one of the Bennet girls into a zombie; however, I was extremely disappointed that Grahame-Smith just added tidbits of zombies to the overall story.
    Overall it was an okay read. I wouldn't say it was horrible because the original Pride and Prejudice story line saved it, but it just wasn't as original as I would have liked. I think I enjoyed the illustrations more than the text itself.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 22, 2009

    Forgettable

    Seeing this book prominently displayed at the Customer Service counter and being enthusiastically recommended by the employee as "flying off the shelves"and it being a "New York Times" bestseller, I bought this book. I am a fan of Jane Austen books and the recent deluge of "after books" (Mr. Darcy's Daughters, Captain Wentworth's Diary, etc) but I must say this is one of the dumbest books I have ever read. In the first place the author just repeats the original book practically word for word except for throwing in daggers, longbows and unmentionables periodically. It is not funny nor scary. It is not even the slightest bit interesting.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 2, 2009

    Jane Austin and Zombies????

    This book is like those movies and TV programs whose tag line is "baesd on a true story". Most of this time, the 'based on' part is keeping of the original characters' names and period but little else. For example, "Hello Vietnam" is based on a true story but the only true things about the movie is that there is a guy by that name, he was a disc jockey in vietnam and there was a war on. Everything else is fiction. So too with this book.

    The real question is why. Why take a classic of literature and make an unimaginative zombie story? The answer, already given by another reviewer, is money. Seth doesn't even have to be a good writer because the people who'll buy and read this book have no experience with well constructed prose or Jane Austin. They'll think it is a hoot though they'll be disappointed by the lack of pictures.

    So I leave you with this question: Why kill a tree for this?

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2009

    How did this even get printed? Don't waste your money.

    It was worse than watching a badly dubbed B movie. Most reviewers applaud the concept, but I seriously wonder how this even got past an editor, let alone onto the B&N review. Did they read it at all? Or not past the first sentence? (Which is where they put all the advertising hype). It was as though the author got paid merely to insert cliche zombie-fighting phrases/scenes at random. I'm not an Austen snob, but this could have been made into something much more believable. Don't waste your time, and don't waste your money.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2009

    Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was not as satisfying as I had hoped.

    Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice was a fabulous classic, yet Seth Graham-Smith's added material displays his lack of ability and knowledge in Austen's writings. The material he added to Pride and Prejudice inaccurately portrayed the characters and changed their personalities as Austen had them. In addition, he added inappropriate descriptions that Jane Austen would never added, bringing the book to a lower level. Though the idea of Zombies in the 1800s is interesting, it should have been written in a new book, not in rewriting a classic. For someone who enjoys Jane Austen novels, I would not recommend this book, as it is unsatisfying.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    GREAT BOOK

    I enjoyed this book much more then the original Pride and Prejudice. I feel like the characters are much more dynamical. Plus the thrill of zombies make it a much more interesting book for teenagers. it is a very challenging read but when you finish it you will feel like you accomplished somethign

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Title is Better Than the Book

    Really, what a great idea! What a great opportunity for humor on a variety of levels! Instead, what you get is the regular P & P story with some walking dead thrown in here and there which then gives the Bennet sisters the opportunity to be marshal art experts. It's pretty much that simple. Oh, and be on the lookout for double entendres, especially using the word, "balls." The first time I thought it was a cute addition (I can enjoy toilet humor as much as the next person) but by the second or third time I thought it rather cheap and overused (and was quite embarrassed for myself that I thought it clever in the first place). To top it all off, the illustrations are really bad and completely unnecessary (which leaves me thinking that the author and/or publisher thought the book might appeal to a broader audience with "perty piktures" inside OR the artist is related to the author and/or publisher and needed the work). I suppose there's no question that the book will need to be reprinted soon with the words "Soon to be a Major Motion Picture" splattered (no pun intended) across the cover. If so, this actually may be one of those rare instances when the movie is better than the book. Jessica Biel as Elizabeth Bennet? Vin Diesel as Mr. Darcy? NOW we're talking horror!!!!

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 14, 2009

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    I Also Recommend:

    It doesn't get better than Jane Austen and the undead.

    I was so thrilled when I saw this book. I love Jane Austen. I also love Horror. So I was completely elated when I saw this book. It's hilarious and very well written, thanks to Austen of course. In no way did I find this disrespectful to Austen or her writing. If you know anything about Jane Austen through her history you know she had a wonderful sense of humor and I think she would have gotten a kick out of this book. I would recommend this book to anyone, especially you literary snobs. How can you ever know what you really like if you never step outside of your box?

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Almost, Not Quite

    P&P&Z is a clever idea that suffers from sloppy execution. The basic ideas of combining over-the-top horror/humor with Austen's classic work had a lot of promise, but didn't work hard enough to keep that promise.

    For me, it failed by missing some pretty substantial details and missing a few prime opportunities. The missed details were in the additions to the book, the fantastical parts, which is where the details most need to be accurate and sharp -- if you want me to accept that Elizabeth Bennett and her sisters are Oriental trained, sword wielding, wire-fu-fighting zombie killers, make sure you actually know what a Shaolin trained fighter would use. I'm not talking heavy research here -- I'm talking Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon level knowledge, like knowing the Chinese don't use katana (that's Japanese and really flew in the teeth of the Ninja vs. Shaolin thing the book set up). Other little details like that were just obvious enough to be distracting and irritating. A quick trip to Wikipedia would have solved most of those. I had the feeling the author was just pushing for the money and didn't really care what came out.

    Then there's the missed chance to have Mr. Collins meet a very funny and entirely appropriate end. It was not only missed, it was carefully avoided. Total shame, too, because I was giddily anticipating its possibility.

    On the whole, it really felt like a careless missed opportunity.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Boring

    I found this to be boring and not funny at all...I could barely get through it...don't waste your money...

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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