by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
First sentence: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”
I avoided this book when it was all the rage a few years back for one reason: zombies. I really don’t do zombies. That, and I really like Jane Austen and I suspected that I probably wouldn’t be amenable to a mash-up of one of my favorite books.
I was right, on both counts.
For my mother-daughter book group (they’re in 6th and 7th grade), one of the girls picked the prequel to this one, Dawn of the Dreadfuls, as her book choice for this past month. (By the way, the discussion was quite good, even though no one finished it, or even liked it.) I decided here was my chance to see what everyone was talking about, and chose to read this one.
I didn’t finish it, and I didn’t like it. Partly because of the zombies, true. It’s not exactly for the squeamish. The basic plot is that of Pride and Prejudice, except the countryside is swarming in zombies, and the Bennet sisters are skilled zombie killers. They have to be in order to survive.
Which brings me to my second issue: they just smashed zombies into P&P, without a thought to characterization, plot, or even if it would work in Austen’s work. Which it doesn’t. (For me.) Adding zombies changed the characters, and instead of having charming, witty, loveable Lizzy, we’re left with this weird, strange, honor-bound, vengeance-seeking woman. Who beats Darcy up when he proposes to her. (Which is completely out of character. Even if he deserves it.)
So, while I can see the humor in it and the appeal of it, no, it didn’t work for me. Now I know.