by Heather Christie
My vicious fantasies of Mr. Darcy—and, I would imagine, those of thousands of other like-minded, libidinous, and literary females—never include fighting off a horde of oozing zombies. And is it any wonder? Did you ever wonder how, say, Great Expectations would have fared with the addition of a vampiric epidemic tainting Pip’s England? How about if Captain Nemo, on top of having to deal with one hell of a big whale, also had to deal with a boatload of harpies? And not just regular harpies, poison spitting harpies. Yeah, those thoughts never crossed my mind either.
Perhaps that’s what makes Seth Grahame-Smith…different. In his novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the Huffington Post blogger, TV screenplay writer, and quirk aficionado slathers a lurching zombie narrative onto the arguably delightful-enough-already-thanks Jane Austen classic Pride and Prejudice. It’s novel, I guess, to say the least. But for someone who’s read the original—dare I say it—masterpiece five times and seen the eight-part BBC miniseries more times than you can say “unhealthy costume drama addiction,” Grahame-Smith’s unfortunate re-write is sheer drivel.
Oh sure, Mr. Darcy is just as dashing whilst slaying the “unmentionables.” And one still applauds Elizabeth for turning down her legions of suitors while brandishing a variety of sharpened blades—hellloooo, phallic imagery. But the addition of zombies adds nothing to Austen’s utterly legit chick-lit. Grahame-Smith demeans the story into a juvenile blood-and-guts romp for those who aren’t able to deal with the original on its own terms.
Thousands of trees sacrificed themselves in the making of this novel. Though I doubt it’ll go into a reprint, don’t support the slaughter buy purchasing this idiotic—though, undoubtedly quirky—piece of butchery.