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Pride And Prejudice And Zombies

01/10/2010. Contributed by Sue Davies

Buy Pride And Prejudice And Zombies in the USA - or Buy Pride And Prejudice And Zombies in the UK

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Pride And Prejudice And Zombies by Jane Austin and Seth Grahame-Smith. pub: Titan Books. 176 page softcover graphic novel. Price: GBP 9.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84856-694-1.

check out website: www.titanbooks.com

There’s a truth universally acknowledged that a young man with a fortune is parted from it by subscribing to graphic novels.

This started life as a novel. If you like, it started life as a classic piece of literature as put on the school curriculum. Girls (and women) sighed over Mr Darcy, the original Captain Tightpants. Boys groaned about having to read it at all. Now, ‘Pride And Prejudice’, out of copyright but never out of print, has been brought forward into the 21st Century, first as a novel and now as a graphic novel. Now all the boys will be happy to read it, although examiners may get confused when they start referring to the undead in their essays.



I never thought any Jane Austen could be improved on. If only I’d thought of adding a sub-plot about flesh-eating zombies, I’d be living the highlife now. An 18th century romantic novel is often enhanced by a frisson of danger. Sure Austen tried it with Northanger Abbey but she couldn’t take the gothic novel seriously. How wrong can you be? I am confident that she has gained a whole new audience with this latest adventure. Perhaps they will dig her up and offer her royalties but I feel it’s unlikely.

I would like to explain the plot if I can stop laughing long enough. The Bennett girls are in need of husbands because the house and estate passes down the male line to their cousin. There is nothing worse than being a poor woman in the 18th century except perhaps catching the malaise that causes zombification. It’s obviously been going on for a while as the Bennett girls are masters of the deadly arts. They have all the talents of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and social etiquette as well. Elizabeth is strangely drawn to Mr. Darcy, despite his snobbery. At one point, she knocks him into a fireplace and only his own fighting skills save him. Expect all the usual plot of the original here but also woven around it the presence of the zombies. A ball is spoiled by the zombies eating the kitchen staff. Elizabeth’s friend Charlotte, who married to Mr Collins, is also at risk of the ‘strange plague’. There is plenty happening and it’s beautifully illustrated by pen and ink drawings. It looks better than it would in full colour. There would probably be too much red in it anyway.

I was impressed by how logically the story followed on the original. The addition of extreme violence and the army of the undead seemed somehow to be right and proper. The only thing that worries me is the army of novels that have now been plundered to make a series of books that may not live up to the originals.

Possibly the main attraction of the text is that it is copyright free and as such is open to plunder. Not withstanding that the Janeites might well throw up their fans in horror, this is a masterstroke. First came the novelisation of the novel if you like. This story is not tacked onto the original but cleverly embellished with the new plot and it’s hard to know which is real and which is fake, apart from the obvious zombie bits obviously. The novel version has more meat to it but this is also fairly densely packed with story considering it all has to go into pictures. Just go right in and take a bite.

Sue Davies

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This book has 513 votes in the SFcrowsnest.com sci-fi charts


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