Pride and ­Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

August 10, 2009
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When I spotted Pride and Prejudice and Zombies at the bookstore, I laughed. The cover art says it all – a pasty Elizabeth Bennet with red irises, a partially exposed skull, and blood on her lacy dress.

Author Seth Grahame-Smith brands the book as “The Classic Regency Romance – Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem!” He retains Jane Austen's style to the core but puts a new twist on her setting: 19th century England … occupied by zombies.

I must admit that I have somewhat pretentious tastes when it comes to literature. But I couldn't resist the preposterousness of this parody; I simply had to read it.

The opening line really got me. Instead of Austen's original – “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife” – the novel begins: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”

It turned out that I was not the purist that I had considered myself mere hours earlier. I enjoyed reading this bastardization of one of my favorite classics. The witty banter and complex vocabulary and sentence structure remain, but the prose is tainted with murders, rotting corpses, beheadings, and cannibalism.

I got more insight into Mr. Darcy's character, who, though still arrogant, is now a “savage yet dignified” zombie slayer. It made me smile as I observed the author fill in the gaps that Austen left behind: now I know that the reason for Charlotte's marriage to Mr. Collins was so that he could behead her recently zombie-bitten self, and that the troops were stationed in Hertfordshire to protect the town from the unmentionables.

Austen's novel is timeless. Just like the Leonardo DiCaprio version of “Romeo and Juliet” (with its drugs, guns, and car chases) didn't ruin Shakespeare, Zombies leaves the classic novel unscathed. All I can say is, I can't wait to read Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.

As for Zombies, this satirical book is for anyone who's ready to not take it too seriously, whether you enjoyed the classic or not. I recommend it to anyone who's in a book club. And if you're not in one, it might be high time to start one. After all, the book comes complete with ironic discussion questions in the back. (I'm not kidding.)

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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ELM522 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 23, 2010 at 10:04 am
This is very well-written! You explained the novel, but also explained the actual literature, too! I've never read this book--or the original, for that matter--but I enjoyed your review!
chelseeeeyyyy said...
Nov. 30, 2009 at 12:50 pm
greatttttt i love it lmao evn tho i didnt read ittt.!!!! hahahah
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