WHAT’S PLAYING: Stephen Jerzak featuring Leighton Meester “She Said”
The story follows the plot of Pride and Prejudice, but places the novel in an alternate universe of Regency-era England where zombies roam. In this version, Mr. Bennet has molded Elizabeth and her four sisters into a fearsome zombie-fighting army using martial arts and weapons training.
Zombies freak me out. Movies, books, even commercials for The Walking Dead give me the wiggins. A friend gave me a copy of Zombie Haiku: Good Poetry for Your… Brains by Ryan Mecum, and I had nightmares for a week.
That being said, I wanted to like this book. I really did. Most of my friends enjoyed it and I thought the premise was clever. The problem was that it didn’t feel like a complete story in and of itself. The zombies weren’t an organic part of the storyline, and the lines between the two authors were obvious and jarring. Grahame-Smith just took Pride and Prejudice and threw in a bunch of zombies, ninjas, and references to Shaolin monks as an afterthought.
It just didn’t work for me.
I did like the fight scene where Elizabeth took on Lady Catherine and her cadre of ninjas.
What I Learned: If you’re going to screw with the classics, then you had damned well better make them your own. What Grahame-Smith did in this book was like drawing a moustache on the Mona Lisa. Unnecessary and a little perverse. I think it would have worked better if he’d just done his own version of the story and left Austen’s alone.
Favorite Line/Image: A long-dead female zombie stumbled out of the woods, her modest clothing slightly tattered; her brittle hair pulled back so tightly that it had begun to tear the skin of her forehead. In her arms, she held something exceedingly rare; something none of the sisters had ever seen, or ever wished to see—an unmentionable infant. It clawed at the female’s flesh, emitting a most unpleasant series of shrieks.
Bottom Line: Unless you’re a true fan of zombie books or Jane Austen, I’d pass.
Coming up next week: Twelve by Jasper Kent.