As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton - and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she's soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers - and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead. Can she vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry?
Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you'd actually want to read.
This Heirloom Edition of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies includes a new preface by the author, an afterword by Dr. Allen Grove, professor of English literature at Alfred University, and new scenes of gratuitous zombie mayhem.
©2009 Quirk Books; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
"[Seth Grahame-Smith] has taken the merry world established by a 19th-century literary lady, added a scourge of reanimated corpses, and created...well, a pop cultural phenomenon, certainly, and one that has stirred up a lot of excitement. But the greater achievement of the book may lie in the satisfying desire it awakens to read the remix and the original side by side." (Entertainment Weekly)
Having read the other reviews, I thought I'd give this a go. I love P&P and all Austen and did feel sometimes that the real story's humour and nuances were somewhat undermined by the 'zombie' element. That said, if you want unadulterated Austen, then just read Austen.
I would say this is for people who have already read P&P, in order to get the depth of some of the jokes, but I'm pretty sure they'd still be funny if you hadn't. It did take about 10 chapters before I saw any real humour, but at later points I was laughing out loud on the train with the odd surprise one-liner. It pleased me in that it was not a riot of back to back jokes, but simply a retelling of a great story, with an amusing 'plague' sub-plot which gave it a new colour.
I don't usually write reviews but I have to make an exception for this fabulous audible book. Not only is it a fantastic take on a classic story it was read so wonderfully that I could hardly wait to get in my car to listen to it. As soon as it finished I wanted to listen to it all over again! I can't recommend this highly enough.
I don't understand why people have gone so crazy for this book.
It's basically an overly-long one-pun joke. It's one of those crazy ideas you might have drunk one night in a pub with your friends, but like most ideas of this type, it shouldn't go beyond the beer mat. I listened to it all but often found myself wondering why. Ninja's, zombies, Mr. Darcy....this is six form stuff. Yeah it's funny at times, but, really, why the fuss?
I guess it's a novel technique to get the masses reading the classics.
This started most promisingly - England in the grip of a Zombie plague, the Miss Bennetts highly trained warriors, Mr Darcy a master ninja trained in Japan, the classic story of manners and social position interwoven with extreme violence and gore. All very clever and well observed. But from halfway through the book the Zombies become little more than a distant annoyance. The story is then almost purely Pride and Prejudice - effectively word for word. So the story goes nowhere other than the expected, with little to lift it from the original. How I longed for another Zombie attack - for Lizzie Bennett's skull to be cracked by a manky dreadful, Mr Darcy's entrails to be painfully unwound, Mrs Bennett's limited brains to be consumed by one of the striken, and for Satan's army to drown all of Pemberly in blood - anything to cease their endless prattling and indulgent wimsey. Alas no. Ultimately disappointing.
Just...awful. I love Pride and Prejudice, and I love zombie themed things, so I was really looking forward to this book. But they don't mix. Maybe if it was a continuation of the original story, it could work. But it doesn't. The author's basically taken the Bennett girls, sent them to China to train, then plopped them back in the original book, just with conversational changes and some added fight scenes. I hate the way the Chinese master's name is pronounced, only slightly more than the fact that he was invented in the first place.
daunting tittle for anyone who is an Austen fan. The book however remained as truevto Austen as it could possibly be. It was a well written abd entertaining novel. I will certainly be recommending this book for our bookclub read. Enjoyed it up till the very last slain zoombie and the marriages of Jane and Elizabeth Bennett.
This retelling of a classic distinguishes itself from the rest either of other Austen parodies, inspired retelling etc etc etc Not usually fond of the genre, I got curious because this was book zero (aka the zombie books always obsess with patient zero...) and the movie adaptation just got out - the book is aging gracefully as it chooses where to mix and where to leave it to the romance in a crafty way. Entertaining read, perfect for holidays!
"I loved it!"
Listen to the Audible sample of this book and decide if it's for you. I am a professional over-50 woman not particularly fond of violence but I found this book laugh-out-loud hilarious! I thought the narrator did a wonderful job. The premise is so ridiculous that it becomes fascinating to see how the author weaves it in with the original classic story. I LOVE reading and audiobooks but had never read Pride and Prejudice. I went out and bought it after listening to this book so I could appreciate both more. Listen to this for pure entertainment and an enjoyment of farce as long as you are not offended by descriptions of what zombies do. I don't think Seth Grahame-Smith ripped anyone off by authoring this book.
"Fun, Zany, Silly, but never boring..."
I think it would have been a much better book if Grahame-Smith had presented his fractured fairytale more seriously...what IF a plague of zombies invaded the tale of "Pride and Prejudice" and how would have strong characters such as Darcy and Lizzie reacted to such an horrific ordeal? Instead it is equal parts kung fu chopsocky and through-the-shattered-looking-glass Austen. But still, it IS a fun tale, never quite "laugh-out-loud" funny, but surprisingly witty in some places, as the world of Jane Austen goes goth (and Jackie Chan). Uma Thurman, oops, I mean Lizzie, is just too far-gone "Kill Bill," but it does make for a hilarious fantasy sequence when a put-out Lizzie beheads her gabby punk of a little sister. Darcy, I guess due to the "plauge," has taken a puerile air, frequently making word plays on the ever-present frequent balls (stacking up some impressive frequent ball mileage). To Grahame-Smith's credit, frequently I would forget that I was listening to a lampoon of "Pride and Prejudice" and for an hour I'd truly enjoy the story, with even a minor few revelations and perspectives (but if you really want to be dazzled by Neo Austen, try Pamela Aidan's "An Assembly Such as This"). Never quite "Mad" magazine (but generally close), the story juggles classical beauty, very familiar archetypes, and a big bag of constant silliness. Never as witty as Jasper Fforde's "Thursday Next" novels, still, sometimes Seth Grahame-Smith is pretty witty. I have to admit (and I'm perfectly ready to duck tomatoes) I liked the story, and Katherine Kellgren's narration is as good as I've ever heard, beautiful in fact, and perhaps the reason that I enjoyed the book as much as I did. As a whole I'd rank the novel a 4 (out of 5), but the narration is a perfect 10 (out of 4). Art et Amour Toujours
"One word - Awesome!"
I don't know how Seth pulled it off, but somehow this man has brought zombies, ninjas, and humor into Lizzy's world and yet it is still Pride and Prejudice. Mr.Bennett is hilarious with his treatment of his annoying prattling wife, Darcy is forced into a battle of ninja skills with Lizzy as she declines his marriage proposal, and somebody close to Lizzy is bitten and infected with the 'Strange Plague'. The Bennett sisters are practically the designated ninja death squad of the countryside. On top of all that, Katherine Kellgren's pompous English tea time voice adds just that right touch to the story to make it inconceivably more hilarious! This is possibly one of the coolest books ever now. I don't think high school English class will ever be the same!
"Katherine Kellgren - Wow!"
I've just finished this zombie version of "P&P", which I loved, and checked all the reviews and links for Katherine Kellgren at Audible. This is the first time I hunted for additional titles by narrator. It feels as though I'm late to discover her. I've never heard such a reader! Bright, precise, compelling torrents of speech delivered with awesome energy and conviction! She projects REAL feeling for Austen's language. In addition, Seth Grahame-Smith did fine work as well, to put the twist on the tale. I hope that other classic titles will receive this kind of clever makeover. I'll be waiting.
"Why not just enjoy"
It's hard to be comfortable with taking a book that you love and having it tampered with. BUT, I have to say that I enjoyed this audio book. It was nice to listen to the underlying great story and throwing in the zombie, ninja, heart-eating, and pus-popping sores was actually pretty funny. I thought the author did "just right" in not trying to re-write the story but really just mash it with a ridiculous idea. I laughed aloud at Katherine Kellgren's manner of reading Charlotte's part- it's hilarious.
"An Excellent Audio Experience"
This is among the top 5 audio books I've ever listened to. Katherine Kellgren's performance is simply perfect. The entire book has the feel of a classic while incorporating zombies and their lust for brains seamlessly into the story. The book would fit well on the shelf with Classics and Alternate History alike. A wonderful performance and a wonderful read.
"I learned to care about Austen!"
I've never been able to abide Jane Austen. I felt completely unconnected from the characters and unable to empathize with their dated misadventures in love and social climbing. That said, I loved this book. Apparently, all it took to make me care about Eliza and Co. was a liberal sprinkling of the undead. Most of the characterizations and the plot itself remained untouched, but the world in which they occur is enough changed to give them a dash of modern flavour. Also, I found Austen's women much improved by their new interest in the "deadly arts," as opposed to all that fuss over balls and letter writing and... pfft. Marriage. Not to say that Grahame-Smith doesn't occasionally go overboard; his additions have a tendency to become incredibly campy (moreso than I believe that they were meant to be) and repetitive. Still, I would highly recommend this book, especially to those who have trouble stomaching the original. I'll readily admit that I have never been Austen's biggest fan, but even I couldn't take my iPod off for days.
"very fun listen"
Very fun premise to the story and great narration. I was surprised at how true to the original story this version stayed, while adding in a layer of zombies versus the deadly arts. Loved it. I think I got much more out of hearing the audio version than I would have by reading the print version.
"Bring on the laughter!"
I'm a huge Jane Austen fan. I was worried if this book would offend. Not only did it not offend, I found myself laughing out loud at the humor and additional zombie killing wit added by Seth Grahame-Smith. I would tell any friend of mine to read this book. I found myself quoting several passages to them and I hope he does another!! I would definitely read more!
"Concept - great! Execution - not so great..."
Loved the title and concept, really liked the reader, BUT... unfortunately the zombie parts just didn't fit. For one thing, Elizabeth Bennett is too bloodthirsty (literally!) One of the reasons Austen's Darcy was able to love her even though he looks down on her family is that she and her sister Jane do not behave excessively, unlike her mother and other sisters. It's jarring to have Elizabeth so violently showing her passion for The Deadly Arts. It's fine to have her skilled in killing The Unmentionables, but she should be as polite and modest about it as she would be about her pianoforte and dancing skills.
In a really great mash-up, whether it's music or prose, you can't tell where one part stops and another begins. Unfortunately, that's not the case in this book. Grahame-Smith either needed to totally rewrite more of Austen's parts, or get himself more into a 19th century frame of mind for the zombie story. He did a good job of changing the card games to the zombie context; too bad he wasn't as clever with the rest.
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