REVIEW: Pride & Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith

Jane Austen’s classic novel is given an unusual and gory twist, curtesy of Seth Grahame-Smith – but it doesn’t quite work… 

Having recently been transformed into a film, it was finally time to get round to reading the book it was based on. Using Jane Austen’s story as the backbone, this horror story sees the Bennet sisters being well trained in the deadly arts to fight zombies – which are rife across the country because of the plague.

While in principle the idea of using the plague is clever, as a disease of that kind was serious threat at the time, but the way in which it is incorporated into the original story feels extremely clunky.

The story flows along with ease, until at random moments such as at the Netherfield ball or even walks to Meryton become instantly darker with zombies on the loose – but there is no real build up to any of these encounters and does come as a bit of a surprise.

But in another sense it allows readers to re-evaluate the characters and the time that they lived in and what would have happened if the rules of society were different and there was more of equality between both genders even then.

This is particular in the characters of Elizabeth and Darcy, whose personalities seem enhanced by this unusual book. Elizabeth has plenty more attitude and even aggression about her that makes her a character you would not want to wrong, while Darcy’s reasons for being the way he is are far more better understood.

Yet this can not save a book which just doesn’t seem strong enough to stand alongside other Pride and Prejudice re-writes. But it could be improved by changing it structurally to make the fight scenes fit in even better with the originally story. Yet character wise, it brings out more of the personality of the two main characters and changes our perspective of the other personalities that we come across.

Pride & Prejudice and Zombies is available to buy now

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