REVIEW: 'Pride and Prejudice' by Jane Austen; and 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

When I was reading Pride and Prejudice, I thought about what I might say to spark the conversation in my review.  I even read some Spark Notes afterward so I could be SMRT, but what I realized is -- Pride and Prejudice is a beloved, beloved classic.  It's probably one of the most analyzed books out there.  I don't know what I could say about it that other people have not already said.

I enjoyed it thoroughly.  I thought I liked Jane Eyre.  Turns out no.  Jane Eyre has nothing on Pride and Prejudice.  Two different stories, yes.  Two different messages.  But as far as romances go, and as far as readability goes, Pride and Prejudice outdid Jane Eyre by as far as you could possibly go.  Pride and Prejudice even outdid Little Women.  The motifs were easier to read, the dialogue made it quite engaging.  And it was real.  I could relate more to Pride and Prejudice.  The characters were genuine.  The class system was completely characteristic of Regency England.  The characters had faults, and then acknowledged those faults rather than completely rid themselves of them (whereas, in Jane Eyre, Jane seemed pretty much perfect, and in Little Women, the girls' acknowledgment of faults too easily led to their problems' resolutions).

So anyway.  Seeing as how I had nothing completely groundbreaking to say about Pride and Prejudice, I thought I'd go ahead and double up.  As soon as I was finished reading Pride and Prejudice, I started Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith.  I thought a comparison might make a more interesting blog post.  So here goes nothing.

I was worried about reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies because I'm not really a zombie fan.  I don't read Max Brooks.  I thought Shaun of the Dead was funny, but a little sickening.  I have no desire to see Night of the Living Dead.  However, I would say if you liked the movie Zombieland, you'd probably enjoy Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, in terms of zombie quantity.  I was glad Grahame-Smith kept the bulk of the book as Pride and Prejudice.  It wasn't overrun with zombies and gore like I pictured.  The romance of Darcy and Elizabeth remained untainted.  There were a few good fight scenes that really gave the novel character, and only one change I wasn't sure I appreciated.  There were lots of ball jokes.  Overall, I found it to be a creative new twist on a novel some people might think stuffy (although I have to say those people are wrong).

Austen surprised me, too.  Pride and Prejudice kept me on my toes.  The twist with Lydia towards the end made my heart skip a beat.  I was glad to find Elizabeth so well defined, and both her and Darcy so true to their characters, even after all had been discovered and both pride and prejudice set aside.  Their personalities didn't do a complete 180 once they realized their flaws and their misgivings.  The novel was full of entertaining characters that moved as great vehicles for Darcy and Elizabeth's romance -- Mr. Collins, Charlotte, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Wickham, Lydia, Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner...even Georgiana Darcy.  The only character I don't really get is Mary.  I think I'll have to do more reading on her.

I guess what I enjoyed most about reading the two novels back to back was that I almost felt like I was reading the same novel twice.  And funnily enough, I think I caught things while reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies that I missed while reading Pride and Prejudice.  It really does always help to read things multiple times -- and I was happy that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies allowed me to re-enjoy Austen's masterpiece, but also give me a fun and quirky new way to do it.

So for both novels?  Obviously, I rate Pride and Prejudice higher than Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  But both were my epitome of summer fun.

 NEXT UP: Lady Gaga: Behind the Fame by Emily Herbert.  I am totally going to this Lady's concert on Wednesday -- what a mood booster!

1 comment:

  1. I've read both too and completely agree -- loved them both. Austen is SO good, I've read it at least three times and it completely stands up. The Zombie book was just fun but I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed reading about Elizabeth kick ass -- I actually found it easier to see what Darcy saw in her, as in the Zombie book she was just so different from all the other girls. I liked the fact that the Zombie book was so respectful to the original -- gently mocking in places but you could tell the author has genuine affection for the original book. So well done!