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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

The concept behind Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is genius; the reality is partially a let-down. It's P&P with zombies, ninjas, and a general level of silliness which made me pine for the graphic novel version of the same book. It's also P&P without the wit and subtlety of the original, with ridiculousness and rather more modern sensibilities instead. Darcy is always "Mr. Darcy". Interior monologues and additional conversations are occasionally provided to help explicate nuance, and the ending is spelled out in great detail; all this is hand-holding in case the reader otherwise failed to grasp the plot.

The world-building has many merits: I loved the modern need for a fortress of London, and the prosaic interferences of the zombies with the delivery of the post. That said, the society did not seem sustainable: the post was intercepted a little too frequently for it to seem a credible system of communication. What logic was there to society in a married woman giving up her martial arts? The plot too had strangely unresolved secondary elements. In particular, the argument of Japanese vs. Chinese martial arts was not carried to much of a conclusion.

If you are a P&P completist, if you are keen on zombie books, or if you would never bother reading Pride and Prejudice unless it had zombies in it, the book's worthwhile. Otherwise? I don't think I'd bother.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 15th, 2009 03:47 pm (UTC)
I found it unsatisfying as well - the premise, as you say, was genius, but I think it was written by someone who neither understood nor loved the underlying work, and it shows.
Aug. 15th, 2009 06:43 pm (UTC)
Apparently the sequel is "Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters". According to my husband, who reads these sort of things......
Aug. 15th, 2009 10:37 pm (UTC)
But a different author. Which could be good or bad or no change at all....
Aug. 15th, 2009 08:31 pm (UTC)
What logic was there to society in a married woman giving up her martial arts?

THIS. I happened to love the book - it was just right for my mood when I read it - right up until the very last page, where I would have thrown it across the room if I hadn't been on a longhaul flight. It really spoke to me of someone who didn't quite "get" Elizabeth.
Aug. 16th, 2009 02:27 pm (UTC)
This reminds me of how I felt about the first Naomi Novik - great idea (Hornblower with dragons! How can that not be cool?) but just rather boringly realised.
Aug. 17th, 2009 04:44 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't call the premise genius at all, but I'm a zombie-phobe.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )