Friday, September 27, 2013

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Seth Grahame-Smith: a Review

Pride and Prejudice and ZombiesPride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

The goal of this story was to take the much loved tale, Pride & Prejudice, and add zombies to it to make a funny romp of a classic. It's supposed to be funny and read with tongue in cheek. I understood that when I picked it up. However, any good mash up should take two different ideas and combine them to make something better.
In this case, Grahame-Smith falls pitiably short, taking characters whose learning in the arts of zombie killing could have added depth and interest to their characters, but instead, grossly detracted from them. I will own that Charlotte only marrying Mr. Collins because she had been infected was a clever bit, and does, truly, make more sense than her simply being afraid of spinsterhood, but that is the only case in which it works well. Further, that one case was dealt with in a manner which strikes me as insupportable by the rest of the story.
Also, this novel could have been improved by the judicious application of copy editing. I do assure you that sometimes spellcheck, alone, is insufficient. For instance, I doubt Mr. Darcy took great pride in his coy pond, but his koi pond, on the other hand, he may have.
I also found the ridiculous attempts to take perfectly British households and overlay a fawning attitude toward all things Japanese forced. No English maid during the Regency is going to be answering the door with bound feet, for instance, and little details like those suggested to me that the amount of research done by Grahame-Smith was sorely wanting.
Even when writing books for comedic effect, one must, surely, continue to respect their audience, and in this case, the precedent of the book from which half the words were drawn. This didn't do it, though I admit, I did enjoy going through and mentally highlighting the original text and marking those deviations which turned it into that which I had hoped would be a deeply entertaining zombie romp.

0 reflections: