Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – Jane Austen and Grahame Smith

The idea of transplanting a zombie holocaust into a Jane Austen classic probably sounded like a good idea at after a few drinks.

So in the early 19th century Britain is in the grip of an unexplained zombie plague. Fortunately the Bennet sisters have been trained in martial arts at the Shaolin Temple in China and their zombie slaying antics are here grafted onto the romance of Mr Darcy and Elizabeth.

As if the sub Karate Kid high jinks aren’t irritating enough Smith puts chipmunks and skunks into the British countryside. Now while imagining zombies roaming through 19th century Hertfordshire isn’t a problem for me, North American animals are. Similarly giving Elizabeth Bennet a Brown Bess musket that can fire with the rapidity of an Uzi was a bit rubbish, what’s wrong with an eight barrel volley gun? It worked for Sharpe’s Sergeant Harper, did loads of damage and it was a real piece of Georgian engineering.
This book is a bit of a one trick pony, but somehow has spawned a minor industry of horror/classic mashups, where zombies, werewolves and other creatures are grafted onto existing properties. Personally I have no problem with authors using other author’s characters, so long as they do something interesting with them, in the hands of someone like Kim Newman it can result in a really entertaining and original read. So if you want something that’s a bit more original don’t buy this book buy Kim’s Anno Dracula instead.

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