As a HUGE fan of Pride and Prejudice, I was intrigued by the premise, but had to fight my annoyance at the fact that Grahame-Smith had been handed an idea and played cut and paste with some zombie bits to create this pretty popular variation.
I won’t lie. This annoyance resurfaced at moments throughout the novel. Until I hit this exchange during the infamous visit to Pemberley with Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner:
“She remembered the lead ammunition in her pocket and offered it to him. ‘Your balls, Mr. Darcy?’ He reached out and closed her hand around them, and offered, ‘They belong to you, Miss Bennet.”
How could I not be seduced by such open mockery of the beloved love story? This seduction was sealed in the Reader’s Discussion Guide, in which question #7 reads: “Does Mrs. Bennet have a single redeeming quality?”
Grahame-Smith leaves intact entire beloved paragraphs, but his Bennet girls are zombie killers who hone their fighting skills rather than embroidery and piano. Instead of being confined to Longbourn, they have traveled to China to study with a martial arts master. When Mr. Darcy first proposes, Elizabeth Bennet smashes his head into the mantel rather than eviscerating him with her tongue. This was not appealing to me, but it reeled in my pre-teen son, who would not have touched Pride and Prejudice with a ten-foot pole had it not included zombies. In the end, many readers may be left with the last discussion guide question, “Can you imagine what this novel might be like without the violent zombie mayhem?”