I know it’s been a while since my last post, but what can I say? Pregnancy Brain is a very real hazard. Before I got pregnant, I always thought Pregnancy Brain was just an excuse that pregnant women used…but really it’s not. Having now experienced it for myself, I can honestly say that it’s NOT just a random excuse. If it doesn’t present itself in absent-mindedness, then it presents itself in things that aren’t baby-related simply not staying in your head for longer than a span two minutes…ESPECIALLY when you start closing in on D-Day.
So there you have it! I’m NOT dead…I’m just in the beginning of my 8th month.
Now that all that boring stuff is out of the way, onto the subject of the hour!
Now, I know this book is hardly new, but I found it on my bookshelf the other day when I was deciding on what book to take to my latest doctor appointment, and it occurred to me that I now have the perfect platform in which to share my thoughts and feelings on the book.
Being an avid fan of the original Jane Austen novel (Pride and Prejudice without zombies), I will admit that I was skeptical when I first picked the book up at Borders – back when they were still in business. I mean, I heard positive reviews of this parody of the original novel, but then again…I also heard positive reviews of Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, and I found myself unable to finish the darn thing. Then there was the fact that I was worried about how this beloved story and its characters would be portrayed.
Then there’s the small fact that zombies both completely revolt and terrify me.
However, I found myself completely enthralled by the book and unable to put it down from the very first moment my eyes landed upon the first page and read the first sentence. Not only did Seth Grahame-Smith’s additions add to the subtle humor of the original novel (the original novel makes me chuckle and giggle, but this parody actually had me laughing out loud during certain scenes), but the additions were also very, very well written.
What do I mean by that?
I mean that as someone who’s read the original novel more than once, I found that the literary additions were done in such a way that they blended into the original prose with such a smoothness, that it was as though they had always been part of the original novel. Don’t get me wrong, I was in fact able to tell which lines were from the original work and which were added into the story, but in no way shape or form did I find myself being taken out of the story as a result.
Simply put, the flow was not interrupted in any way by Seth Grahame-Smith’s additions, and, to me, that is the sign of a book worthy of being read again and again.
I found that the characters were more fleshed out (and no, I wasn’t trying to make a pun, but I’m going to run with it), and thereby had more depth than their original counterparts. The main protagonist of Elizabeth (or ‘Lizzie’ if you prefer) Bennet was portrayed as a closeted badass in the original novel. While she abided by the social protocols of the time (manners, etc), she was not once beaten down by them; rather, she maintained her backbone and wry humor in a man’s world and strove to be viewed as more of an equal instead of simpering and submissive arm-candy. In this rendition of the novel, her personality is brought further into light, and is even given a ‘Buffy’ spin as depicted in her ability to use both weapons (both blades as well as firearms) as well as martial arts at a moment’s notice and all while wearing layers of petticoats–hardly surprising considering the fact that zombies walk freely amongst them and must be dealt with.
However, Lizzie is not the only character who is given more life. The dreamy, albeit standoffish Mr. Darcy is more humanized – he shows more emotion than he did in the original novel, and this is exemplified when he finds himself being made the butt of Lizzie’s jokes. Darcy never blushed in the original novel, but the fact that he does in this rendition, only serves to remind us that for all his pride and massive wealth that he is at his core, a normal human being, much to his chagrin.
Certain characters maintain for the most part their original personalities and the like from the original novel (Mary is still a somewhat sullen bookworm, Mrs. Bennet is still highly annoying, and Lydia is still a massive flirt/tease), but small changes are nevertheless made such as the added ability to wield weaponry (again…the zombies must be dealt with). However, as with Lizzie and Mr. Darcy, certain individuals undergo changes that serve to further add to their characters. Lady Catherine de Bourgh for example, who is depicted as being the epitome of controlling and over-bearing in the original novel, is now made more so because of her status as a martial arts master (a fact that she never ceases to flaunt and brag about to any and all who will listen). Mr. Wickham’s dishonest and foppish nature is magnified, and for all of you who share my feelings that he got off too lightly for his behavior and actions in the original novel, I’m very happy to report that he more than gets his comeuppance in this rendition.
All in all, I give this novel a 10 out of 10, and will no doubt be adding the other books from the series to my collection as soon as I am able.