In Honor of All Hallow’s Eve: Pride and Prejudice and Unmentionables

In celebration of my most favorite of holidays, let’s take a classic and infest it. Or rather read as Seth Grahame-Smith does in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. This book is brilliant; the idea of intertwining a classic romantic novel with blood thirsty brain eating monsters is refreshing.

Smith leaves the subtlety of the original intact and deftly sneaks the undead in. This is definitely a novel for fans of the Jane Austen classic, not for gore horror junkies just looking for blood and brains. At times the novel is word for word from the original, preserving the atmosphere of high class 19th century England. He first refers to zombies as “unmentionables,” an inspired term that keeps the world intact. He abandons it later in the novel, and the jarring switch dilutes the air of refinement, but at that point you’re so attached to the world that it’s forgivable.

His sense of humor is delightful and he adds it with a light touch. Charlotte Lucas debating the pros and cons of men is genius; their station in life is key, yet one must consider that a larger head provides more brains to feast upon. The scene of Darcy’s first profession of love and Lizzy’s unyielding reply is elevated from a verbal sparring match to a physical one; one of the most enjoyable moments in the whole novel.

All in all, this was a fun read; delightful and satisfying. “I have not yet forgiven (Mr. Darcy) for insulting my honor and may yet have his head upon my mantle,” says Miss Elizabeth Bennet. Indeed she might, if unmentionables don’t get it first.

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