Tuesday, July 07, 2009

My Review of "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies"

Finished Pride & Prejudice & Zombies last night. It had some genuinely funny moments (the Readers Guide at the end which was a parody of those Book Club "questions for the readers" was laugh out loud funny), but I didn't care for:

1. constant descriptions of gore,
2. inconsistencies between Japanese and Chinese culture, like a reference to Darcy's housekeeper being in a kimono, but with bound feet - stupid mistake to make!
3. copious illustrations, which were done in the style I call "Generic Old-Timey", which in this case meant that the women's clothes were not even remotely Regency.
4. the poor execution. They had a really amazing chance to do a subtle concept, but decided to go a bit more slapsticky and departed JUST enough from the traditional narrative to make it seem a bit cheap. The writer gave the Bennet girls warrior abilities (to fight zombies, they were trained by a Shaolin master!), and therefore, the difficulties of their situation as helpless and unskilled women, and therefore dependent on marriage for a future, is stripped from the narrative so it loses something...

BUT, I would definitely go to see a movie version! I think it would would be much better served by a film adaptation. And the writer's decision to give British society such a genteel approach to the zombies (calling them "unmentionables" and "the sorry stricken") has moments of genius. But it was inconsistently blended, and so I found myself reading in a very disjointed way - I was continually being jerked out of the story. But it certainly gives one food for thought! Because it's almost a deconstruction of the original story, it sparks the imagination with "what if"s, in an Alternate Universe sort of way.

I wanted it to be better. But it has stuck with me, which I suppose is something!


Mike Howell said...

I can't say I'm not intrigued. The humor may be lost on me though. As a non-Austinphile I may miss the absurdity of some of the situations (other than the normal zombie absurdity anyway.)

Wait just a minute... weren't you notably adverse to all things zombie at some point?

Susania said...

yes, I really do hate zombies and the whole phenomenon... but all of my Austenphile friends raved about it, so... and it's easier to read about zombies in black & white than in a film, which is where they usually live!

Mike Howell said...

Thank you for the subtle spelling correction. ;-)