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Thursday Afternoon Haiku Moment: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by...

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance – Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem! by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

Auto-buy for me
Jane Austen and zombies? This
is my dream come true.

book review At first, I’m puzzled.
Why is Jane Austen sharing
copyright with Seth?

Public domain book
But I read and it is clear
more ripoff than new.

The text, dialogue
word for word what Austen wrote
…with minor changes.

This book reads more like
wild usage of “Find/Replace”
tool in MS Word.

At first, this is cute.
Men are judged by number of
kills, not money. Nice.

Darcy is a catch
Because he is a master
of zombie slaying.

The Bennett daughters
act the same, talk the same
but they are…ninjas.

My eyebrows? Raised but
I still read. Netherfield Ball?
Invaded by dead.

Darcy slights Lizzy
Instead of laughing it off,
she wants to…gut him????

This is where you start
to lose me. Despite Bennett
bloodthirst, I press on

But when Darcy asks
Lizzy to dance with him,
the story has changed.

Instead of the Austen
version where she declines, she
gives him ‘cut direct’

I realize at
this point that Grahame-Smith?
Doesn’t know his Jane.

I don’t mind a spoof
Of beloved author. BUT.
You missed the basics.

Give the cut direct?
MAJOR deal in Regency.
But no one here blinks.

I realize that it’s
A bit silly to get mad
over a detail.

But missing that small
detail showed me something big.
You skipped your homework.

This is not a fan’s
Loving homage. This is a
shameless grab for cash.

Maybe a cute gift
for people that appreciate schtick
But fans of Jane? Pass.

DNF

This book can be purchased in mass market from an independent bookstore or ebook format from the Sony Store and other etailers.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

35 Comments

  1. SarahT
    Apr 30, 2009 @ 16:06:34

    Aargh! That cover is hideous!

  2. she reads
    Apr 30, 2009 @ 16:33:24

    I thought ‘shameless grab for cash pairing darcy + zombies’… sounds like I was right. thanks for the haiku

  3. Daphne
    Apr 30, 2009 @ 16:35:28

    Too bad it worked as a cash grab. Not only is the book selling way more than it should, the author got a big deal for his next oeuvre–Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Wonder if Honest Abe will meet up with Van Helsing?

  4. Courtney Milan
    Apr 30, 2009 @ 16:41:48

    I read it (not all the way through) and I agree. This could have actually been something good–if the author loved the era, loved the story, and really did it right. Instead, it’s a gimmick, and kind of a gross one at that.

  5. Juliana Stone
    Apr 30, 2009 @ 17:36:16

    why screw with Austen? When I read his huge deal for the Lincoln thing I was intrigued…but now, not so much…..

  6. SonomaLass
    Apr 30, 2009 @ 17:58:43

    I loved the excerpt that I read, but I haven’t gotten the whole thing yet. I was glad he left so much of Austen’s language intact, and in the excerpt I thought the zombie thing was blended in pretty well. Oh yeah, and I laughed, hard.

    Since I’ve already ordered it, I’ll probably read it, but I’ll do so knowing that it’s probably not for genuine Austen lovers.

  7. Teddypig
    Apr 30, 2009 @ 18:14:17

    So it’s not an authentic historical zombie story? I’m going to go lay down now.

  8. Meljean
    Apr 30, 2009 @ 18:14:56

    Oh, no! I was so excited about this, because it sounded like a true geek-love crossover. But no love?

    Sigh. I know I’ll still read it, but it’s gone farther down the TBR.

  9. rigmarole
    Apr 30, 2009 @ 18:18:32

    I knew it! I hated the idea from the start and all my friends were squeeing about it and I knew it would be crap! [/odd combination of glee and disgust]

  10. Chenebe
    Apr 30, 2009 @ 18:33:46

    O no! What a shame, could have been so fun!

    Speaking of zombies, anyone read World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie Wars? Pretty apt reading right now, considering the looming threat of a pandemic. Not a romance tho!

  11. MB
    Apr 30, 2009 @ 18:38:32

    World War Z was pretty good. It IS very applicable to the pandemic! I thought it was pretty humorous…but his other book? I was over it by then and bored.

  12. library addict
    Apr 30, 2009 @ 18:42:55

    I cannot believe the amount of attention this book has been getting since it was announced. I love Jane Austen, but zombies are not my cup of tea. Then again, I have yet to read a P&P sequel or retelling that works for me.

    I’ll stick with the book or the Colin Firth mini-series – LOL.

  13. Jessica G.
    Apr 30, 2009 @ 19:39:32

    Great haiku, as always.

    I’ll totally admit it, I bought it just because it sounded cool. Haven’t read it yet though. I’m not even a big zombie fan. I just needed to buy it. I need to work on that.

  14. Mireya
    Apr 30, 2009 @ 20:20:53

    Sounds like a rental for me.

  15. Tina Burns
    Apr 30, 2009 @ 20:48:10

    What a disappointment, I was looking forward to a great twist on Jane. *sigh*

  16. Amy
    Apr 30, 2009 @ 21:13:08

    Hah, I wasn’t interested in it from the start, even blogged about it, now I feel oddly mollified. LOL. Great haiku.

  17. Jessica Kennedy
    Apr 30, 2009 @ 21:15:07

    Thanks! You saved me time and money! I was very concerned about this one!

  18. Jacqueline
    Apr 30, 2009 @ 22:07:12

    Oh, that’s really too bad. I love Pride & Prejudice and when I first heard about this, it make me blink but I thought “…with zombies?? Well………Okay…what the heck…this might be really fun! I mean, zombies! And Austen!” Now? The wanting to gut him for slighting her, I’m okay with. The “cut direct”? For that??? And no one blinks?? Ya, no. Pass, unless I get it as a gift or something.

  19. DS
    Apr 30, 2009 @ 23:02:35

    OK, I bought it (and in the dead tree version) just to say I have it.

  20. Maili
    May 01, 2009 @ 00:20:10

    I thought Pride & Prejudice & Zombies quite funny, even though I found the author’s handling of some parts awkward and sometimes lazy.

    I agree with Jane that it’s painfully clear the author has no real feeling for the era, characters and so on, but I wasn’t surprised. I think it’s because I already expected it. I did wish from time to time that the author could make more efforts or at least invest in it a lot more. It was seemingly done in a hurry, which occasionally frustrated me.

    Would I recommend it? If you have the money, low expectations and a willing to view it as a humour book (like a book or TV programme of comic sketches), yes. If no, get it from your library or a discount bookshop.

    Can’t wait to see all your reactions to a new British film called Pride & Predator! Yes, it’s exactly what it implies (and what you fear). :D It’ll be released next year. I don’t think I’ll watch it, though.

  21. Brianna
    May 01, 2009 @ 04:19:09

    Best. review. of. zombie/austen. ever. :D

    I wasn’t really interested in getting this book in the first place, but now I seriously have not interest at all.

  22. Donna Lea Simpson
    May 01, 2009 @ 07:32:21

    I have to admit to grinding my teeth helplessly at how well even the worst rip-offs of Jane Austen novels seem to do.

    And then I really should admit to spending a couple of hours trying to think of my own spin and coming up… empty.

    I think I love the books too much. I’d never match her ability and I’d feel squicky even trying.

  23. Karen Templeton
    May 01, 2009 @ 08:16:28

    Read the first few pages at Amazon, just found it a cross between silly and boring. A shame, because the premise COULD work…if more cleverly handled. I LOVE dark humor (I think Shaun of the Dead is brilliant), and I’m crazy for parodies…when they work. On the surface, the idea of blending Austen and Zombies appeals. But this rendering fell short, IMO.

    Perhaps, though, that’s because Austen is already mocking, to some extent, her own world; to add the extra, even more “out there” element of zombies tips the scale too far? Not sure. To simply wedge in zombie scenes, though, certainly wasn’t doing it for me.

    Oddly, though, it might work better as a film?

  24. Lori
    May 01, 2009 @ 09:24:34

    A voice of dissent: I love the book. Definitely worth the money for the amounts of laughs I’ve gotten and just squee-filled delight.

    I’ve read and enjoyed Austen but I have to admit that I’m not a fan of Regencies (I love me my contemporaries) so what stuck out for Jane didn’t stick out for me. I read it enjoying the tongue-in-cheekiness and the zombified orphans feasting on human flesh was just wonderful.

    Not everyone’s cup of tea to be sure. But I’m a coffee with cream and sugar kind of gal.

    (I also like limericks more than haiku. When will there be a limericked review?)

  25. AmyW
    May 01, 2009 @ 10:56:52

    So many people told me about this book because I have a reputation as a P&P nut and were surprised when I said I’d never buy it. Why? a) I don’t like it when people mess with the story (same with those “sequels”) and b) the whole cash-grab thing by slapping “Jane Austen” (or “Pride & Prejudice” in this case) onto their book. Someone I know did buy it and read me the first few lines. I admit, it was amusing but amusement won’t sustain a whole book for me. I learned my lesson with a Jane Austen choose your own adventure — I caved to the Austen and wasted my money.

    I think the huge advance for the Abraham Lincoln book will turn out to be a waste. I’m sure more people (women) bought it for the P&P angle than zombies, and I doubt Abraham Lincoln has the same cache as Elizabeth and Darcy!

  26. JHeller
    May 01, 2009 @ 11:33:30

    I’m an Austen and a zombie one. I got this because I was curious. I got maybe into the second chapter and I skimmed the rest. It has no heart. He lost me when he introduced the ninjas. It could have pretty awesome but for me…meh.

  27. Meg Cabot
    May 01, 2009 @ 12:15:44

    I was going to buy this book until I read this. I adored World War Z, and obviously I adore Austen. I hate to slight another author, but anyone who can’t meld two worlds I love so much together, giving both the careful respect and homage they are due, isn’t worth my very limited time. I’m SO glad I read this. Thank you! (PS Excellently written, as always!)

  28. Angelia Sparrow
    May 01, 2009 @ 13:57:06

    I loathe P&P. I found the characters to be useless and frivolous. Yes, yes, I know it’s reflective of the era, but I want the two hours I spent with the audio book back…

    This was under consideration and I’ve been wobbling. “ZOMBIES! Jane Austen, bleh. But Zombies! Eating usless regency bints!” Now I know it’s not something I’ll enjoy.

  29. Jaiku
    May 01, 2009 @ 17:43:17

  30. Diane/Anonym2857
    May 01, 2009 @ 22:51:23

  31. April
    May 02, 2009 @ 06:29:12

    Thanks for the review. I’ve been torn about whether or not to purchase this. At first I thought: “YEAH!” (w/ hand pumping in the air action). What a great way to pay homage to the beautiful language of Austen and poke fun at the pent up, socially-charged atmosphere of the Regency. The line: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.” cracks me up every time because it is SO Austen, and so zany at the same time. Just deadpan.

    However, after reading reviews it seems that the author doesn’t get Austen truthfully, and that’s just a shame.

  32. jayn.
    May 03, 2009 @ 12:58:11

    At the risk of being not even mildly diverting, have to say, I thought this book was hysterical. It was a great satire, and I went into it expecting that and nothing more. Frankly, the ninjas kinda made it for me. Had pictures in my head of the ninjas coming up out of the water in wet sheer ninja costumes after a brief dunk to refresh after a long journey even. It was a simple parody, nothing more, and while I totally appreciate the affront it could present to some, for this Janehead it was fun and entertaining.

  33. Shannon C.
    May 04, 2009 @ 09:33:31

    I’ve only recently read the original P&P, so I’m not as devoted to the story as some. But I loved the added zombies. I have a fondness for crackfic, and this totally qualifies. I wasn’t expecting any more than that, and I wasn’t disappointed.

  34. Robinb
    May 06, 2009 @ 09:35:31

    There are 82(!!!!) holds on this at my library and I only bought 7 originally, then upped it to 25. I really, REALLY, don’t want to buy anymore but will probably just have to suck it up and spend the money when I could be buying something else. Damn you, marketing geniuses and your…..marketing genius!

    Anxiously awaiting The Zombie Odyssey and Zombie Iliad.

  35. REVIEW: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Austen and Grahame-Smith : The Good, The Bad and The Unread
    May 07, 2009 @ 00:00:28

    [...] of an opinion must be in want of a platform to post it in. And after reading Dear Author’s haiku review of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, I felt compelled to offer my own, quite different, take on this [...]

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