It's Tuesday, the perfect day to review Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and for you to find out whether this piece of gory chick lit is worth your time. Most importantly, with studios battling over the rights, could it produce a chick flick with braaaains as I predicted back in February?
As a book, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is pretty disappointing. Seth Grahame-Smith's claims that 85% of it is Austen's original is an understatement. I would raise that estimate to 95%, and am amazed a publisher handed an author any money for so little original content. Towards the middle, I actually began skimming (hey, I nearly know the original by heart) and would slow down and read only when "zombie" or "unmentionable" appeared. Just to err on the side of caution, I kept my original P&P at my elbow and when I came across dialogue that struck me as a bit modern, I'd pick up Austen. 99% of the time, it was original, and unaltered by Grahame-Smith. But it's to his credit that when he does add dialogue, it's almost always spot on, and seamless with the original.
The real shame is that Grahame-Smith didn't create something more original. There was some real potential here if he had just broken free from the original plotline, gave us an origin story, and beefed up the Bennet sisters. There's still too much fussing about balls, Brighton, and Mr. Bingley to believe any of them, save Elizabeth, are trained warriors. I understand the joke here is to "restore" the lost zombie story, but what is "restored" felt more like he just copied and pasted "zombie," "Katana sword," and "many kills" in places where it would be the least obtrusive.