Friday, April 17, 2009

Gush!! Drool!! Moan & Roam!!

Ok, I've been talking up this book for weeks.... but until a few days ago, I assumed I had to be the only weirdo who happened to think Jane Austen would pair well with, I don't know, say George Romero. Trust me, as a harebrainedly romantic, bookwormish female with an obsession with the brain-devouring undead it made perfect sense!!! But I guess now that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by the late, great Jane Austen and L.A. native Seth Grahame-Smith, has reached #3 on the NY Times Bestseller List it's time to publicly profess the love that has been brewin' for quite some time now.

Talk about a seamless meshing of all that I adore and find charming and amusing. Jane Austen!! Elizabeth Bennett (really one of my all time favorite literature heroines)!! Flesh Eating Zombies!!! How can you not fall in love with the idea of introducing the rudest of horror creatures into a English novel of manners? Even the opening line is charming, in it's own irreverent and twisted way: "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains." Heeeheeeehee!!!

Elizabeth Bennett is given the full makeover treatment, into a zombie slayer who can still maintain impeccable manners and a piercing wit, as she demonstrates her lethal martial arts skills. Gone are just the verbal spars of Lizzie and Mr. Darcy, as they now break into physical sparring as well. As a matter of fact, all the Bennett sisters are trained in the art of killing, having studied martial arts in China. Of course they're expected to lay down their swords once they're married off to a suitable husband, which despite their heroic skill set is only befitting a lady. Even the most irritating of Bennett sisters, Kitty and Lydia, are rendered moderately more likable, now that they has training in something other than ribbon buying, shameless flirtation and family shaming.

Though the general jist of PriPreZo reads that it's an "...expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem", it's really more than just a retelling of a classic story with some blood and gore thrown in. New plot twists evolve to match the horror theme while retaining the essentials would expect from Austen - romance, heartbreak and true English propriety. That still doesn't stop the undead from roaming the British countryside, and therein PriPreZo finds it's charm.

For me, one of the final highlights of the book was found in the discussion questions, actually. The question, "Some critics have suggested that the zombies represent the author's views toward marriage -- an endless curse that sucks the life out of you and just won't die. Do you agree?" resonated deeply with my hidden phobias. I could take a baseball bat or a machete to any zombie any day of the week, but committing to entrusting my heart into another's person's hands is fear I won't easily overcome.

So while the J.J.'s of the world may snicker at me, and my odd conglomeration of entertainment preferences (yes, you can like both Martha Stewart Living and Battlestar Galactica, or Lord of the Rings and knitting), I just sit back and enjoy the fierce bloodsport and carnage while dreaming of my own Mr. D, emerging from a pond graced with rose bushes. For any likeminded individuals, whether you're an Austen fan, with a closet fetish for anything with the words "Of The Dead" in it, or a Horror Aficionado hiding a secret romantic gooey center, check out Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - it truly is the best of both worlds!


Lori said...

awesome trinette! i love it. just like what you like and to heck with anyone who thinks there's a contradiction!

Trin said...

Thanks Lori! Friends like you remind me that it's ok to be a total dork...I think.