Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Plot Summary:
The Bennett family is unlike the other families in Hertfordshire. Mr. Bennet is a gentlemen, and a incredibly accomplished zombie killer. After sending his girls to a Shaolin Temple to learn marital arts, and combat, Mrs. Bennett decides that it is time for them to get married, especially Jane and Elizabeth. Jane is quiet, and shy, which comes off as indifferent; however, her sister, Elizabeth is a force to be reckoned. When Mr. Bingley moves into Netherfield, he finds himself instantly attracted to Jane. When Mr. Bingely is invited to a ball, he brings Mr. Darcy, an incredibly rich and handsome man, who wants nothing to do with country folk--until he meets Elizabeth. Elizabeth thinks Darcy is too proud, ungentlemanly, and arrogant, but when she is acquainted with  Mr. Wickham, the whole mystery behind Darcy's persona is revealed. Furthermore, as Elizabeth gets to know Darcy, and his family, she realizes nothing is what it seems, especially her own opinions, which seem prejudicial at some times. As the story unravels, the Bennett's and the Darcy's show they are true equals in the art of Zombie slaying.

Critical Evaluation:
By taking a classic novel, like Pride and Prejudice, and intertwining it with a Zombie Apocalypse is sheer genius. In this version of the beloved tale, not only are the personal strengths of each character heightened, readers will be excited to read what's next. Elizabeth Bennett is a a very independent, willful, rational, and strong girl who, given knives and sword, is the complete opposite of what a "Lady" should be. In these times, women were expected to obedient, educated, talented, and take care of the house. Elizabeth has these qualities, but her purpose is to protect those she loves from the "unmentionables" (aka. zombies) rather than site idly. Moreover, if Elizabeth is going to marry, she will do it on her terms and her terms alone. Darcy, is sexy as ever in this story, is actually a lot more intimidating because not only is his presence powerful, but arm him with all weapons and women will just melt. However, when he isn't slaying, he has this vulnerability when it comes to Elizabeth that makes him that much more endearing.

Information about the Authors:Jane Austen was born on December 17, 1775 in Steventon, Hampshire England. She was the second-youngest of eight children. While she was growing up, society was incredibly rigid where is was divided into the rich and the poor, and, since her father was part of the Parish, he was neither. In other words, Austen's family was in the middle class. When she was old enough, she insisted on going to boarding school with her oldest sister, Cassandra, which, unfortunately, was frowned upon because educating women would be harmful to their health--both Cassandra and Jane contracted Typhus and had to return home. According to Jamie Aronson (2006): "Rev. Austen did not adhere to such beliefs. He tutored Jane and Cassandra at home and opened his extensive library to them, giving them unrestricted access to his entire collection. Jane became an avid reader, enjoying all the current works of the day"(p.1).

While being educated by her father, at home, she started writing her own stories, which later on inspired her future works: "Between 1787 and 1793, Austen wrote several satirical short novels that parodied the unrealistic way that women were portrayed in sentimental novels" (Aronson,2006, pg.1). Unwilling to accept female representation in "sentimental" novels, Austen's works shifted immensely as she matured, which would create a new literary movement entitled "Domestic Realism." Moreover, in 1797, "while recovering from her broken engagement, Austen wrote the first draft of her second epistolary novel, "First Impressions." The novel deals with a heroine who struggles with her prejudice against a proud, wealthy man who is deeply in love with her. She must overcome her prejudice to be truly happy with him, while he must humble himself to be with her. Once again, Austen's characters are very complex and realistic, and the action takes place mostly within the domestic realm" (Aronson, 2006, p.1). 

Seth Grahame-Smith was born on January 4, 1976. Not only is he an accomplished author, he is co-creator, head writer and executive producer of The Hard Times of RJ Berger. Although there is not a whole lot about his personal life: he was born in New York and grew up in Connecticut where he graudated from Emerson College. He currently lives in Los Angeles, California, with his family. Despite the lack or a personal biography, he has one impressive resume. As the writer of The Big Book of Porn: A Penetrating Look at the World of Dirty Movies his debut novel, he also wrote: The Spider-Man Handbook: The Ultimate Training, How to Survive a Horror Movie: All the Skills to Dodge the Kills, and  Pardon My President: Fold-and-Mail Apologies for 8 Years.  Grahame-Smith wrote Pride and Prejudice and Zombies after getting the idea from his editor. According to an article on Wikipedia:

Rekulak suggested that Grahame-Smith mix a zombie plot into the public domain novel, effectively creating one of the first literary mash-ups. Enamored with the idea, Grahame-Smith immediately began working on the novel, first by reading Pride and Prejudice and then by meticulously plotting out where to insert the zombie elements, a process he has described as similar to microsurgery. Though Quirk Books was initially reluctant to publish the book in fear of alienating Austen’s fans, the novel went to press in 2009, with modest sales expectations. In the weeks prior to the release, however, the book’s popularity swelled dramatically as the cover and title of the novel circulated the internet. Anticipation for the book grew so rapidly that in its first week of release, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies surged to #3 on the New York Times Best Seller list. Since that time, the novel has sold over a million copies and been translated into over 20 languages." (para. 4).
Teen Graphic Novels

Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 9 & up

Graphic Novels Similar to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies:

Awards & Recognition:
Positive Reviews from:
  • Library Journal: 2010
  • Publisher's Weekly: 2010

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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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