Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

January is Outside Your Comfort Zone
Humans are some of the most adaptable creatures on the planet. There is a famous science experiment that used special glasses to invert people's vision so that everything was upside down...after 3 days, the participants began to see things right side up again. That is the case with all of these novels as well. The main characters are thrown into some horrible situations ranging from life-shattering rejection to unexpectedly falling in love, and all rise to the challenge. What are you capable of that you never believed you could do?

I finally got around to reading this...and I was pleasantly surprised. Admittedly, I have a girlish weakness for Jane Austen, and am a devoted zombie fan. I was impressed by Grahame-Smith's interpretation, and seamless introduction of zombies into an unlikely plot.

This is a different Victorian England. Recently, the land has been stricken with "unmentionables," who roam the land threatening to overtake the locals, spreading their undead curse to any unfortunate enough to fall victim to their relentless pursuit. The Bennet family has pledged their allegiance to Queen and country, and the eradication of the the "sorry stricken." Under their Chinese teacher, Master Liu, the Bennet girls are honed into Zombie killing Shaolin masters. (A purist may notice that the Chinese-trained girls are using katanas...which are a Japanese sword *tsk tsk*) Their first, and foremost task is to rid the land of the plague of zombies that threatens to take over the relative peace of their country home. Their mother, however, aspires for her daughters to be wed. It is in this light that a new neighbor is invited to dine with them, and a friendship is begun between Mr. Bingley, and the eldest Bennet daughter, Jane.

On an unaccompanied visit to the Bingley estate, Jane is fallen on by "unmentionables" in the rain. While she vanquishes the undead threat, she is stricken ill. This seems a happy stroke of luck to her mother, who insists that she stay with the Bingleys until she is recovered, and sends the second eldest, Elizabeth, to accompany her in her convalescence. Elizabeth embodies the true warrior spirit, and is distressed at the extended stay that keeps her from practicing her deadly arts. It is there that she spends her first signficant time with Mr. Bingley's close friend, Mr. Darcy - known for his skill in the deadly arts. That seems to be the only thing to recommend him, however, as he is both disagreeable and proud. She takes the first opportunity to bring Jane home, but the friendship between Mr. Bingley and Jane has already deepened. Mrs. Bennet is sure that a marriage proposal is at hand, when suddenly Mr. Bingley is to go to town...and is not expected to return. What could account for this turn of events?

Elizabeth blames the Misses Bingleys, who during her time with them prattled on and on about desiring Ms. Darcy to be destined for their brother, and Mr. Darcy, who is bound to be a bad influence. He seems to take an instant dislike to everything about their quaint country town. Anyone who would not see Jane for the angel that she is must be a fool! She only hopes that, with time, poor Jane's heart will mend.

While Jane goes to visit her Uncle and Aunt in London, she holds out hope that Mr. Bingley will call on her. Elizabeth goes to visit Mr. and Mrs. Collins, and has the misfortune of meeting Lady Catherine de Bourgh. The woman is renown for her zombie killing abilities, but seems to have no concept of common decency. She is constantly belittling Elizabeth's skill, and repeats how superior Japanese training is to Chinese. It isn't until Elizabeth is set upon by Lady Catherine's ninjas, and hastily defeats them, that she forms a grudging respect for Ms. Bennet. It is on this trip, as well, that she again meets Mr. Darcy. Could it be that she has judged him wrongly? Is his skill with a blade and musket more honorable than she first thought? And could it be that his manner has softened?

She must remember her place, as a warrior, as pledged to rid the world of the unmentionables, and forget this frivolous romance business. What will become of the Bennet girls? Austen fans are familiar with the ending, but I won't spoil it for anyone else. I recommend the audio version, read by a delightfully British woman. It adds an element that you don't get from a straight reading.
"Elizabeth and Darcy merely looked at one another in awkward silence, until the latter reached both arms around her. She was frozen- 'What does he mean to do?' she thought. But his intentions were respectable, for Darcy merely meant to retrieve his Brown Bess, which Elizabeth had affixed to her back during her walk. She remembered the lead ammunition in her pocket and offered it to him. 'Your balls, Mr. Darcy?' He reached out and closed her hand around them, and offered, 'They belong to you, Miss Bennet.'" (Grahame-Smith, 2009).
*Library Link*

If you liked this, check out:
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadful by Seth Grahame-Smith
Little Vampire Women by Louisa May Alcott and Lynn Messina
Jane Slayre by Charlotte Bronte and Sherri Browning Erwin

Austen, Jane and Grahame-Smith, Seth. (2009). Pride and prejudice and zombies: the classic regency romance--now with ultraviolent zombie mayhem. Philadelphia, PA: Quirk Books.

Austen, Jane, Grahame-Smith, Seth, and Kellgren, Katherine. (2009). Pride and Prejudice and Zombies [audiobook]. Grand Haven, MI: Brilliance Audio.


  1. Hi, Abbey! Two things: One, hooray for you for recommending this because YAs will/should love it! Two, it's Sarah from Loyola! I've been thinking of you - hope to talk soon!

  2. hi sarah! i tried to go to your profile ... but i don't think i'm doing it right lol :)