This was a so-so read. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I remember when it first hit the shelves and everyone obsessed over it. I sort of put it in the back of my mind as a to-read book, but never thought I would as I love Austen’s novels on their own and really didn’t know what to expect with the introduction of Sci-Fi/Horror elements.
Overall this probably would’ve been a better novel if Grahame-Smith were a better writer, or a writer with better mimicry skills. The added parts stood out like sore thumbs (aside from the zombie material) and got very old very fast. It wasn’t just the zombie introduction that tried my patience with the novel, but the introduction of the Orient, from warrior training, to dojo and ninjas, it took a potentially brilliant idea and completely mangled it. Rather than just introducing the zombies and working with the time period and culture, he brought in a completely different culture and mutated the novel from a satirical social commentary to a rather ho-hum humorous horror novel. I also didn’t appreciate the crude humor, Grahame-Smith took the hinted impropriety a step to far, but I guess that’s what’s supposed to make it a comical novel rather than just a horror novel.
Once I finish these next three novels (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, What Would Jane Austen Do? and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters) I think I may have to re-read a true Jane Austen novel just to cleanse my reading palate.
Recommendation: Read it if you’d like, it’s not the worst book I’ve read, but it’s very far from approaching the best books I’ve read.
“I certainly have not the talent which some people possess,” said Darcy, “of conversing easily with those I have never seen before. I cannot catch their tone of conversation, or appear interested in their concerns, as I often see done.” (137)
“Of all the weapons she had commanded, Elizabeth knew the least of love; and of all the weapons in the world, love was the most dangerous.” (213)