Pride + Prejudice + Zombies = Bizarre Fun
I quite like Pride and Prejudice. I've only read it twice all the way through, both times because of a school assignment, but I've always really enjoyed the story and the strong wit of the dialogue. I saw the Keira Knightly film version when I was thirteen years old, and the majority of the BBC version when I was fourteen or so. I thoroughly enjoyed the Pemberly Digital adaption, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, just a few years ago. It's a great story in just about any form.
A couple years ago, I was made aware of the existence of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the novel. I knew nothing about it other than that it was an actual book one could read, and I was amused by the idea. I felt no great compulsion to read it, but had one or two friends that did and quite enjoyed it. Just two weeks ago, I decided I wanted to finally give it a read. In a serendipitous turn of events, I received a copy of the book in my February BOOM!Box, a subscription service by Espionage Cosmetics. The theme of the box was Most Ardently, and contained quite a few Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies themed items.
So, I finally had my very own copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I began reading it Thursday, and finished it Monday. As one might expect, it's a little strange. However, the vast majority of the text is identical to the original Jane Austen novel, hence why her name is present on the cover. Because of that, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is exactly as charming as the original, and just as enjoyable. It just also happens to include a zombie outbreak in England, and everyone has been trained in the deadly arts to combat the undead. It's definitely strange, but more than anything it's funny, and in some cases adds greatly to the amusement and charm of the original text. I wouldn't say it's for everyone, but I loved it, a lot more than I expected to.
Tuesday night, I went to see Pride + Prejudice + Zombies, the film adaption. I should point out at this juncture that I don't like zombies. I never have. I think the whole thing is gross and bizarre, and I've never enjoyed zombie horror. The only zombie film I've ever seen is World War Z, which I actually loved, but that's a completely different post. I have a handful of zombie themed tv shows and books I've enjoyed, but none of them are typical zombie horror, which is why I like them. Pride + Prejudice + Zombies is a zombie horror film. It also happens to be Pride and Prejudice. Sort of, anyway.
If Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the book, resembles the original Pride and Prejudice about 85% or so, then Pride + Prejudice + Zombies resembles the book upon which it's based about 5%. It might as well be a completely different story. In fact, it is. It's thoroughly entertaining, not particularly gory, and absolutely hilarious. It's also so ridiculous I had trouble taking any of it seriously, which may well have been the point. It's a fun film. It's not really anything like the original story of Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam, but it almost doesn't matter. It's clearly not supposed to be the same story, and I found that I really didn't mind.
Zombies definitely aren't for everyone, but there's a lot more appeal to this tale than I expected. I definitely preferred the book, but that's not unusual. I feel like I'm still digesting all of Pride + Prejudice + Zombies, but I'm quite glad I finally dipped my toe into that particular story world. Surprised as I am to admit it, it's something I'd recommend to my friends. Despite how thoroughly bizarre it is, it's also a lot of fun.