The classic regency romance now with ultra-violent zombie mayhem!
And about time too!
Borrowing the term from the music industry, P&P&Z is being hailed around the world as the first major literary mash-up. The fact that there is so much literary buzz about this book gives some indication that there is a little more this book than merely a fun idea and a clever title.
The book itself consists mostly of the original Austen text, with only 15% (by word count) being the addition of author Seth Grahame-Smith, who admits that he was surprised how easy it was to insert a flesh-eating plague of zombies into the world of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy. The sharp tongued, independent Elizabeth was particularly well suited to the role of Zombie-slayer and Darcy fans can only have more to swoon over as the most loved romantic hero in all of literature displays his hitherto unknown martial arts skills to despatch legions of the un-dead.
Plenty of authors in recent times have tried to re-write Austen and while this is easily the most unorthodox diversion from the cannon, the result is entirely entertaining and far more respectful to the original than I could ever have believed possible. And, what better way to get all us blokes into Austen? The the witty social commentary and subtle irony is all still there, underneath the gore … somewhere. I for one would love to see them re-do the BBC mini-series with zombies – as long as Simon Pegg gets to play Mr Collins. You girls can have your choice for Darcy.
Keep you eye out for more literary mash-ups in the near future too. I’m looking forward to a rumoured re-working of George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss powered by human sacrifice.
*This review was written by me for the SF & Fantasy Buzz, the science fiction and fantasy newsletter for Booktopia.com.au*