Pride And Prejudice And Zombies
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Author(s): Jane Austin & Seth Grahame-Smith
Adapted: Tony Lee
Illustrated: Cliff Richards
Publisher: Titan Books
Publication Date: 2010
Adapted from the New York Times best-selling mash-up this version allows those of us who were either too lazy or put off by the long-winded novel to fully enjoy the mixture of zombies and classic literature. In this universe, the “strange plague” of “unmentionables” or zombies as we lovingly refer to them as, populates a vast proportion of the country making social interaction and mobility next to impossible, which proves a pain for the Bennet family and their mother’s desire to see her three, highly trained martial artist, daughters married. Although the recent arrival of Mr. Bingley and his friend Mr. Darcy at a nearby estate prompt several balls and cross-country trips but can love over power zombies? That’s before social acceptance comes into play.
A lot easier reading than the initial novel, as one would expect however this is no still no walk in the park and some sections may require re-reading, although this is also in part due to the terrible art choice taken by the old people’s favourite Cliff Richards (sadly the S on the end means it’s not the English Elvis) where his black and white, almost sketch style makes one character virtually indistinguishable from another and this makes following the story pretty difficult as everyone looks almost identical, your thankful that not everyone has the same hair colour in the end and this proves extremely detrimental to enjoying the novel, with this making it difficult to become engrossed and keep reading especially with better alternatives out there, resulting in having to force myself through this novel.
Zombie Fear Factor: ***
These “unmentionables” terrorise more than just the local population but also the whole social order of society, causing a great inconvenience to the holding of balls and parties. Rotting and suffering from an almost rabid bloodlust these creatures want just one thing – human flesh and they want the humans to know it.
Zombie Behaviour: ****
Decaying and shambling, these zombies are straight from the Romero mould, using numbers and sheer persistence to over power their victims and in a world where hand to hand combat is the only form, this comes into play.
Zombie Threat: ***
The zombies main threat is towards unsuspecting travellers, while our main protagonists (including Mr. Darcy) are rarely in danger due to their fighting skills and as a result there isn’t any real threat to them no matter what situation they get in, but for the rest of the population….Mr and Mrs Smith, well for them this is a very real threat as bodies litter the highways and surrounding areas and the general civilians lack the expertise to defend themselves, although this is often overlooked throughout the story save for a few instances and seems to be more than just an inconvenience to societal life.
Gore Content: **
Sadly this is just a mess, going back to the black and white style used, when a zombie has their head splattered all over the frame it’s just a splatter of ink over the page and does very little to draw you into the world in which all this is happening. There are a few gory scenes well delivered with sticks through eyeballs, heads decapitated and intestines eaten from human victims but again due to the style it isn’t very effective and reduces the effect of the scene. Ultimately, it does try but falls short of delivering the goods.
Overall Quality: **
A great concept as we all know however from the poor decision regarding the incomprehensible black and white, lazily drawn art to the fact that in this mash-up, in order to preserve the focus of the main plot, the zombies are set as a backdrop and brought into action through martial arts and ninjas but not often enough for this reader, and as a result I found this a little lacking in substance and ultimately enjoyment. Not every reader will agree with me, but even for those who enjoyed the printed book version this is still one to look at in the shop before purchasing to see if you can get on with the artwork. Not terrible but if you are looking for a zombie graphic novel with character depth, then pick up the Walking Dead series or something as there is much, much better out there.