Elizabeth and her zombies
by Evans Yonson
Barcelona – Because I have forgotten how to smoke Marlboro for the last seven weeks now, I have resorted to a vice that is even more expensive but yet indulging and a lot healthier. Buying books online, that is. Probably in three months time, I need to buy a bigger bookcase. The postwoman has become a dear friend, who now calls me by my first name every time she rings downstairs. She comes almost twice a week for the past month now. One of her deliveries is New York Times recent bestseller, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. This is not a remake of Jane Austen’s masterpiece but a reimagining of what could have been if Elizabeth, Jane, Mr. Darcy and the whole gang were in a world filled with zombies.And the results? Smashing comedy. Swashbuckling zombie killers with kung fu and other martial arts expertise. Superb dialogues of dread, hate, insults, pride, prejudice, and the unmentionables.
Seth Grahame-Smith, Jane Austen’s co-writer in this version and according to the back cover, once took a class in English literature. I wonder if this is just a ploy to make the reading public more interested or probably, most probably, a marketing strategy. But he is a genius. Quirk Books hit a goldmine in this writer. Here are some lines from the novel. As I mentioned earlier, Grahame-Smith added his ideas to Austen’s original work. The lines initalics are from the original. The lines in bold are from the zombie version.
Mr Bennet talking to her younger daughters:Mr Bennet coolly observed, “From all that I can collect by your manner of talking, you must be two of the silliest girls in the country. I have suspected it some time, but I am now convinced.”
Mr Darcy talking to Miss Bingley:“Miss Bingley, the groans of a hundred unmentionables would be more pleasing to my ears than one more word from your mouth. Were you not otherwise agreeable, I should be forced to remove your tongue with my saber.”
Miss Bingley talking to Elizabeth Bennet while trying to catch Mr Darcy’s:“Yes, vanity is weakness indeed. But pride –where there is real superiority of mind, pride will be always under good regulation.”
Mr Collins talking to Elizabeth Bennet:“After all, you may wield God’s sword, but I wield His wisdom. And it is wisdom, dear cousin, which will ultimately rid us of our present difficulties with the undead.”
Mrs Bennet to Catherine: “Pray do, my dear Miss Lucas, for nobody is on my side, nobody takes part with me. I am cruelly used, nobody feels for my nerves.”
Mr Bennet to Mrs Bennet:“My dear, I have two small favours to request. First, that you willspare me the expense of having your lips sewn shut; and secondly, that you will allow me the free use of my room.”
Elizabeth Bennet thinking and comparing Mr Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam:“…Mr Darcy had a considerable larger head, and thus, more brains to feast upon.”
Elizabeth Bennet describing her state of being after the Mr Darcy’s proposal: “I am happier even than Jane; she only smiles, I laugh….”
If you’ve read Jane Austen’s masterpiece before, this one is a welcome diversion of what might have been if there were really the undead when she originally wrote it. If you’re expecting an Interview with the Vampire type of thing, then don’t bother buying this book. Zombies or the unmentionables only appear once in awhile. But it’s a good read when you need a laugh.