With the subtitle "The Classic Regency Romance - Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem," Seth Grahame-Smith has done for Jane Austen what no literature teacher on the planet has ever done, made her writing palatable to the average reader of the male persuasion.
The basic premise of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is this, Pride and Prejudice, Austen's story of a family of daughters who fall in love with men far above their stations, whose love is oddly returned, plays out in all the overly dramatic ways it has for nearly two hundred years. Grahame-Smith overlays plot twist, for fifty years England has been overrun by zombies, whose origins are still unknown. In order to protect the population, all those of able body are trained to fight, including unmarried women, who must relinquish their protector status when they become married.
The Bennett daughters have been trained by the Shoalin monks in China, whereas Mr. D'Arcy has been instructed in the ninja's dark arts in Kyoto, Japan. Add to the pride and prejudice Austen instilled in Miss Bennet and Mr. D'Arcy unrivaled fighting skills and you finally have a recipe for a romance that might just keep the attention of at least some guys (the ones who can actually read that is). Grahame'Smith's achievement was to refine his overlay so that it is seemless. The language is Austens, even when describing Lizzy's desire to cut off Mr. D'Arcy's head for impertinence.
Just about everytime I was tiring of the tediousness of Austen's narrative (which is my reaction to all romances of that era, not just Austen's), zombies appear and the mayhem begins. It was just enough to keep me reading to see what direction the story might next take.
Setting aside Seth Grahame-Smith's pretentious use of two last names and his La-La Land ultra left politics, I might just give his rumored next book Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter a try.