Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Books: Pride & Prejudice & Zombies

I have been terrible at making the time to read. This book was one of the ways I started reading again. Admittedly, it did take me an incredibly long time to finally finish it.

Jane Austen joined the ranks of Shakespeare this year in that her works are now in the public domain. This is why you may have noticed a sudden influx of Austen titles popping up as movies and tv min-series more than usual.

Quirk Books got it in its head that taking a classic and making it more in tune with modern trends would be a good idea. They were wrong. It was A GREAT idea.

This first of these was Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith. They keep 85% of the original text. The main changes are instead of being renowned for their beauty, its their zombie fighting skills. When Mr. Darcy proposes for the first time, Elizabeth is not only offended, but she actually kicks him into the fireplace. Lady Cathereine de Bourgh is not only wealthy, but also well known for her zombie killing skills in her youth. A few scenes got added that add a bit to the zombie backdrop. They do an excellent job blending the language that it seems like it was there the whole time. The refer to zombies as "the dreadfuls" and "the sorry stricken" in that very British Victorian way they have when they don't want to just call them zombies.

I enjoyed it thoroughly and thanks to my good friend, Rachel, I have a 2011 calender of it to keep it around all year. I recommend it to anyone. It is a fairly quick read and only $12.95 retail. Because of its success, there are more titles to come:

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith
Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Jane Austen and Ben Winters
Android Karenina by Leo Tolstoy and Ben Winters

I've heard rumor of "Emma and the Wolves," but haven't seen anything confirmed.

Additionally, there are in the process of making it a movie and Natalie Portman has signed on. No one else has been confirmed yet. I would like to make the below suggestions for the two most important characters in this adaptation:

Mr. Darcy - Karl Urban. You would know him from such films as: Star Trek, Lord of the Rings and Reds. He is from New Zealand and can do the accent. He's proved he can do action. Plus, he is the right age to match with Natalie Portman.

Lady Cathereine de Bourgh - Helen Mirren. She really needs no introduction. I like her because she can do the awesome action sequence when she confronts Elizabeth about her relationship with Mr. Darcy. She has a great sense of humor and would be perfect.

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