It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single zombie in possession of a good appetite for human flesh, must be in want of a tasty brain or two.
However little known the feelings or views of such a decaying monster may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the brains of the local inhabitants, that he is considered as the rightful target of some one or other of their zombie-killing daughters.
“My dear Mr Bennett,” said his lady to him one day, “can’t we send Elizabeth over to Netherfield Park and let her smash open the head of the handsome but decaying corpse that has taken up residence there?”
This is NOT a quote from a new book written by Jane Austen in collaboration with Seth Grahame-Smith — Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Quirk Books, 2009). I’m not sure whether the actual text will be funny or just lame, but it has me intrigued.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies features the original text of Jane Austen’s beloved novel with all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie action. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead. Complete with 20 illustrations in the style of C.E. Brock (the original illustrator of Pride and Prejudice), this insanely funny expanded edition will introduce Jane Austen’s classic novel to new legions of fans.
If Mr Grahame-Smith has done some clever textual mixing and matching it could very well be hilarious, but I’d be less impressed by blocks of zombiesque narrative shoved in without much re-sculpturing of Austen’s original.
Still, if nothing else, it’s a bit of a curiosity. It goes on sale in April.