When I first laid eyes on this book I was absolutely delighted. It seems that no matter which way you turn these days – at the local bookstore or the cinema, you’re confronted with no end of gruesome variations on the age old theme of vampires, zombies and the paranormal. A few of the more recent installments have been a little quirkier than others, and I think the totally unabashed audacity of tampering with that which has become sacred is nothing short of brilliant!
Grahame-Smith leaves Austen’s work largely intact, with but a few variations to give it all a bit of a twist. One of the funniest parts would have to be Charlotte Lucas’s transmogrification into a zombie, which seems to go completely unnoticed by everyone except Miss Elizabeth Bennett. The random sexual innuendos between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth also add a humour impossible in the classic. All the original characters are here, including the dithering Mr. Bingley, the angelic Jane, the neurotic Mrs. Bennett and her long suffering husband. Wickham truly gets what he deserves in the end and Lady Catherine’s skills as a zombie slayer are nothing short of astounding.
I’m sure some readers will take great offence at what Grahame-Smith has done, exclaiming “sacrilege” and “blasphemy”, but if you can manage to detach yourself from the original and view his adaptation as something entirely new, I’m sure you will enjoy it as much as I did. The inclusion of the readers’ discussion guide at the end is a nice touch, but try not to read it until after you’ve finished the book. Otherwise you will be too much in the know, and the potential shock factor will be lost.