It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a nerd in possession of an illness must go on a Jane Austen bender.
At least it does for this nerd.
For someone who fancies themselves a writer (or an aspiring one at least) I don’t write nearly enough about books. Which is strange considering the rate in which I devour them.
I don’t know what it is but whenever I get sick (I’m just about recovered from the second illness in a row) I become obsessed with something and hunt down every form of it that I can. About half the time it’s Jane Austen.
What can I say? I’m a chick.
So it was this last time around. I watched every version of Pride and Prejudice I own (1980, 1995, and 2005 twice), Sense & Sensibility, Emma, Becoming Jane, Lost in Austen…I even watched Vanity Fair hoping it would be Austen-esque (it wasn’t, it was awful in spite of all the great actors in it). And I finally got around to reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
I don’t know about you but I always have a stack of books as tall as I am that I need to read. I go through them pretty quickly but I’m constantly adding to it so the pile never really shrinks. And I just can’t bring myself to use the Kindle. I love the smell and the look and the feel of books too much. I have a BookMate and that’s good enough for me. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has been in that pile for years now. Probably longer than any other book. I didn’t pick it up for two reasons. The first being that when I got it I was on another Austen bender and had just reread the OG P&P, Darcy’s Story and Mr. Darcy, Vampyre and I was kind of Austened out. The second reason is that it has zombies. And y’all know that my biggest fear is zombies.
And the Violator.
And Fire Marshall Bill.
But mostly zombies.
But every time I went to the pile my eyes would inevitably land on the Seth Grahame-Smith redux. I knew it would be good; I’d read and fell in love with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (which I HIGHLY recommend). So on a (totally inevitable) whim I grabbed it from the pile last week.
To my very pleasant surprise I not only loved it but it didn’t scare me. No nightmares, no heart palpitations, no slamming it shut. I even studied the pictures with glee! Though I’ll probably never look at cauliflower the same way again… but mostly I laughed. A lot.
Of all Jane Austen’s characters, I’ve always related the most to Elizabeth Bennet. She’s stubborn, witty, and says things that are borderline inappropriate. I would really like to believe that, in the event of a zombie apocalypse, I would rise to the occasion as a zombie slayer like the Lizzy in this version (albeit without the slow zombification of my BFF). Imagining her kicking Darcy in the face had me in stitches for a good 5 minutes at least. Seeing Lady Catherine de Bourgh make her do one-fingered handstands and fight ninjas was epic. Even the detail of modifying the questions printed at the end was hysterical.
And now the truth. I feel like I’m going to end up in literary hell for saying this, but I actually enjoyed it more than the original.
There. I said it.
Now please excuse me while I go and administer the seven cuts of shame.
“And to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading.”
I do, Mr. Darcy! I do!