Welcome back to First Line Friday!
I wrote a review a while ago about a book most people have pooh-poohed that I thought was wonderful. It's a re-imagining of a beloved classic and while I had my doubts, at first, I quickly realized the genius of revisiting and combining the old story with new hilarity.
I'm talking about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith. My concern was that it would just be P&P with zombies pasted in. Boy, was I wrong.
Here, for your entertainment, is the first page of Austen's beautiful work, with added ridiculousness by S.G-S.:
"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains. Never was this truth more plain than during the recent attacks at Netherfield Park, in which a household of eighteen was slaughtered and consumed by a horde of the living dead.
"My dear Mr. Bennet," said his lady to him one day, "have you heard that Netherfield Park is occupied again?" Mr. Bennet replied that he had not and went about his morning business of dagger sharpening and musket polishing--for attacks by the unmentionables had grown alarmingly frequent in recent weeks.
"But it is," returned she.
Mr. Bennet made no answer.
"Do you not want to know who has taken it?" cried the wife impatiently.
"Woman, I am attending to my musket. Prattle on if you must, but leave me to the defense of my estate!"
This was invitation enough.
"Why, My dear, Mrs. Long says that Netherfield is taken by a young man of large fortune; that he escaped London in a chaise-and-four just as the strange plague broke through the Manchester line."
"What is his name?"
"Bingley. A single man of four or five thousand a year. What a fine thing for our girls!"
"How so? Can he train them in the ways of swordsmanship and musketry?"
"How can you be so tiresome? You must know that I am thinking of his marrying one of them.""
--From Pride & Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
The genius behind this story is that it is funniest when you've read Pride and Prejudice AND have a love of zombies. So the reader who will enjoy this re-imaging has read the classics, like Austen, but is also a bit more geeky in their love of fantasy/sci-fi. I can't imagine a better combination.
The brilliant additions by Seth Grahame-Smith aren't copy/paste zombie gore, either. There are actual story lines altered through the introduction of the "unmentionables."
I am delighted to be reading Sense & Sensibility And Sea Monsters, which is proving just as funny, and if you haven't given these books a chance...at least read the first chapter. See if you can stop yourself from laughing.
See you on Monday for a review!