Sunday, March 14, 2010
#16 Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
First off I suppose I should begin by saying that I am not a fan of Jane Austen. Nope…not a fan…at all. I had to read Emma, whether that be in college or high school I can’t even remember. However, I do know, like this book, that I literally had to force myself to finish it. For what? Is what I really want to know. Why would anyway want to read a book in which the ending is practically hand delivered to you before you’re even that far into it? Seriously, did anyone think that Elizabeth wasn’t going to marry Darcy? Even when she hated him? Or that Jane wasn’t going to marry that other guy with a B name? Why read a book, especially a work of fiction, if it has no mystery to it whatsoever? How many pages were devoted to the fucking tour of Pemberley? That’s like people who go to the Biltmore Estates in North Carolina…it’s a fucking huge house with a garden! Although I have a sneaky suspicion I will go there at some point in my life on some romantic getaway. Anyway, to finish my zombie bender I’ve currently been on, my friend had Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and I figured, “What the hell, it can’t be that bad with zombies in it right?” Holy god fuck was I wrong. I don’t even know where to begin with this piece of shit.
A rundown on plot. If you’ve never read Pride and Prejudice my advice is don’t. The story follows a family, the Bennet’s, primarily the next to oldest daughter Elizabeth. There are five daughters mind you. In this incarnation Elizabeth is cocky, headstrong, independent, a cutter, and still a girlie girl. Nothing wrong with that, in my opinion, she’s my kind of woman. She, throughout the book, tries to tell herself that she doesn’t like this insanely rich dude named Darcy, but she does…and you can tell they’re going to get married despite protests from other people that he is out of her league. Her sister Jane is the prettier one of the five who likes to see the good in everyone. She falls in love with Bingley, there is a bunch of deceit by the Bing dudes family (and Darcy but totally not meant to harm anyone), but eventually they will get back together and marry. Then there’s the youngest Bennet, Lydia, who marries a guy who ends up becoming a cripple, Wickham, who is hated by pretty much everyone but none more so than Darcy (not to mention at one point Wickham and Elizabeth were kind of hooking up). There’s some other random shit thrown in there. Like Elizabeth’s cousin who wants to marry her but ends up marrying her best friend because she turns him down. Or that when these people go to visit friends they stay for two months. Two fucking months? What the fuck? Talk about overstaying your welcome. The book is like an episode of Jerry Springer, with pretty language, pretty sets, and nice costumes. The plot may sound decent, but not when you throw in the extra two hundred pages of fluff. I’m pretty sure that’s how the original Pride and Prejudice goes down, and Zombies just makes the girls trained by Shaolin monks and throws in some zombie encounters for good measure.
I was wondering how to dissect this book and I’ve decided to give you passages as a look into it.
"Oh!" said Lydia stoutly, "I am not afraid; for though I am the youngest, I'm also the most proficient in the art of tempting the other sex." -pg 10
What? For the love of god someone please tell me that this exact line is in the original book. Because if it is…I totally love sluts from the early 1800’s. If it’s not somebody needs to go find Seth Grahame-Smith and punch him in his testicles. Lydia is 15 when she says that line.
"Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance, and it is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person whom you are to pass your life."-pg 20
You know, I’ve always told myself that I would at least have to live with a girl for an extended period of time before I could even consider marrying them. This is basically telling me…fuck that…you should just get married and deal with it.
"You forget that I am a student of Pei Liu of Shaolin, mother. Besides, for every unmentionable one meets upon the road, one meets three soldiers. I shall be back by dinner."-pg 25
This is spoken by Elizabeth as she goes to see sick Jane at the B’s. Remember several things here…because it will be drilled into you in the book. She was trained by the Shaolin monks. Her master was Pei Liu. She sees zombies as pests. In other news the zombies in this book are the old school, rise from graves type of zombies. Not that there is anything wrong with that…it’s just a little…outdated.
"Jane and Elizabeth tried to explain that all five of them were capable of fending for themselves; that they could make tolerable fortunes as bodyguards, assassins, or mercenaries if need be." -pg 50
You tell em girls. You totally don’t need a man because you kill shit! *headdesk* Really? Really? See this is where Seth doesn’t really think things out. You’re writing an addition to a novel, that relies on women wanting to get married/needing to get married for family and financial reasons. Do you really think it’s wise to simply try and attempt to throw that out the window in one sentence?
"In describing to her all the grandeur of Lady Catherine and her mansion, which had received considerable improvements, including a grand dojo, and new quarters for her private guard of ninjas..." -pg 61
You hear that people? Ninjas. Ninjas motherfuckers. Because it totally makes sense, in fact, including the Asian martial arts makes complete sense. Fuck the fact that it makes absolutely no sense that a semi-wealthy family would send their daughters to be trained by fucking Shaolin monks! Let’s also toss out the fact that Ninjas are in such fucking demand that you can literally order them to come and protect your shit.
"An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do; for I shall not have my best warrior resigned to the service of a man who is fatter than Buddha and duller than the edge of a learning sword." -pg 88
Ok…this totally made me laugh.
"...so she sprang skyward, firing her musket as she flew through the air, her bullets penetrating the heads of several unmentionables...Her feet, fists, and blade were too swift for the clumsy horde, and they began to retreat."-pg 117
You got that people? You better recognize. Cause a MUSKET totally shoots BULLETS. You know, not just one bullet…but bullets. Enough to rapid fire while flying through the air and hitting a couple of zombies in the head.
"I have told Miss Bennet several times, that she will never be half my equal unless she practices more; and though Mrs. Collins has no dojo, she is very welcome, as I have often told her, to come to Rosings every day, and spar with my ninjas, provided she promises to kill no more of them."-pg 135
Ummmmmm. First off let me explain that those names should be reversed. That should be Miss Bennet that killed the ninjas and Mrs. Collins who needs to train. Aside from that, let me get back to that ninja killing. So at one point, when Lady Catherine de Bourgh hears that Elizabeth can slay some Naz…I mean zombies she sets up a sparing session between her and some of her ninjas. Let me break this down for you. Elizabeth is trained by Shaolin monks…Chinese. Naturally Catherine can’t stand the Chinese because she was trained by the Japanese and employs Ninjas. Kind of like that whole
stand-off in Fist of Legend. Anyway, Elizabeth blindfolds herself and slays the fuck outta three ninjas during a “sparring” session. I don’t know how people spared in that time period but I’m pretty sure it didn’t involve dismembering. The best part…Elizabeth uses a fucking Katana (top picture). A Japanese weapon. Shaolin would have used something more along the lines of a lion head tai chi sword or a Chinese broadsword (bottom picture). But who am I? I’m sure he did research for the book. I mean anybody who trains awhile with some Shaolin monks can walk around the room on one finger in a handstand right? Right? No? Then why did Elizabeth? Oh, let me not forget to mention that Elizabeth’s family does have a dojo…her dad is walking to it near the end of the book.
"Wah can be da meaning of dis?" howled Charlotte, as soon as he was gone. "Mah dear Ewiza, he muss be love you, aw he never wuh have called in dis famiwiar way." -pg 141
Aww Isn’t that cute, Charlotte is turning into a zombie? No? It’s not cute, it’s annoying? Ok. Wait…did I tell you that she is “turning” into a zombie for like a fucking year? Seriously, I can’t remember how long it takes but it’s months, like months, months.
"But no sooner had she struck down the first five or six, than the cracking of gunpowder scattered the score that remained. Elizabeth held a defensive pose as the zombies limped hurriedly for the safety of the woods..."-pg 199
I totally forgot to mention that didn’t I? The undead, the zombies, run away. Because they totally have the mental capacity to know that they’re in trouble and should get the fuck outta there. Especially in a 20 on 2 situation like this one. With those pesky semi-auto muskets.
"Lady Catherine was extremely indignant on the marriage of her nephew; and her reply to the letter which announced its arrangement came not in written form, but in the form of an attack on Pemberley by five-and-ten of her ladyship's ninjas."-pg 316
Right…send 15...because the 3 Elizabeth killed blindfolded was total luck.
In case you can’t tell I hated this book. There is no consistency, no reason for half the shit that is added. I had about a hundred and thirty pages left that I had to force myself to read so I wouldn’t feel like a failure. If you’re going to do something like what Seth is trying to do here are some hints. #1. Stay true. If you’re going to have Elizabeth get pissed off enough to want to decapitate someone when they bad mouth her. Have her want to do the same when someone runs away with her little sister. #2. Do some research. So you don’t have a gun that holds one bullet shoot multiple ones, or a Chinese Shaolin English Female Asskicking Master wield a sword that is not only foreign, but would be foreign to someone training in that style. #3. Pick a story that it actually works to manipulate. Seriously…a woman that takes like 10 months to become a zombie? Not to mention just a random insert of zombies that kills off some random character?
If this book was just going for humor and I’m taking this entirely too seriously, my apologies. However, it went from being interesting, to stupid, to just plain boring. Here’s an idea Seth. Stop your gimmick and try writing your own story. Nothing like destroying what to some people is a classic just so you can get published, because you have no talent.