Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Book Review - Yaaaaaaaayyyyyyy!!!!!
I have a confession to make - I like zombies. Unlike other supernatural entities, zombies are a constant. Vampires have become, not only tragic heroes, but in the case of Twilight, quite sparkly.
Werewolves have also gotten the anti-hero treatment, becoming heroic in their own right. Ghosts have always had that kind of sultry, sexy, pseudo-erotic feel to them - often portrayed as jilted lovers or innocents robbed of their life. Frankenstein's monster has always been a tragic figure - more often seen as a victim as opposed to a monster.
Now zombies, zombies are the quintessential villain. Single minded, unswerving, implacable, unstoppable. You take one out, two more take it's place. They feed off the living, and draw their ranks from their fallen victims.
There is absolutely nothing sexy, nor attractive about zombies - unless you've got a horrific love fetish for the deceased. *shivers* ick. It is impossible to make a zombie attractive or sexy, or even sympathetic.
Now, keeping this in mind, let us insert one of the founding mothers of the feminist movement - Jane Austin.
Pride and Prejudice has been hailed as a bellwether for women's lit, and has been very heavily studied, interpreted, re-interpreted and disassembled, but never before has it been rewritten with zombies.
Now, I can dig Jane Austin - within reason, and I love zombies. Figuring that combining the two together would be awesome, much like a series of commercials in the 70's and 80's for Reese's Peanut Butter Cups featuring situations in which two people, one eating peanut butter and one eating chocolate, collided. One person would exclaim, "You got your peanut butter in my chocolate!" and the other would exclaim, "You got your chocolate in my peanut butter!" They would then sample the mixture and remark on the great taste, tying in with the slogan "Two great tastes that taste great together."
Now imagine if you had the chocolate guy and the peanut butter guy collide, start eating the mixture, and then about three quarters of the way through the jar, somebody takes a massive dump in the jar.
Yeah.... Pride & Prejudice & Zombies ends up with a ruined candy bar mixture.
Aside from that, the book reads a lot like Austin's original story, albeit against the background of a zombie infestation of Victorian London. Those who are familiar with The original story will find that for the most part, it is the same, with various zombie attacks peppered in for color. Many don't make much sense - A dance that occurs (and continues) in spite of a zombie attack that takes out several attendees.
Needless to say, the story progresses following the traditional ideas of the story - namely Elizabeth despising and then falling for Mr. Darcy. Interspersed between all of this comedy of errors bit is liberal doses of ultra-violence, mayhem, and damnit.... ninjas. Leave it to ninjas to ruin anything. I gave up on the book when I get to the ninjas.
Now, the book has been optioned into a movie, a prequel will be coming out at the end of the month, and in May - look for the graphic novel adaptation.
Also, another Austin staple has been raked over the coals, but I haven't bothered checking it out - just not enough appeal I guess.
I mean, who would want to read Sense & Sensability & Sea Monsters?