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August 16, 2010 | by  | in Books |
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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls
Author: Steve Hockensmith

Whoever said that you can’t judge a book by its cover clearly hasn’t read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls. It’s all there in the title, and it even has a blood-spattered monster child on the front for the benefit of the less literate among us. The book’s blurb beats us to it by making the obligatory joke about Jane Austen rolling in her grave, but luckily that’s about as terrible as the jokes get.

Set four years prior to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, we’re deprived of the characters that fleshed out the original novel and left with the Bennet family as they hesitantly set off on the path of monster-hunting, katana-wielding social ruin. The plot wastes no time, opening with a funeral where the reanimated flesh of a dead guy rises from his coffin to signal that all is not well in regency England. Forgoing the traditional ‘cup of tea’ approach to crisis management, Mr Bennet—previously a human metaphor for detached fathering—quite literally leaps into action, revealing himself to be a martial arts trained warrior, sworn to defending the living against the scourge of the undead.

According to his code of honour, the Bennet brood must also be trained in the deadly arts, prompting the arrival of Master Hawksworth, their (young, handsome) instructor who falls for Elizabeth’s skills with the sword. But he has competition. (Young, handsome) Dr Keckilpenny likes Lizzy “for her mind”, and attempts to woo her with his scientific prowess. The zombie apocalypse plot happens in between the awkward love triangle, so at least we know the author had his priorities straight. While clearly piggybacking off the success of its quirkier, more satirical sequel, one can’t help but accept the inevitable: zombies are here to stay, whether Jane Austen likes it or not.

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