Monday, 30 August 2010

Etiquette, Morals… and Zombies?

Having already read and loved the novel written by Seth Grahame-Smith, and indeed Jane Austen’s classic, reading the graphic novel was a must. So, I went out and purchased the graphic novel, and here is what I thought.

For those who don’t know, Pride and Prejudice is a classic love story set in the 1800s. And to explain, very briefly, the story follows a woman of lower societal rank as she unintentionally seduces a man of great wealth, ultimately ending in their partnership. Now imagine this premise, and then chuck a few zombies and some bad ass martial artistry in there. Well done you have successfully been introduced to Seth Graham-Smith’s brainchild, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Now to start with, many people would see this re-imagining of a well established, well academically discussed novel as some kind of travesty. I would whole heartedly disagree. I unashamedly love the original novel, the film and the BBC series. The incorporation of zombies into a novel I know and love was, to me at least, ingenious (not just because I love zombies… But mainly because I love zombies). Whilst still crediting and staying true to Austin’s original, Seth Graham Smith’s book intelligently parodied the sexist nature of the 18th century and by doing so created something contemporary, whilst also adding some in jokes for those of us who have read and re-read the original. This is only enhanced by publishing the story once again but in the form of a graphic novel.

I love comics and graphic novels, zombies and Pride and Prejudice, I am basically Seth Graham Smith’s target demographic. This of course makes me the most likely person to give a praising review. And I would love to be able to contradict this, but I cannot. The graphic novel not only gives us the opportunity to see the action described in the book but the artistry from Cliff Richards is nothing other than brilliant. It combines the period look with gore to rival ‘The Walking Dead’ series.

The story line doesn’t much differ from the book, the detail is intact in the drawings and the comedy is still there. As from the first book the zombies are referred to as ‘unmentionables’ and things are described in such a way as to remain classic. This is complimented by the way that etiquette is still used within the fight scenes and in situations where manners would usually be dropped, which is not only funny but in keeping with the style of Jane Austin’s original. Do not let the romantic nature of the story put you off either, although still integral, it is approached in a completely different way to that of the original novel.

Finally, this graphic novel is for those of you who have read Pride and Prejudice (even if it wasn’t your cup of tea), just plain love zombies or the lazy ones who just cant be bothered to read Seth Graham Smith’s novel. Also, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains…


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