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Ashley Santoyo, Staff Writer

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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a fictitious novel written by Seth Grahame-Smith and inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Grahame-Smith’s modern retelling of Austen’s classic novel leaves intact major plot points: characters, locations, and certain romantic relationships. Except, if not given from the title, Grahame-Smith adds 21st century zombies into the mix. Yes, zombies. Who would’ve thought that adding zombies to a classic romantic novel would make it better? I certainly wasn’t expecting it.

Of course, I was skeptical at first. I previously read Austen’s original Pride and Prejudice, so I thought a modern retelling of said novel would ruin its plot by adding cringe-worthy dialogue, similar to when authors’ main characters text their friends saying, “C U tonite.” Hasn’t anyone told these authors that teenagers today seriously don’t text like that? Regardless, I praise Grahame-Smith for preserving the original novel’s plot rather than changing it completely to try and uselessly appeal to teenagers.

In Grahame-Smith’s retelling, the Bennet sisters are now all zombie slaying machines. Mrs. Bennet is still trying to marry them off and disapproves of their violent hobby. Meanwhile, Mr. Bennet continuously trains the young sisters on how to kill the zombies. I thoroughly enjoyed the action in the novel (my version has 30% more zombie-killing action!). I also enjoyed the retelling more than I did the original. The humor that Grahame-Smith adds to some of the characters (seen in their dialogue) also had a positive effect on how I connected with the characters. Some characters I originally saw as dull were now hilarious. I also really love that the Bennet girls are the zombie slayers, and not the men. This was very feminist of author Seth Grahame-Smith.

I would definitely recommend this novel to any and all readers out there who aren’t particularly interested in reading Austen’s original Pride and Prejudice. Seth Grahame-Smith’s modern retelling has more humor, romance, and actual action besides a huge ball where the whole story pretty much takes place. Sorry Jane Austen, but Seth Grahame-Smith’s version took the cake for me! I read the version which claims to have 30% more zombies and is 353 pages long (hard cover). This version also has stunning illustrations (courtesy of artist Roberto Parada), and it was also made into a film in 2016.

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Slay, Lizzy, Slay!