Let’s just say August was not my month. At least not as far as blogging is concerned. Or reading for the blog. Work and life in general were great (more than great, to be honest), but I really neglected this little online space.
So you can imagine my surprise when I blinked and suddenly it was the end of August. About a month ago, I signed up for Austen in August, an awesome month-long event of guest posts, giveaways, and reading challenges hosted by Adam. I’ve waxed poetic about my love for Jane Austen before, and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to reread some Austen and take a stab at a few things I’d never read before. My goals were…
- Reread Emma
- Read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (something I told myself I would never do, but then Matt Smith signed on for the movie, so what do you expect?)
- Read some of Austen’s juvenilia
Well, of course, as with all things this month, I didn’t get nearly anything done. However, I did find time to read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and I have to say it wasn’t nearly as strange to read as I thought it would be. For any of you who aren’t familiar with the book, it’s basically the text of Austen’s most popular novel with a few edits and additions — mainly that Regency England has been plagued by a zombie apocalypse, and the Bennet sisters are trained assassins of the “sorry stricken,” which is such an Austen way to describe the walking dead.
I mean, I’ve always thought Elizabeth Bennet was a badass, so the thought of her being an actual zombie-killing, ninja skill-having, weapon-wielding badass didn’t seem too off base. The reading experience was a little odd, simply because I’d be zooming through the story, business as usual, only to be completely caught off guard by the mention of Elizabeth sharpening her Katana or Darcy slicing the head off a zombie in the middle of the Pemberley grounds.
One thing that I really liked was that the whole zombie apocalypse thing seemed to have put Elizabeth and Darcy on much more equal footing; they were both skilled fighters and respected each other because of it. That’s not to say that money and social class don’t come into play in this novel because they’re still very significant. Oh, and the zombie plague also seemed to have made some of the rules regarding propriety a little lax. For instance, there are a lot of balls references in the story, and I don’t mean the dancing kind. I’m still not sure how I feel about the middle school penis jokes mixed in with Austen’s prose…
Overall, it was very bizarre, a little hokey in places, but thoroughly entertaining, especially for someone who has read Pride and Prejudice countless times and studied it in classrooms for multiple semesters. If you’re a fan of the original, go ahead and give this book a try, but for God’s sake, don’t you dare start off with this one and then read Austen’s actual novel. So help me, I will hunt you down, slice you open, and strangle you with your own bowels as Elizabeth Bennet so skillfully does on more than one occasion in this book. 🙂
If you’re looking for book recommendations, interesting guest posts, or scholarship on Austen, you should definitely check out the posts from Austen in August. There were some real gems this year!
Have you ever read any of Jane Austen’s novels? Who is your favorite character from Austen’s world?