Thursday, October 29, 2009

Classics Gone Bad

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
by Seth Grahame-Smith

This novel is exactly what the title implies - Pride and Prejudice, with zombies added into the mix. You’ll find the same characters you loved in the original, but in this slightly alternate universe, there just happen to be zombies, too.

From Wikipedia - Elizabeth Bennett and her four sisters live on a countryside estate with their parents. Mr. Bennet guides his daughters in martial arts and weapons training, molding them into a fearsome zombie-fighting army; meanwhile, Mrs. Bennet endeavours to marry the girls off to wealthy suitors. When the wealthy and single Mr. Bingley purchases a nearby house, Mrs. Bennet spies an opportunity and sends the girls to the first ball where Bingley is expected to appear. The girls defend the party from a zombie attack, and attraction sparks between Mr. Bingley and eldest daughter Jane Bennet. Elizabeth, however, clashes with Bingley's friend, the haughty monster-hunter Fitzwilliam Darcy

And thus a classic love story becomes a romping adventure. If you’re into Horror or Humor, you’ll love the farce and parody. If you loved the original, it’s fun to see how the new element of zombies is interwoven into the plot, and how, even with the zombies added, the original story still remains and holds up. A very fun read.

Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer
written by Van Jensen, art by Dusty Higgins.

I’m not a fan of Graphic Novels, but as with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the title just sucked me in. I had to see what it was all about.

Vampire Slayer is a 128 page Graphic Novel that you can read in 20-30 minutes. It’s about a kid (well, a puppet) with a killer nose that grows in the blink of a lie - which comes in handy when you happen to be in need of a stake.
The story, (which follows the original Carlo Collodi) begins after Gepetto is dead, killed by vampires who have taken over the village. Fueled by revenge, Pinocchio, who is still made of wood, sets out to destroy the vampires and clean up his hometown. He is joined on his quest by a fairy, now old and tired, the carpenter who found the wood to make him, who now makes cool and deadly gadgets, and the ghost of the cricket he killed in the original version, who serves as a wise-cracking sidekick.

I wasn’t thrilled with the art, but what do I know? It isn’t my genre. The story itself has darkness and mood with a nice touch of humor, both slapstick and subtle, and the premise is clever. As a writer, it got me thinking about all the things you could do with it. Jensen and Higgins plan for this to be a trilogy, and book two is already in the works. Here’s a peek.


Diane said...

I read 50 pages of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and I had no desire to read any more!

But, if it's your cup of tea, the publisher also has Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.

I'm Jet . . . said...

creative. kind of strange, but creative.

makes me chuckle. Pinocchio a vampire slayer. What's next? Howdy Doody: Master of Mayhem.

Anonymous said...

There is also "Sense and sensibility and sea monsters" (Jane Austen), "Little vampire women" (Louisa May Alcott), "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter" and "Android Karenina" (Leo Tolstoy). There might be more!

Diane Mayr said...

The "genre" continues and probably will for a while longer. Eventually the interest will fade, and more importantly, the bottom line will no longer justify the costs of publishing these re-imagined classics. Thanks for commenting, Anonymous.