Category Archives: The Book Shelf

The Book Shelf: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
By Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

Synopsis: Essentially this is a retelling of the Austen classic, Pride and Prejudice, set in an alternate reality where zombies roam around England. Smith intertwines his words with much of the original story still intact. Much of the basic plot and character traits remain the same, but as the subtitle explains it now contains “ultra-violent zombie mayhem.”Elizabeth and her sisters have been trained to defend themselves from the undead, and as her love grows for Mr. Darcy she must overcome his aunt’s assassin ninja’s, her dear friend’s decent into zombification, and her desire to kill the man who has shown disrespect to her family.

My Opinion: Well, my wife is a huge Jane Austen fan, and I am a huge zombie fan, so it seemed to me that this book would be the bridge between our two worlds. Sadly, she would not give it a go, finding the cover itself too distasteful to even attempt to read the book. I can understand that. I did read it though and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The flow between Smith’s words and Austen’s words are nearly flawless (at least to an untrained guy like myself) and the story is both humorous and interesting. What better suits the strong and independent Elizabeth Bennett than possessing the skills to destroy the undead? The gimmick could easily wear thin but the story is good enough that it rises above the gimmick and becomes quite entertaining on it’s own merit. It has some great woodcut style art in it which are also pretty great.

FYI: According to wikipedia, Natalie Portmann is producing an upcoming film adaptation of the book.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies at amazon.com

Other books I’ve reviewed by Seth Grahame-Smith:
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter


The Book Shelf: Columbine

Columbine
Dave Cullen

Synopsis: This is a non-fiction account of the Massacre at Columbine High School back in 1999. Much of the content discusses the lives and mindsets of the two killers. It also discusses the actual event, the media coverage, the myths surrounding the event, and the aftermath and impact on American youth culture.

My Opinion: I was a sophomore in high school when the Columbine shootings took place so I think it affected me more than it may have otherwise. I remember hearing things about trench coats and Marilyn Manson, about Christian martyrs and the dangerous repercussions of bullying. I remember bomb threats and metal detectors at school, so I would say that the events discussed in this book were relatively important to me. Mr. Cullen does an excellent job cracking open a story that was terribly mistreated in the media. He exposes several very erroneous headlines that came out of the event, and he tries to understand why it happened. Who were these guys and why did they do this? Surprisingly it is not very hard to track down information on the killers with them having posted about it on their website, writing journals about it, and shooting video footage right up to the morning of the massacre. What did the police do with this information? What did the media do with it? What did the church do with it? Mr. Cullen talks about all that stuff, and the reality of it all may be very difficult to take. I know it was for me.

FYI: 2009 winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Fact Crime

Columbine at amazon.com


The Book Shelf

This blog is supposed to discuss books that I am reading from now forward but I wanted to highlight a few books I have already read. This will serve to:

  • Maybe encourage people to read some books that I really enjoyed
  • Give my two cents on books that have been important and/or entertaining for me
  • Create content between my current readings (I read pretty slowly)

So just as an FYI: if it says “The Book Shelf” it means I read it in the past.