I Gave Up

The point at which I gave up on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was p. 40. I will tell you why, and then, if you care to, you can tell me if you agree with my decision.

The scene is Netherfield. Jane had gone there to visit, but she had gotten soaked by rain and stabbed by zombies en route, and she was now lying very ill. Elizabeth is there to tend her. It is evening, and everyone but Jane is downstairs, occupied by some form of pastime. Elizabeth is oiling her musket stock. Mr. Darcy is writing his sister a letter, while Miss Bingley, his best friend’s sister, attempts to engage him in chitchat. She asks him to include a message from her in his letter, and he replies,

Miss Bingley, the groans of a hundred unmentionables would be more pleasing to my ears than one more word from your mouth. Were you not otherwise agreeable, I should be forced to remove your tongue with my saber.

In Austen’s original work, he replies,

Will you give me leave to defer your raptures till I write again?–At present I have not room to do them justice.

The problem for me is that, because I like the original story and the characters as Austen wrote them, to see characters behave so out-of-character is painful. For readers not acquainted with or particularly inclined to tackle Pride and Prejudice, this mash-up might seem like just the thing, a way to approach a classic that otherwise might strike them as old-fashioned, difficult, or dry. As for me, I’d rather either reread Pride and Prejudice or read a zombie story. This combination just does not work for me.

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2 Responses to I Gave Up

  1. sprite says:

    Agreed. Also, it would seem to back up your theory that it was being highly expurgated, given I can’t think Jane was already at Netherfield that early in the original text…

  2. chick says:

    It’s a bit of an apples and oranges situation. Though the two books are not too dissimilar in height and width, the text density is not the same, so I can’t judge it purely by page count. But I looked a little closer, because I was curious. In both books, there were the same number of pages of text between the start of the story and the scene where I stopped reading. However, the PaP pages are much denser (it’s a Dover Thrift Edition, so it’s probably denser than is typical). The pages seem to have at least as many words per line, on average, and possibly more. There are 10 lines more per page and, of course, no zombie stuff. So, yes, the PaPaZ author must have cut quite a bit out of the original story.

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