A missed opportunity, what a shame! I read the first few pages wishing I’d thought of this first, and afterward I wished that anybody else had thought of this first.
In the reviews, I’d gotten the impression that Grahame-Smith had brilliantly swapped in zombie slaying as a status indicator. Lady Catherine, for example, is the mightiest slayer in the land, and Darcy is introduced with envious whispers of “Ten thousand a year and he’s personally laid to rest over a thousand unmentionables!” It’s clear as day where this book is supposed to go, and it wanders straight into fuckwittage instead.
Jane Austen’s leisured class persists in its leisure with an adorable obstinacy. Dinner invitations arrive on engraved stationery as long as the twice-daily mail riders aren’t gobbled up by stray dreadfuls. Mr. Bingley is a member of the Society of Gentlemen for a Peaceful Solution to Our Present Difficulties and sports an exotic French musket. So far so good — this is the unflappable England that will later answer the Blitz with civilized fortitude. Just a little ways into the book, however, the social coherence falls apart. The Bennet sisters are ninja warriors, an unladylike accomplishment which draws the scorn of Miss Bingley even as ninja Darcy presents a katana as a gift for his young sister.
Seriously, Mr. Grahame-Smith, do you remember what you write from one page to the next? This whole book is squandered potential. You were on a good sly road describing Elizabeth as “a warrior charged by the Crown to defend Hertfordshire until her death, maiming, or marriage.” Then you wandered off into some random zombie slapstick and vomiting gags. And why does Darcy keep making jokes about balls? That’s so wrong. *stomps foot and scowls*
Lastly, what’s with the lascivious fanfic onramps? I see what you’re doing with the throwaway references to Elizabeth’s father and beautiful Orientals, and I don’t like it.