Musings on a literary zombie fest

by Chris Mills

Recently I read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and have to confess to finding it an enjoyable (if rather gore splattered) read. That I have actually read this book puzzles me slightly. That I found it to be an entertaining read tells me that my literary taste has taken a strange turn with the passing of the years. There was a time when I would have snottily turned up my nose at this romp with the un-dead. Gasped in horror at the indignity done to a part of dear Jane’s oeuvre. I would have shuddered at the mere sight of the illustration on the front cover.

So why have I now seen fit to read such a book? Can I claim it as a mid life crisis? Am I trying to be cool and with it? As such perhaps it’s the literary equivalent of joining Facebook. More seriously though is it a sign of mental degeneracy? Or could I perhaps claim it as part of my sophisticated post-modern condition? Though on second thoughts maybe not since I was entertaining myself recently with thoughts of lopping off my MD’s head while whizzing the hedge trimmer over the privet.

My one face saving thought is that I did previously read Pride and Prejudice (and not only once) in its pristinely unsullied and un-bloodied form. In fact it is probably true to say that the discerning reader of Zombies will only fully appreciate the subtleties of the novel if he/she has read dear Jane’s original text. And as for the amended plot, any Janeite would have to admit that Mr Collins and Lady Catherine de Burgh had it coming. As for that bounder Wickham….

But what will it be next? Alright, I know what comes next. Apparently there is to be a film version of the intrepid zombie slayers Elizabeth and Darcy. Actually I’m not sure I could watch all of that slaying in glorious Technicolor (complete with realistic sound effects). I mean it’s one thing to imagine heads flying off and putrid limbs falling by the roadside, but actually to see it – I don’t think so. I would be hiding behind my popcorn carton (giant sized). My tolerance threshold for blood and guts being spilled on screen is not great. Perhaps I’d better get in some practice with Planet Terror and Shaun of the dead first? I might build up an imunity to blood and stuff. Though on mature reflection, I’ll probably simply get stuck into the follow up offering, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters instead.

Chris Mills originally hails from Birmingham but is now based in Dublin.

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