Booksellers get asked the most amazing questions and we all love to share our best customer interactions with each other. Recently the really hysterical stories seem to be involving zombies. I had my own personal book selling moment with zombies last year, so when my fellow bookseller Jen Beard told me about her own interaction, I knew that my fellow Janeites would appreciate the irony of customers perceptions of Jane Austen and zombies and enjoy a good giggle. She has offered the rundown in her own words. Take it away Jen! Continue reading “A Bookselling Moment with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies & the Judgmental Bookselling Ostrich”
“Z” Day Celebrations Begin with Dreadfully Ever After, by Steve Hockensmith – & a Giveaway!
Welcome to “Z” Day here at Austenprose, the start of open season on zombies in the Jane Austen universe!
In honor of the launch today of Dreadfully Ever After, the third installment in the world-wide sensation Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, we are celebrating “Z” Day with a contest and tons of giveaways. Yes, gentle readers. The zombies are among us again and invading “our” Jane Austen.
Since we were the first blogger to even notice P&P&Z in 2009, before it ever became an international sensation spawning an entire franchise of mash-up books, we thought it only fitting that we wave the flag for the third book in the trilogy, Dreadfully Ever After. It is not a mash-up like Seth Grahame-Smith’s P&P&Z, but a new original novel written by Steve Hockensmith, the same author who brought us the prequel Dawn of the Dreadfuls last year. Here is a blurb from the publisher:
When we last saw Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy—at the end of the New York Times best seller Pride and Prejudice and Zombies—they were preparing for a lifetime of wedded bliss. Yet the honeymoon has barely begun when poor Mr. Darcy is nipped by a rampaging dreadful. Elizabeth knows the only acceptable course of action is to promptly behead her husband (and then burn the corpse, just to be safe). But when she learns of a miracle antidote being developed in London, she realizes there may be one last chance to save her true love—and for everyone to live happily ever after.
Complete with romance, heartbreak, martial arts, cannibalism, and an army of shambling corpses, Dreadfully Ever After brings the story of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to a thrilling conclusion.
The good folks at Quirk Books have been so generous in sending us zombie stuff in attempt (one assumes) to woo our black Janeite heart into submission, that we wanted to share some of the loot with our readers. So in honor of “Z” Day, and the beginning of open season on zombies, we are offering a banquet of unmentionable goodies. Continue reading ““Z” Day Celebrations Begin with Dreadfully Ever After, by Steve Hockensmith – & a Giveaway!”
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Graphic Novel, adapted by Tony Lee and Illustrated by Cliff Richards – A Review
Guest review by Kimberly Denny-Ryder of Reflections of a Book Addict
Who would have ever thought that adding zombies to a classic novel like Pride and Prejudice would create the literary mash-up phenomenon? It started in 2009 when Seth Grahame-Smith took Jane Austen’s original work and mashed it together with flesh eating zombies. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has since spawned a graphic novel, a prequel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls, soon to be released sequel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After, and a movie adaptation is in production.
The storyline in the graphic novel edition has been adapted by Tony Lee from the Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith original. Regency England has become overridden with zombies, or unmentionables, and Elizabeth Bennet and her four sisters have each been trained in the “deadly arts,” a combination of both ninja skills and martial arts training, to fight off the maraudring hordes. Due to their father’s previous training in the “deadly arts”, the Bennet sisters are well known for being the fiercest and bravest zombie warriors in the Meryton area.
Following the classic plot of Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Bingley, a single man in possession of a good fortune moves into the area sending the Bennet household into an uproar. Mrs. Bennet has five unmarried daughters and has designs upon him marrying one of them. Bingley is introduced along with his sisters and good friend Fitzwilliam Darcy to the Bennet family at a local Assembly ball. Bingley dances several times with Jane Bennet, encouraging Darcy to enjoy the ball and dance with her younger sister Elizabeth. Darcy, not wanting to mix with the local gentry, tells Bingley that Elizabeth is “not handsome enough to tempt me.” Elizabeth overhears Darcy’s reaction and instantly decides that he is the most arrogant man she’s ever met and that she must kill him to revenge her honor. His life is saved only by the zombie attack that occurs at the ball. Elizabeth and her sisters save the townspeople by forming their pentagram of death and killing all of the attacking unmentionables. As Darcy sees them fighting, he notices Elizabeth’s stellar skills and begins to look at her in a different way.
Throughout the rest of their acquaintance in Meryton, Darcy continues to look at her more and more in a positive light and begins falling in love with her. This is all unbeknownst to Elizabeth who still looks upon Darcy with contempt. The plot continues to play out similarly to the original with Darcy separating Bingley from Jane due to her inappropriate family, cousin and heir to Longbourn Mr. Collins arriving, Elizabeth rejecting his proposal, Charlotte in turn accepting him, Elizabeth’s trip to Kent, and Darcy’s failed proposal to her, etc. The elements of Austen’s story are all still there, only the added in zombie-killing action sequences have been added.
While the illustrations in the graphic novel are well drawn, it was a bit confusing trying to figure out who was who. The artwork is in black and white, so in scenes with lots of dialogue, it was confusing to figure out who is saying what. As the novel progresses however, it’s easier to follow since the character list drops to just major characters only. I would have liked to have seen color illustrations in this graphic novel edition. I think it would have brought a different element to the zombie attack scenes. The lack of color made me feel like I was reading a newspaper comic rather than a graphic novel.
The difficulty in following the character dialogue caused me to dislike the first half of the graphic novel. Once the plot picked up, and it was easier to follow the action, I found that I actually enjoyed it more. The mashed-up plot is an incredibly creative story that is a really interesting juxtaposition between ninjas, zombies, martial arts and Regency England. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: the Graphic Novel is an imaginative way to get more people to read classic novels, albeit not in their original context. Regardless, it is still making people check out the classics, which is very exciting.
This book is definitely not for the Austen purists out there. The story is liberally changed to make Lizzy an intense warrior, Lady Catherine the foremost zombie killer in all of England, and Charlotte Lucas into an unmentionable, just to name a few. For those willing to see a creative change in Jane Austen’s classic work, check it out, but do prepared for some gory, bloody bits!
3 out of 5 Regency Stars
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Graphic Novel, by Jane Austen, Seth Grahame-Smith, adapted by Tony Lee and illustrated by Cliff Richards
Random House Publishing Group (2010)
Paperback (176) pages
2007 – 2011 Kimberly Denny-Ryder, Austenprose
A Preview of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After (the sequel), by Steve Hockensmith
More zombies in our Jane Austen.
Rising from the grave (yet again) is the next installment in the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies franchise, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After, by Steve Hockensmith. Due out in March 2011, this sequel to the bestselling Jane Austen and Seth Grahame Smith literary mash-up Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2009) will be the third and final book in the PPZ trilogy. Also written by Steve Hockensmith, it follows his 2010 prequel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls released this last Spring.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and its prequel, Dawn of the Dreadfuls, were both New York Times best sellers, with a combined 1.3 million copies in print. Now the PPZ trilogy comes to a thrilling conclusion with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After.
The story opens with our newly married protagonists, Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy, defending their village from an army of flesh-eating “unmentionables.” But the honeymoon has barely begun when poor Mr. Darcy is nipped by a rampaging dreadful. Elizabeth knows the proper course of action is to promptly behead her husband (and then burn the corpse, just to be safe). But when she learns of a miracle antidote under development in London, she realizes there may be one last chance to save her true love—and for everyone to live happily ever after.
OK. Why do I question the bit about this being the last book in the trilogy??? Cuz…this is a zombie book, and the franchise will always be undead.
OMG! The cover of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After has eaten the cover of Emma and Knightley, by Rachel Billington (2008)! Zombies are now cannibalizing sequel covers too!
- Entertainment Weekly Exclusive: ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies goes viral. Jane Austen, meet Facebook
- Visit the official Pride and Prejudice and (Internet) Zombies web site
- Shop at Elizabeth Bennet’s Etsy Shop
- Follow Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy on Facebook
- Visit Mrs. Bennet’s blog 19th Century Mombie
- Check out Mr. Bennet’s bookmarks on Delicious
- Read my review of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls
- Read my review of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
© Austenprose (2010)
A Bookselling Moment with Dawn of the Dreadfuls, or a Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Emergency Room
Happy Easter everyone. I received my Easter egg a day early. It is sitting on top of my head and is not the chocolate variety. Add to that a nice shiner and I feel quite the proper street ruffian.
I joke about my enthusiasm to sell Jane Austen to the masses at my job at Barnes & Noble, but I never thought it would be extended to such lengths, nor be quite so dangerous. In the midst of a busy pre-holiday Saturday rush, a heavy roll-up window blind and metal fascia board decided to take a “spring break” when summoned to descend from its usual abode above a large window and landed on my head with a big crash. Ouch. My kind and cautious manager Cate called the EMT squad who promptly arrived to assess my war wounds. Off to the emergency room I would go, but not without my purse and more importantly my current book to be reviewed on my blog next week.
A funny thing happened on the way to the emergency room. The EMT guy Dwayne was quite a chatterbox and proceeded to tell me everything he and his family have read or are presently reading and pumped me for new book suggestions!!! Ever the diligent book seller, I figured I was still on the company time clock and should sell books even while laid out on a stretcher on the way to the emergency room. He asked me what I was reading. I hesitated, and then asked him if he knew about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies? YES! He was a zombie fan and his wife loved that P&P miniseries with Mr. Darcy jumping into a lake. (I secretly smile. Jane is indeed everywhere. Even in an ambulance!) As my head is pounding I tell him I am reading Dawn of the Dreadfuls, the prequel to P&P&Z. He gets all excited and wants the rundown on the zombie books. Oh Lord! I was not quite up to my usual enthusiastic Austen car salesman self and told him I would be happy to offer book suggestions and the scoop on the P&P zombie craze if he wanted to visit me at the store next week. Who’da thought?
We arrive at the hospital and they wheel me into the emergency room. On the way to my room, which took some expert driving through the narrow corridors, we rounded a tight corner and my purse tipped over spilling Dawn of Dreadfuls onto the floor. The nurse picks it up and asks, “Oh! Isn’t this that Austen zombie book?” I nod in amazement. When the doctor finally arrived I was certain that his questions would be: where does it hurt, is your vision blurry and which Austen character do you think is most deserving of being eaten by a zombie?
Never a dull moment in the Austen book selling trenches.
Dawn of the Dreadfuls – Prequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Rises from the Grave
Quirk Books, the literary monster mash-up mogul who brought us Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monster has announced that its third book for Quirk Classics will be Dawn of the Dreadfuls, a prequel to its New York Times bestseller Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Here is the publisher’s description:
In this terrifying and hilarious prequel, we witness the genesis of the zombie plague in early-nineteenth century England. We watch Elizabeth Bennet evolve from a naïve young teenager into a savage slayer of the undead. We laugh as she begins her first clumsy training with nunchucks and katana swords and cry when her first blush with romance goes tragically awry. Written by acclaimed novelist (and Edgar Award nominee) Steve Hockensmith, Dawn of the Dreadfuls invites Austen fans to step back into Regency England, Land of the Undead!
Surprisingly, co-authors are listed as Jane Austen and Steve Hockensmith even though according to Quirk editor Jason Rekulak Dawn of the Dreadfuls is a “completely original novel inspired by Austen’s characters; — in other words, there’s not a drop of original Austen writing in it.” Obviously, since Jane Austen did not write a prequel to Pride and Prejudice there was no text to mash-up and this new novel needed to be an original story only lifting her characters names. We are, however, perplexed at her inclusion. Other authors have been writing prequels, sequels and retellings of Pride and Prejudice for years, but admittedly, this is the fist time this writer has seen the original author’s name attached with another author’s work.
In actuality, the lack of Jane Austen’s text is a win-win situation for both Austen and zombie fans who each had qualms about their peas touching their potatoes on the plate. Now only Austen’s name is being exploited and not her words.
Dawn on the Dreadfuls goes on sale in the US on the 24th of March, 2010. I liked P&P&Z, but this literary mash-up business was pushed way beyond amusing parody with Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters and unless this new novel is exceptionally well written, I’ve had enough of others ripping off my favorite author.
Zombies are multiplying: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – The Deluxe Heirloom Edition
More zombies you ask? Yup!
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into a bookstore, Quirk Books officially announced today a Deluxe Heirloom Edition of its New York Times bestselling Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, now with 30% more zombie action – yes – that’s 30% more bone crunching and brain eating zombies populating Jane Austen’s gently refined prose.
From our perspective, it appears that zombie fans felt slighted after the text of the first edition only included 15% gore and goo in comparison to 85% classic literature and demanded more gruesome zombie action. To compensate, co-author Seth Grahame-Smith has taken a second crack at it by expanding the story. Let’s hope that none of Austen’s text was whittled out to make room!
In addition to the expanded zombie mayhem, the Deluxe Heirloom edition includes lots of plush additions which you can read more about it at our co-blog, Jane Austen Today .
The new edition is due out November 1st (just in time for Holiday shopping) and you can pre-order you copy today. Quirk has also invited readers to join its recently launched Quirk Classics Facebook page where on July 15, 2009 at midnight, it will be announcing the next monster lit mash-up in the Quirk Classics series. Oh dear! Who’s next? Charlotte Bronte? Shakespeare? Charles Dickens? We are all anticipation!
One of 13 new illustrations in the new and improved Deluxe Heirloom edition of Pride and Prejuice and Zombies. Charlotte Lucas marries Mr. Collins. She would have to be a zombie to agree to that!
Catch up on the zombie bedlam by reading our review of P&P&Z. We thought it a great high concept parody, but purist Austen fans are forewarned!
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Jane Austen & Seth Grahame-Smith – A Review
We’ll confess all right up front. We don’t quite understand what the fuss is over Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Jane Austen ate our brain long ago and we have been an Austen zombie ever since, attentively working away for 200 years for her cause in pursuit of more brains to initiate into the holy sect of The Gentle Reprove and Witty Banter Society. Our diligence has paid off. Pride and Prejudice is the most popular book in print short of the bible, she is the darling of scholars and Hollywood, Internet websites and blogs herald her charms, and even other authors flatter her by attempting to emulate her style. The assimilation plan has been successful. It was never a hard sell. Quality rarely is.
We were mildly amused when the frenzy erupted in the media after the news of the publication of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was announced. Some social climbing author out in Hollywood Continue reading “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Jane Austen & Seth Grahame-Smith – A Review”
Austen Book Sleuth: New Books in the Queue for April
The Jane Austen book sleuth is happy to inform Janeites that many Austen inspired books are heading our way in April, so keep your eyes open for these new titles.
Jane’s Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World, by Claire Harman
This highly anticipated cultural biography of Jane Austen’s rise to fame and admiration by the masses has already raised an academic kerfuffle before it has even hit book stores. *ahem* It is on the top of my to be read pile, and I can not wait to dive in. Publisher’s description: This is a story of personal struggle, family intrigue, accident, advocacy and sometimes surprising neglect as well as a history of changing public tastes and critical practices. Starting with Austen’s own experience as a beginning author (and addressing her difficulties getting published and her determination to succeed), Harman unfolds the history of how her estate was handled by her brother, sister, nieces and nephews, and goes on to explore the eruption of public interest in Austen in the last two decades of Continue reading “Austen Book Sleuth: New Books in the Queue for April”
Austen Tattler: News and Gossip around the Blogosphere
“All that she wants is gossip, and she only likes me now because I supply it.” Marianne Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility, Chapter 31
Jane Austen around the blogosphere for the week of February 1st
Hot News of the week
Definitely the upcoming release of the book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies which was taken the Internet by deathly storm prompting the publisher Quirk Books to move up the release date. You can read my first thoughts about it at Jane Austen Today, this week on the reaction, and the controversy regarding the author’s attitude toward Janeites at AustenBlog.
Jane Austen in the City of Bath, England is a lovely article with beautiful photos at Quillcards Blog
Get ready for Valentine’s Day with snarky Austen themed valentines at Elegant Extracts Blog.
Sense and Sensibility (2008) is being rebroadcast on Masterpiece Classic on Sundays Feb 1st & 8th. You can catch up on the first episode by reading the synopsis of episode one at the Masterpiece offical site and read reviews at Jane Austen’s World and here at Austenprose. Tune in to PBS this Sunday for the conclusion.
The Excessively Diverting Blog Award recognizes seven writers of note on the Internet presented by the Jane Austen Today blogging team.
Over at Risky Regencies indulge in a little escapsism with Highwayman of the High Seas: The Romance of the Smugler by Julia Justiss. Everyone loves a naughty pirate, yo ho!
Of Books and Bicycles is reading Claire Tomalin’s biography Jane Austen: A Life and has some interesting thoughts on her insights.
Arti at Ripple Effects asks which Austen Heroine was Jane herself most like?
The Black Moth is available from GirleBooks for free. Ms Place (Vic) at Jane Austen Today and Jane Austen’s World is an ardent Heyer fan and tells us that this is one of Heyer’s first novels, and now ready for you to download and read for free from GirleBooks.
The roundup of upcoming Austen inspired books for February is available for your persual here at Austenprose
The DVD of Lost in Austen will be available for purchase in North America on April 14th.
British actress Ruby Bentall is truly an up and commer. I have recieved more hits on her name in the past month than any other Austen actress. More than Gwenyth or Kiera or Kate. No lie! You can read about her at my post Ruby Bentall – A Most Memorable Mary Bennet at Jane Austen Today.
- The Man Who Loved Jane Austen – Austenprose
- Jane Austen Ruined My Life – Jane Austen’s World
- Jane Austen and Crime – Jane Austen in Vermont blog
- Intimations of Austen – AustenBlog
- Mr. Darcy’s Dream – January Magazine
- In the Garden with Jane Austen – Cold Climate Gardening
- Lady Susan – Kate’s Reviews
- The Man Who Loved Jane Austen – Love Romance Passion
- Jane Fairfax – Joan Aiken Books
- Two Guys Read Jane Austen – B&K Online
Until next week, happy Jane sighting.
Zombies and Vampires and Jane Austen, Oh My! Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is Haute!
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”
And so Gentle Readers begins the altered famous line from Jane Austen’s classic novel now renamed Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance – Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem and rewrtten by Seth Grahame-Smith being published this June by Quirk Books.
What? Whoa, wait a minute here you say!
Yes, it’s not a joke. I’m dead serious and so are the undead Zombies. I first wrote about this new novel combining Austen’s classic novel and Zombie bedlam at my co-blog Jane Austen Today. Now it’s all over the blogosphere. Even Paris Hilton might agree that combining Jane Austen and Zombies is hot.
Breaking News!!! Now it’s so HAUTE that Quirk has announced today that it is moving up its publication date two months to April!
Here is the publisher’s description
So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton-and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers-and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead. Can she vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you’d actually want to read.
Here is an excerpt compliments from Bryan at Cinema Suicide who tells me he has it from a super secret source.
“Come, Darcy,” said Mr. Bingley, “I hate to see you standing by yourself in this stupid manner. You had much better dance.”
“I certainly shall not. You know how I detest it.”
“I would not be as fastidious as you are for a kingdom! I never met with so many pleasant girls in my life as I have this evening; and several of them are uncommonly pretty.”
Before Mr. Darcy could respond, a chorus of screams filled the assembly hall, immediately joined by the shattering of window panes. Unmentionables scrambled in, their movements clumsy yet swift; their burial clothing in a range of untidiness.
Guests who had the misfortune of standing near the windows were seized and feasted on at once. Elizabeth watched Mrs. Long struggle to free herself as two female dreadfuls bit into her head, cracking her skull like a walnut, and sending a shower of dark blood spouting as high as the chandeliers.
Double whoa! I dearly love to laugh as much as the next Janeite (maybe more), but this is the most creative way I have ever seen to entice readership of literary classics. I fear Austen and literature purist will be appalled, and new novice readers will be amazed. Everyone who was forced to read P&P in high school and hated it (a small minority I assure you ;) will have a secret smirk when they hear about this one. In addition, last June we heard about “Jane Bites Back,” Michael Thomas Ford’s new novel which
presents an undead Jane Austen, frustrated by nearly 200 years of writer’s block and 116 rejections of an unpublished novel she finished just before turning into a vampire; she’s becoming increasingly irritated that the rest of the world seems to be getting rich and famous off of her works and her life.
Not quite sure how all of this will settle out, but it is interesting to watch the public reaction and I am glad to see people talking about Austen. There are pros and cons to the argument on free market vs. copyright restrictions. I just hope that Darcy isn’t killed and becomes one of the undead.
More Austen Zombie mayhem around the blogosphere
- Jane Austen Ate My Brain – AustenBlog
- Jane Austen Battles the Undead – The Ampersand
- Yay or Nay: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – Trashonista
- Jane Austen Ate My Brain – Papercuts NY Times (who copied Mag’s title)