A monstrous Austen imitation?

I’ve found one review which echoes my opinion on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (by Seth Grahame-Smith). Although I will admit up front that I have yet to read the book, and it is late at night. But first, I’d categorize myself as an Austen reader–I’ve read all 5 novels and even taken a class on her life and works.

So, why would I hate a Pride and Prejudice novel, anyway? Well, mostly because I feel like it’s a novel from someone who is looking to write a bestseller as quickly as possible. Grahame-Smith takes huge liberties with plot and characters (Elizabeth kills people right and left and Zombies rule the pages), although it uses the original wording and structure (85% Austen, 15% Grahame-Smith). Sounds like an exact rip-off of Austen and an easy way to sell a few million copies.

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2009/04/jane-austen-doe.html

Am I stubborn? Do I not get the point? The author of this review references the novel’s premise as ‘an intelligent fart joke.’ Perhaps that’s my problem; I take Austen too seriously. But this is serious; you can’t just throw around Zombies in places because you think they could be entertaining–you can’t ride the coattails of Twlight’s paranormal fictional romances. What is the world coming too? Adding Zombies to the actual original novel is radically different than putting your own spin on your own Pride and Prejudice with Zombies and writing it all yourself. Copycat, anyone?

Sure, Austen may have been a dime-novel writer in her time. But I’d like to think her wit carries a great deal more intelligence than the ‘potty humor’ of PPZ. Has anyone read the book (or other books?)? What’s your opinion? Is Grahme-Smith a cheapskate, a genius, or wholly misrepresenting Austen?

ALSO: just heard Natalie Portman is going to star in the film adaptation of this novel. Whaaaat? I like her too much for this…

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