IT READS: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES: DREADFULLY EVER AFTER (2011) STEVE HOCKENSMITH

PAPAZDEA

As a little back story to this feature – I use to be a very avid book reader before I got entangled in the world of blogging and just started reading blogs all day. I even had / have a book review site that I wrote on occasionally that I haven’t updated since January of 2013.  The other day I opened the bureau to get something out of it and I noticed the STACK of unread books I have sitting there and got nostalgic for the smell and feel of printed material and thought to myself, “You know what? I’m going to read a fucking book!” And, since I know Zoë is such a fan of book reading I told her about my new dedication and she was all “YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYA YOU CHOP!!!!” and we discussed posting about it / them out here. Then we discussed my book review site and how I want to turn it down and we thought maybe we could put some of them out here on Zuts, not only to build her library but also to not just throw away all of that fucking typing I did.

So, today we present another installment of IT READS: and we’ll go with the entertaining and pretty hilarious PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES: DREADFULLY EVER AFTER

P.S. This was actually written a few years ago so those of you familiar with my style my find this a little different. And – look at that naming convention!

***

Man oh man this book was great! HILARIOUS! Easy to read! It was so entertaining I could barely put it down and breezed through the 286 pages in five days. This guy, Hockensmith put out two superbly funny, smart, sarcastic, wry, smart ass books for Quirk, and I loved them both. I suppose this is the end of the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies series (but i sure hope not). Hockensmith has another series of books he has put out about two cowboy detectives in the “old west”, I have to check them out. Of course you know that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies came out a few years ago to HUGE applaud (and sales) and spawned DOZENs of imitators. If you search for it on Amazon you’ll see things like: “Jane Slayre”, “Little Vampire Women”, “Queen Victoria: Demon hunter”, “Little Women and Werewolves”, etc as well as the follow ups Quirk put out, “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls” (the prequel) and now this one, the sequel. Again – i loved it.

Here’s the dust jacket synopsis: “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.”

There you go – Darcy is bitten pretty early in the book and they call in their arch enemy, Darcy’s aunt, for help (Darcy’s Aunt hates Elizabeth because she had betrothed Darcy to her own daughter, Anne, in PPZ, but Lizzy won his heart). Oh, and Lizzy also bested her cadre of ninjas in a dojo single handedly and spread his aunt’s life. Anyway, the aunt Lady Catherine the Great hatches a plan to send Elizabeth, her sister Kitty, her father Mr. Bennet, a group of ninja assassins, a ninja named Nezu as a guide and a strange limbless man in a box to London to steal the miracle cure. To do so, they (the ladies) are going to have to seduce the scientist who created it, or his son and sneak into the lab and make out with the potion. By doing this, this will also show Darcy that his low class wife is a jezebel who seduces men while her husband lies sick and undead, thus making him fall in love with his frail cousin Anne once and for all.

Well, things get VERY FUNNY from here on out and the story actually takes an interesting route to the end. The previous two books were pretty linear (if I recall correctly) as in – here’s your story from A to Z, one route. This one takes at least four different paths: one of Elizabeth and her father, one of Kitty, Bunny (the scientist’s son) and the guardian Nezu, one of Mary (another Bennet sister) and the mysterious Man in the Box, one of Darcy and Anne back at the manor and then even one chapter about the most notorious and important Zombie in history (Mr. Cricket) – the one who ate King George the 3rd. So, as everyone goes off on their delightfully entertaining adventures that had me smiling and laughing constantly, he weaves the compelling back story of Darcy and Anne and the secret Anne hides. Catherine has falsified letters from Elizabeth, among other things, in the hope of driving the two together. Eventually, everyone ends up back at the manor, along with several new characters for what can only be called an appropriate and just ending.

Along the way, we get more wickedly funny woodcuts, cross dressing man servants and a whole lot of action! I highly recommend this series to anyone looking for a good time filled with zombies, martial arts, and merry Olde English providence. Hilarious! Well done! For those of you who have read the prequel “Dawn of the Dreadfuls” you will probably get an idea of just who the man in the box is – if your memory is strong. I had an idea the first time they encounter “the box” and it stuck with me throughout and, even when I was absolutely positive who it was, when the big reveal came about, it was still very joyous.

Here are a couple of quotes from the book – all rights reserved to Quirk:

“When faced with discomfort, she did the Engish thing: she changed the subject.” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

In this passage, Darcy has been given some of the serum that keeps the recently stricken clinging to life, and he wants to get out of his room:

…This was something he had to do himself. With a monumental exertion of will, he swung his feet off the bed and stood.

Then he fainted.

Sometime later he picked himself up of the floor and stood again. When he was satisfied that he could manage without fainting, he started shuffling toward the dresser.

Then he fainted.

When he regained consciousness, he started the process over. He stood, shuffled, fainted, found his clothes, fainted, stood, put on his trousers, fainted, put  on his shirt, didn’t faint, put on his waistcoat, didn’t faint, put on his stockings, didn’t faint, picked up his coat, fainted, stood, picked up his coat, fainted,  stood and finally decided he could live without the coat. After much (but faintless) effort,  he had on his shoes and cravat and was at last ready to leave his little tomb in which he had been interred for too long.

That’s it – the whole thing is full of fun just like that.

Here’s the trailer. It’s not quite as fun as the first one:

IT READS: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES (2009) SETH GRAHAME-SMITH

PPZ

As a little back story to this feature – I use to be a very avid book reader before I got entangled in the world of blogging and just started reading blogs all day. I even had / have a book review site that I wrote on occasionally that I haven’t updated since January of 2013.  The other day I opened the bureau to get something out of it and I noticed the STACK of unread books I have sitting there and got nostalgic for the smell and feel of printed material and thought to myself, “You know what? I’m going to read a fucking book!” And, since I know Zoë is such a fan of book reading I told her about my new dedication and she was all “YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYA YOU CHOP!!!!” and we discussed posting about it / them out here. Then we discussed my book review site and how I want to turn it down and we thought maybe we could put some of them out here on Zuts, not only to build her library but also to not just throw away all of that fucking typing I did.

So, today we present another installment of IT READS: and we’ll go with the entertaining and pretty hilarious PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES

P.S. This was actually written a few years ago so those of you familiar with my style my find this a little different. And – look at that naming convention!

***

It’s been awhile since I read this, but since I just finished the trilogy, i wanted to have the whole group out here. This is, of course, the “mash-up” that started the new genre. I remember seeing it on the shelves somewhere, i think Barnes and Noble, and thinking, hmmmm, interesting. Then my friend’s wife was reading it and he told me she thoroughly enjoyed it, so i picked it and – it was pretty, pretty GOOD! Of course, the concept here is taking Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” and inserting organ eating zombies (called Dreadfuls or in proper English the Sorry Stricken {one never uses the word Zombie in polite society}), ninjas, training in the Deadly Arts, all among the harrowing Victorian English countryside where class and money are everything. The poor (no money or endowments) Bennets live in a rustic, quaint manor, the griping forlorn mother, the inept and weary father, and five sisters, the key lead Elizabeth – she is the focal point of the plot. She has suitors yes, and one is Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, pompous and rich, a class above! nephew to the matriarch of the land, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Dreadful slayer of historic renown, wealthy beyond means. When Lizzy captures Darcy’s heart, the class difference creates unbearable discomfort (the actual pride and prejudice) and a volley of differences ensue, along with brain eating sons of Satan.

This book is good, very funny, very well done – something worth reading. What I think, to me, sets this as my least favorite in the trilogy (that being still very good), is that we have to deal with the actual Austen writing style, and not the fun satire we get with “recreating the Regency England style” in the other two, which were not “co-written”. I can only imagine that I would become one of the living dead if i had to sit through reading the original P and P, it seems so heavy handed. And boring beyond means. Thankfully the dead have risen and the throwing stars are flying in here, because this makes good, gut eating fun of the original.

if you didn’t know, they are making this into a movie, I think with Keira Knightley as Lizzy and Grahame-Smith went on to write another best selling mash-up “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” which is also being turned into a film. This guy’s got a hot hand!

Review: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)

“History prefers legends to men.”

This was something that I had wanted to go and see in theatre but never got around to, and I am thinking it might have been for the best. Last night, after studying, I figured it would be nice to chill out and watch something. I am always on this mission after I see an awesome movie (my last being The Amazing Spider-Man), like the quest to see another great one is highly tangible. Very seldom, however, do you find that next elusive one.

So it began. It did not look like a particularly low or a high budget movie, but it was watchable. I found the acting to be particularly stiff. Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who played Mary Todd Lincoln, for instance, should have stuck to multicoloured hair and a blasé attitude. The role was very unbecoming for her, and her acting abilities certainly did not escalate in my eyes. It frustrated me that there was no real character growth, and the story was a little bit scattered, and the plot was just ridiculous. Nothing one could not follow, just not something you would like to. The amount of CGI in the movie was also insane.

The thing that got under my skin the most? The way all vampire lore and mythology was completely desecrated, but at least not yet to the point of glitz, glam and sparklies. I guess if you are not particularly clued up on it, it will be fine to watch. But it all got to me. Daywalkers, sunglasses and sunscreen, the inability to kill one another… oh my, the worst is how they are turned! No blood exchanged, nothing as intricate as that!

I felt that this could seriously have been executed better. I have yet to read Seth Grahame-Smith’s book (I decided to only read it after the movie, I wanted to see this as a first time viewer). The concept was interesting (to me, anyhow). I liked the idea of an excellent president by day, advocating for freedom, fighting war, yet turning into the slayer of evil by night. That they didn’t quite get to gel properly. They did, however, get Benjamin Walker to look quite Abe-like as he aged. I understand that this was supposed to be slightly comedic, but I missed that mostly due to other disastrous elements.

I loved how the action scenes were done, particularly the fight sequences. I thought it was excellent how they took Abraham Lincoln into battle, and captured the essence of the cloak billowing fiercely and axe shining and moving as though an extension of him. That was selectively done and it was done well. In those scenes you can distinctly see the input of Timur Bekmambetov (who directed Wanted). For instance, the fight scene between Lincoln and the undead when he went to save his oldest school friend, Will, was an impressive one to watch, although I would love to know how you do handbrake turns in a carriage!

I would score Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter 4.5/10. The movie was a bit of a let down, considering the poster’s speak of greatness, the artwork was well done, and the previews looked decent. The story was dreadful, the acting atrocious, there was no real chemistry between any of them… I don’t know, it just didn’t impress me, and was really not worth checking out at all. I really could have utilized this movie’s time on something far more productive.