'It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.' 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... read more
The story follows the plot of Pride and Prejudice, but places the novel in an alternative universe version of Regency-era England where zombies (and indeed skunks and chipmunks) roam the English countryside. Described as the "stricken", "sorry stricken", "undead", "unmentionables", or just... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
The story follows the plot of Pride and Prejudice, but places the novel in an alternative universe version of Regency-era England where zombies (and indeed skunks and chipmunks) roam the English countryside. Described as the "stricken", "sorry stricken", "undead", "unmentionables", or just "zombies", the deceased ancestors of England are generally viewed by the characters as a troublesome, albeit deadly, nuisance. Their presence alters the original plot of the story in both subtle and significant ways: Messages between houses are sometimes lost when the couriers are captured and eaten; characters openly discuss and judge the zombie-fighting abilities of others; women weigh the pros and cons of carrying a musket (it provides safety but is considered "unladylike").
Elizabeth Bennet and her four sisters live on a countryside estate with their parents. Mr. Bennet guides his daughters in martial arts and weapons training, molding them into a fearsome zombie-fighting army; meanwhile, Mrs. Bennet endeavours to marry the girls off to wealthy suitors. When the wealthy and single Mr. Bingley purchases a nearby house, Mrs. Bennet spies an opportunity and sends the girls to the first ball where Bingley is expected to appear. The girls defend the party from a zombie attack, and attraction sparks between Mr. Bingley and the eldest daughter Jane Bennet. Elizabeth, however, clashes with Bingley's friend, the haughty monster-hunter Fitzwilliam Darcy.
The Bennets are shaken when Bingley and his companions suddenly abandon his country home and return to the walled fortress city of London with little explanation. When the local militia arrives in town to exhume and destroy dead bodies, Elizabeth becomes friendly with one of the soldiers, George Wickham, who tells Elizabeth that Darcy cheated Wickham out of an inheritance.
Elizabeth's dislike of Darcy turns into full-blown hatred when she learns that Darcy plotted to separate Bingley from her sister Jane. Elizabeth vows to avenge the slight to her family by killing Darcy. Later that evening, she is afforded that opportunity when he appears unannounced at the cottage where she is visiting her newlywed friend Charlotte (who has been secretly bitten by a zombie and is slowly turning into one herself). Before Elizabeth can fetch her katana and behead him, Darcy surprises her again by proposing marriage. The scene culminates in a vicious verbal and physical fight, in which Darcy is wounded. He eventually escapes with his life and writes a long letter to Elizabeth in which he explains his actions. He broke up Jane and Bingley out of fear that Jane had contracted the "mysterious plague" and was about to turn into a zombie. With regard to the allegedly wronged soldier Wickham, Darcy explains that Wickham had attempted to elope with Darcy's younger sister in an attempt to get his hands on her considerable fortune – this was the "inheritance" that Darcy had cheated the man out of. Elizabeth realizes that she has judged Darcy too harshly, and is humbled. Darcy, meanwhile, realizes that his arrogant nature encourages people to believe the rumors about him, and resolves to act more appropriately.
Elizabeth embarks on a trip around the country with her aunt and uncle, fighting zombies along the way. At Pemberley she runs into Darcy, who helps her to defeat a rampaging horde of zombies. Darcy's new attitude and mannerisms impress Elizabeth and lead her to consider reconciling their relationship; unfortunately, all hopes are dashed when it is discovered that her younger sister Lydia has eloped to London with Wickham. The Bennet family fears the worst, but eventually receive word that Wickham and Lydia have married, following an "accident" that has rendered Wickham an incontinent quadriplegic. After visiting the Bennets, the couple adjourns to Ireland. Elizabeth discovers that it was Darcy who engineered the union, thus saving the Bennet family from ruin. Meanwhile, Mr. Collins has married the secretly-stricken Charlotte Lucas. When he finds out that she has been turned into a zombie, he kills himself, but not before allowing Lady Catherine to behead Charlotte.
Darcy and Bingley return to the countryside, and Bingley resumes courting Jane. Elizabeth hopes to renew her relationship with Darcy, but his aunt, the Lady Catherine, interferes, insisting that her daughter Anne is a better match for her nephew. Lady Catherine challenges Elizabeth to a fight to the death, intent on eliminating the competition, but Elizabeth defeats Catherine and her cadre of ninjas. She spares Catherine's life. Darcy is touched by this gesture, and he returns to Elizabeth. The two cheerfully wipe out a field of zombies (their first battle as a couple) and begin a long and happy future together, insofar as the ever-present threat of zombie apocalypse permits it.
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”
“I have tasted many a heart, but I dare say I find the Japanese to be a bit tender.”Elizabeth Bennet
“There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer of whom I think well. The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every zombie confirms my belief that God has abandoned us as punishment for the evils of people such as Miss Bingley.””Elizabeth Bennet
“An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do; for I shall not have my best warrior resigned to the service of a man who is fatter than Buddha and duller than the edge of a learning sword.”Mr. Bennet
“We are each of an unsocial, taciturn disposition, unwilling to speak, unless we expect to say something that will amaze the whole room, or be regarded as uncommonly clever.”Elizabeth Bennet
Followed by Dawn of the Dreadfuls.
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