Sunday, September 20, 2009

Book review: "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," and "Change of Heart"

What to say about these two books? Both were ultimately a disappointment, and I'm glad to be moving on.
"Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" was just as it sounds: Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" with zombies thrown in. I love Jane Austen and I love zombies, so I didn't think I could go wrong with this. I was sorely mistaken. I really did try to read this book with the fun spirit in which it was intended. However, it fell so flat that I found this difficult to do. The original "Pride and Prejudice" is quite a fun read. I felt that the fun of the original had been sucked out and replaced with poorly written details ("Coy" ponds? Really?) and arguments about whether the Chinese or Japanese training was better for fighting zombies. There was a lot of talk about zombies, but very few actually showed up, and I found the fight scenes lame. I would have liked to see some of the major characters get their comeuppance by being transformed into zombies. Also, there were a few scenes with people fighting one another that were incredibly stupid.

"Change of Heart" by Jodi Picoult was also disappointing, though not quite as much so as "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies." "Change of Heart" is the story of a death row inmate who wants desperately to give his heart to a young girl when he is executed. The girl is related to the people he has been convicted of killing. This wasn't badly written, per se. What annoyed me is that if you are at all familiar with "The Green Mile," it is quite obvious that Jodi Picoult gleaned many of Stephen King's plot deatils. Oh sure, she conveniently replaced the mouse with a robin. But so many of the details were the same that I actually felt embarrassed for the author. Also, I wasn't too fond of one of the main characters, Maggie. I think this was mostly the result of listening to this via audio book, and disliking the voice/inflection of the reader. I realize that Jodi Picoult isn't "high art" or anything. I've read a few of her books and have enjoyed them as light reading. I can honestly say, though, that after reading this, I will think twice before picking up another one of her books. The similarities to "The Green Mile" simply leave a bad taste in my mouth.

No comments:

Post a Comment