Friday, November 5, 2010

Pride... Prejudice... Zombies

My new job brings with it a terribly long commute.  90 minutes each way.  It's not so bad, at least for now, and the job itself is thus far worth it.  So, to try to continue to look on the bright side (optimism? that doesn't sound like a good idea), this commute gives me a minimum of 3 hours each day where I'm effectively alone and listening to stuff.  Music was fine for a while, but I'm now filling the time with audio books.  (Sure, reading actual books is still preferred, but who has the time?)

I'd recently tried a few already, namely World War Z and some strange audio book Jen got for free somewhere, and had rather enjoyed the experience.  World War Z in particular was an excellent listen because it had a cast of excellent voice actors (Mark Hamill, Alan Alda, etc.).  All in all, it provides more mental stimulation than my usual iPod playlist, which itself gets tiring after a few hours.

So, with more driving time on my hands these days, and with the personal enjoyment of World War Z, I recently obtained two more audio books: The Zombie Survival Guide and Pride And Prejudice And Zombies.  The former was alright, mostly because it was the same author as World War Z and thus shared in much of the same details, making the two something of a companion set for one another.  It wasn't spectacular or anything, but it was an interesting listen.

I'm just over halfway through the latter, and it's pretty awesome.  Basically, the author took Pride And Prejudice and added some phrases/passages to it to create a zombie-infested backdrop to the story.  A brilliant idea, really.  I mean, what wouldn't be better with the addition of zombies?  Also, the book has ninjas.  Seriously.

Now, the core story and main plot and dialogue of the book is still Jane Austen's classic mind-numbing drivel.  But the fact that it's now instead set in a zombie-infested English countryside protected by ninjas makes the whole thing pretty bad-ass.  I actually find it interesting, provided any given scene has at least some of the new additional text.  After all, the original dialogue just sounds like a Victorian episode of Gilmore Girls, but slower.  (Come to think of it, Gilmore Girls really can be accurately described as a modernized Austen or Bronte novel played in fast-forward.)

Again, the whole idea was just brilliant.  I hope this mash-up style continues, and I may have to try it out for myself.  The addition of zombies, pirates, perhaps even robots may even make some of Sylvia Plath's work vaguely palatable.  By itself certainly a non-trivial goal.