Monday, June 25, 2012

When we know a mash-up phenomenon has been milked dry.

2 out of 5 stars

I enjoyed the original Pride and Prejudice and Zombies mash-up novel, so when I heard of the graphic novel adaptation, I was quite excited. However, I was also leery, which is why it took me so long to get my hands on it and when I did, it was as library copy. I was leery for the main fact that I knew the interpretation of the graphic novel could be potentially iffy. And I was right. The illustrations are technically skilled, but lacking distinction. The only way I could tell Lizzie and Jane apart was by Jane's dark hair. The other female characters, the young ones at least, were interchangeable and it was very easy to confuse one for another. Plus, the characters were bland and overly romanticized. It was like looking at a bunch of Barbie and Ken dolls dressed in regency-style clothing. The women all had full lips, petite noses and large, doe-like eyes. And of course the men had perfectly styled hair and dashing, Prince Charming features. Frankly, it got rather boring after a while, watching all the perfect people parade across the page.

Then we come to the actual story. Naturally, due to the manner of graphic novel storytelling, the original tale was abridged. But not well, which resulted in a choppy and abrupt storyline; while the original novel, due to the inherent nature of a literary mash-up, had the occasional disconcerting moment when new material was introduced into the old, there were exponentially more of those jarring moments in the graphic novel. And the numerous double entendres referring to "balls" and their enjoyment by the girls got truly tiresome and were completely out of place. Including the snort of laughter given by Lizzie after one of those references (concerning musket balls, as opposed to the dancing balls which were the main victims of the juvenile jokes).

In the end, I'm glad I read the book: It satisfied my curiosity. However, I'm also glad I didn't buy it as I had initially planned and instead got it as a loan from the library. Because it was truly a letdown and could've been so much better.

Read November 30, 2011
Originally reviewed on Goodreads November 30, 2011        

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