Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pride, Zombies and Beautiful Struggles

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

I am approaching Pride and Prejudice and Zombies on tiptoes. What has Seth done to Jane's delicately perceived book? Here's an example. Elizabeth and her sisters are at their first assembly with the love interests - Mr Bingley and Mr Darcy, when zombies break in.

"A few of the guests, who had the misfortune of being too near the windows,were seized and feasted on at once...As the guests fled in every direction, Mr Bennett's voice cut through the commotion "Girls! Pentagram of Death!" Elizabeth immediately joined her four sisters, Jane, Mary, Catherine, and Lydia in the center of the dance floor. Each girl produced a dagger from her ankle and stood at the tip of an imaginary five-pointed star. From the center of the room, they began stepping outward in unison-each thrusting a razor-sharp dagger with one hand, the other hand modestly tucked into the small of her back...Apart from the attack, the evening altogether passed off pleasantly for the whole family."

Well he's stomped all over it with blood and zombies hasn't he? It is quite a surreal journey. Well worth a read.

The Beautiful Struggle
by Ta-Nehisi Coates

This book is a coming of age in West Baltimore. Not one of the best neighborhoods but with a Black Panther Dad raising you to Consciousness you have a chance. Plus Dad has a printing press in the basement where he revives the forgotten heroes of black thought, history and biography. It's going to rub off on you. The knowledge, as taught in the street, is tough to beat. Ta-Neshi's Dad trys a constellation of values to anchor his children and he eventually pushes all of his children towards Mecca-Howard University. I was lost in the slang but the rhythm of the writing kept me reading. How beautiful the language it's style, the humor. I would love to hear it read out loud. So if you want an experience-cultual and literary- try The Beautiful Struggle, a beautiful book.


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