"Zombies are a sign of the apocalypse. So says writer Seth Grahame-Smith. Well, more or less. More precisely, he says zombies tend to start appearing in popular culture when times get tough. "They are a walking metaphor for the ills we find ourselves up against. They've been used to represent everything from the threat of communism to the Aids epidemic and crass commercialism."
Why did he write the darned novel? "Grahame-Smith was so excited at the idea of writing "gratuitous, violent, gory sequences in the imitated style of Jane Austen" that he rushed right out and bought the original to reread. He'd read the book just once before, at high school as a 14-year-old, and was not a fan. When he reread it though, things changed. "I suddenly got it."
How does he feel about writing a best seller? "Grahame-Smith is unrepentant. "I do feel like I did her a favour because becoming a zombie was probably not as poor a fate as being married to Mr Collins."
What's next for Mr. Grahame-Smith? - Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. Hah! "It will have that same comic spin and it's a very different thing to write a biography and have it read funny - that's my goal, to have it a mix of fiction, humour and factual accuracy."
Read our reviews of the novel in the links below:
- Vic on Jane Austen's World wonders how Jane's other novels can be converted into cold hard cash. Willoughby's Tell-Tale Heart, anyone?
- Laurel Ann wonders which audience the book is actually targeting.