Wednesday, June 1, 2011

An Austen Sort of Month

I can't think of anything more appropriate to fill up my extra time with my husband away than reading Jane Austen, some of the most classic love stories ever written.  I started off reading to Pride and Prejudice Fan Fiction spin offs, and then after those I realized I couldn't remember Austen's original Pride and Prejudice. Sure I can remember movie and spin offs and such, but what was Austen's original plot what words are hers and what words are Hollywood?  The last time I read the original my son was my daughter's age.  Then since I was having so much fun with Janes and my nook, I decided to try and actually finish Emma.  Of course I had to start from the beginning, and of course I am very familiar with the plot, I think I have seen Clueless more times that I've read a Jane Austen fan fiction novel.  But I had no idea what words Jane Austen used to actually finish off the plot of Emma.  I enjoyed Emma, but I also grew tired of the words.  Ah, I guess that is Emma, felt in the book. And most of all I should end with I love my nook.  The only thing my husband has bought me that I love my than my Nook is my three wedding rings (engagement, wedding, anniversary).  So here are my goodread reviews.  I should also say, I'm waiting in anticipation to read Mr. Knightley's Diary also by Amanda Grange. But the question is with everything that is breaking in my life and with all the move expenses do I really have $4?

The Darcys & the BingleysThe Darcys & the Bingleys by Marsha Altman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is a fan fiction sequel to Pride and Prejudice. I read this book in its entirety and I guess it was a fun read, but it was a low quality writing in my opinion.  I didn't the think author did a very good job of capturing Austen's characters' true personalities, or capturing Austen's writing style.  It seem that she instead picked and chose what she like out of the character's personality and ignore the rest.  The first part of the book was also slightly smutty, and I think Jane Austen probably rolls in her grave every time a fan writes smuttiness out of one of her characters, since Miss Austen was a lady I'm sure she never implied what fans have sometimes interpretative. Altman is by far not the only author who has done this.  But the second part of the book was fun even if the author didn't do a very good job of character representation.  I thought she made Darcy's character unrealistic, I find it highly unlikely that he would have made a 180 in personality adjustment after marriage. Darcy would still be Darcy, marriage does not really change people. Then again, I am a minority in thinking Darcy is not a knight in shining armor.  I like Darcy as much as the next girl, but he is always a pompous jerk, and that is why he so appealing, no one really wants someone perfect. Darcy is not the symbol of perfection that most fans make him out to be. He would still be rich and insolent whether he married Elizabeth Bennet or not.

View all my reviews
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I enjoyed this book a lot.  I thought Grange did a very good job in her Pride and Prejudice fan fiction.  I thought Darcy's character was very well represented.  This pretty much the exact same plot as the original just in diary form of Mr. Darcy's perspective. (There is a little bit added when concerning his relationship with Georgiana.) She borrows a lot of Jane Austen's original proses, but I guess that's why I thought Grange did such a good job of representing the original story. Grange's text blended well with the original in my opinion. This was definitely a fun read. But since it was fan fiction it was also easier to read than the original.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I started reading Emma years ago, and never finished.  I might have actually started multiple times.  I love a good Austen Novel, but the text of Emma is so wordy.  This time I was determined to finish.  Emma is broken up into three different books, the third was definitely my favorite, but I guess that is to be expected.  I don't think I had ever made in more than a third of the way through book II. Once again this time I started to wain during Book II.  Although the plot is very familiar to me, the particulars of the story were unknown.  I do love the plot of Emma, and all the different movie spin offs that I have watched since I was a kid, but Jane Austen was really wordy in this book.  Sometimes I had to re-read to figure out what the character had said, or if the character was thinking or talking.  It seemed that other than Miss Bates, Austen writes the whole story by telling you what the characters are thinking without ever telling you their actual conversations.  I debated back and worth whether to get this three or four stars.  I think the story line is four stars, at least, but the text is 3 and half.  

I should add a disclaimer, I am super exhausted, and sleeping very poorly without my husband around, so there could be all sorts of typos in this post. 

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