logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: prejudice
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2020-03-01 12:42
A true delight for Austen fans
Elizabeth: Obstinate Headstrong Girl - Leigh Dreyer,Christina Morland,Amy D'Orazio,Beau North,Jenetta James,Christina Boyd,Joana Starnes,Karen Cox,Elizabeth Adams,Nina Croft

I thank Christina Boyd, the editor and also one of the authors of the collection, for sending me an invite to participate on the launch blog tour and for the ARC copy of the volume, which I freely chose to review. I have read and reviewed some of the other anthologies The Quill Collective has published and loved them, so I was delighted to be asked and to be able to participate. I’ve decided to talk a bit about each one of them, because they are all quite different in style (some written in the first person, some in the third, some quite humorous, some more serious, some set in the same time period as the original and others not, some shorter and some longer) but somehow manage to live up to the spirit and the wit of one of Austen’s best loved characters. Each story/novella is introduced by a quote from the original, which highlights an aspect later explored in more detail in the text, and it is also signposted by an individual cover, all of them beautiful. Foreword: Tessa Dare Witty, clever, and a very fitting introduction to the subject matter and to the stories. Mark Twain gets a mention! Resolution: Amy D’Orazio Set within the period of the novel, this short story plays on the ‘what if’. What would have happened if somebody close to Darcy had decided to take things in their hands? How would that have influenced the outcome? And what if Liz had finally succumbed to life’s harsh realities and forgotten her prejudices? An interesting turn of events and an amusing (but romantic) short story, aimed at readers familiar with the details of P&P. Thank God for alcoholic beverages and meddling maids! The House Party: Jenetta James I have read short and long fiction by Jenetta James and she delivers, once more, in this short-story/vignette, that moves forward the events to early XX century, in the setting of the Suffragist movement, and rewrites a memorable party and visit to the Bingley’s home. Wickham is up to his old tricks! A great story that could be read without previous knowledge of Austen’s novel, although it will be greatly enjoyed by fans of the original. Atmospheric Disturbances: Christina Morland This is, in a way, a Much Ado About Nothing situation, at least on the surface of it, when readers get to eavesdrop (well, and also get inside Elizabeth’s head) on an argument between Elizabeth and Darcy, after their engagement. For those of us who love the witty interactions between the two and the pull and push of their relationship, any opportunity to see them, and hear them, when they are in each other’s company is a pleasure, and so it is here, in a vignette that explores the dynamics of their relationship and we get to see a more vulnerable, but still reserved and proud, Darcy, and an Elizabeth prone to making a fuss, worrying, determined to know her future husband, and oh, so headstrong! Love in Limelight: Beau North North here transports the action to Hollywood in 1934. Elizabeth has become Eliza Bennett (her stage name) and she and Jenny are actresses, now in Hollywood. Charles Bingley is a film director, Darcy is, of course, the head of the studio, Pembley, and Georgina is Gigi, who was a child star and now is trying to move on to adult acting roles. There are misunderstandings and confusions at every turn, Wickham’s incarnation works extremely well, and I loved the use of expressions and language of the period, the bright and bubbly setting, the headlines and snippets of gossip news included in the story, and, well, everything. The Uncommonly Busy Lane to Longbourn: Joanna Starnes This short-story/novella reads like one of those movie outtakes included as a bonus in the luxury edition of a Blu-ray disc, or an alternative ending, where it is difficult to decide which one you prefer. It is set in the same time period as the original; the characters behave pretty much as we would expect them to, down to the long walks, the witty conversations, Elizabeth’s poor opinion of Darcy and her strong support of Wickham, but Darcy is a bit more forceful in his attempt at warning Elizabeth against the rogue and this sets in motion a chain of events that slightly alter things but do not derail the overall story where it matters. It also has pretty funny moments. It felt as if this story could have pretty well replaced what actually happens at that point in the original (no, I won’t go into details), and it would have fitted perfectly well. This could well have happened in an alternative P&P universe. Resistive Currents: Karen M Cox I am a fan of Cox’s writing, both her Austenesque stories and novels and also those that stride away from the Austen universe, and this short-story/novella delivers again. This is one of the stories in the collection that I think can be enjoyed by readers who have no particular knowledge of P&P, although Austen’s readers will get a kick out of it. Cox offers us two stories, of two women in the same family, separated by several generations (one a teacher in rural Colorado at the beginning of the XX century, the other her great-granddaughter, in the 1980s, a girl studying engineering at university, a profession still dominated by men) and how their own prejudice towards men whom they think don’t value them or see their worth because they are women causes them to misunderstand and misjudge them. I would have been happy to read a whole novel about these headstrong girls and their beaus, and I’m sure I won’t be alone in this. Something Like Regret: Elizabeth Adams The author explores in detail an episode that is a favourite of many of us who are fans of the BBC series. Yes, I am talking about Lizzy’s visit to Pembury with her aunt and uncle, and her surprise meeting with Darcy (Sorry, no wet shirt here). Adams allows us a peep into Elizabeth’s mind, and we follow her train of thought, her doubts, her regrets, and get to experience first-hand her gradual change of heart. Although this story would not work for those who don’t know P&P, it would easily fit into the novel, down to the direct addresses to her “reader”, and I am sure Austen would have approved. The Last Blind Date: Leigh Dreyer Elizabeth and Darcy are here transported to modern day Oklahoma. Elizabeth is a hardworking student who also waits tables, and Jane and Charlotte are her friends (although we only get snippets of it, their relationship is the stuff or chick lit and they are great together), and Darcy is a heir to a big oil company who has spent much of his life studying abroad. Neither of them are what the other expect at their blind date, and the reasons behind their behaviours are soon evident. One of the shorter stories that could be read independently from the original, particularly recommended to football fans. The Age of Nescience: J. Marie Croft This short-story/novella would again fit into what I’ve referred to as the outtakes of a Blu-ray, or an anniversary luxury edition of P&P with added materials. Here, we get an insight into Elizabeth’s past, her life and experiences before we meet her in P&P, from her first attendance at a ball (at the tender age of fifteen), to her visit to Pemberley, and this allows us to enjoy more of her family life, learn about her dreams as a young girl, her disappointments in love, her interactions with her mother, sisters, and especially her father (we experience both his wit but also his lack of backbone and his unwillingness to challenge his wife and daughters, all in the name of a quiet life), and like her, we gain a greater insight and understanding of how she came to be how she is and why this visit is so momentous for her. Again, a beautifully observed and written story (such attention to language!), and one Austen would have approved of, including the reference to the similarities of the characters and situations to those of Oliver Goldsmith’s The Vicar of Wakefield. A Mate for Life: Christina Boyd In this short-story/summary, we have an elderly Elizabeth talking to her granddaughter —who shares more than a few characteristics with her granny (she’s headstrong and obstinate as well)—and telling her about her love story with Fitzwilliam Darcy. Her granddaughter has found her own Mr Darcy (he’s proud and handsome as well), and the story seems to repeat itself, although thankfully it runs a bit smoother this time. The narration works beautifully as a summary and introduction to the original for those who might not have read it (I’d encourage them to consider reading this story first, perhaps), and although, but its own nature there’s a fair amount of telling, the interaction of Elizabeth with a woman of the new generation, Darcy’s imagined commentary, and the setting and freshness of the scene make this a delightful and perfect story to end the book with. I recommend the collection especially to lovers of Pride and Prejudice, although it is not necessary to be an expert in it (and some of the stories can be read independently from the original), and to those readers who enjoy thinking of what else could have happened or wonder what went on behind the scenes. The writing is superb and I am sure all the fans of the many writers taking part will enjoy the stories and will be happy to discover new writers with similar tastes and interests. I congratulate The Quill Collective and hope they’ll keep coming up with new ways to keep Austen and her characters alive.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2020-02-22 20:46
"Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith - abandoned at 38%
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - Jane Austen,Seth Grahame-Smith,Katherine Kellgren

"Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" was my second read for my "Pride, Prejudice and Pastiches" reading challenge. Unfortunately, it turned out not to be for me. I abandoned it at 38% (a little more than four hours).

 

I was attracted by the wonderful title ( a gift from the author's editor) and the fun movie (which was visually stunning) so I had some hopes that the book would be equally amusing. Sadly, it wasn't.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foGraEVNI0s

The book is a roughly sewn quilt which uses small squares of the Austen original, with all the wit and nuance washed out, to hold together a Georgian zombie story.

 

For this to have been worthwhile, the zombie parts of the book needed to have something fresh and compelling that went beyond the unlikely juxtaposition of genteel Georgian young women, Japanese samurai sword-play and stumbling zombies.

 

What I was offered was a series of splatterfests that were neither funny nor gruesome and a picture of the Bennet sisters as a pack of dagger-wielding, pistol-shooting, throat-slitting, neck-slicing, psychopaths with a lust for weaponry and fond memories of abusive training by a master of the Chinese martial arts.

 

The Austen parts so simplified the people that I found them more horrifying than the zombie scenes. The zombie scenes were shallow and repetitive. Worst of all, Elizabeth Bennet became someone I would cheerfully have seen dismembered with her own sword.

 

Katherine Kellgran does a good job at the narration. Click on the SoundCloud link below to hear a sample.

https://soundcloud.com/audible/pride-and-prejudice-and-zombies
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2020-02-21 16:04
Reading progress update: I've read 16%. zombies - tick, pride and prejudice - not so much
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - Jane Austen,Seth Grahame-Smith,Katherine Kellgren

"Pride And Prejudice And Zombies" is the second book in my "Pride, Prejudice and Pastiches" reading challenge and I'm beginning to think that moving from the well-considered and beautifully written "Longbourn" to a zombie spoof was ill-considered.

 

I was drawn to the book by the movie and scenes like these:

 

 

While the excitingly martial Bennet sisters are as much fun as I thought they'd be, wading through a poor mimicry of Austen rather sets my teeth on edge.

 

I'm going to persevere in the hopes that, as the plot diverges from the original, I can lose myself in the humour a katana-wielding Elizabeth Bennet.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2020-02-03 15:21
Reading progress update: I've read 264 out of 512 pages.
Eligible: A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice - Curtis Sittenfeld

After getting my wife to reread this at last I'm reading it again myself. It's such a fun adaptation.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2020-01-18 12:24
Pride and Prejudice set in the Depression Era with some major parts for minor players.
1932 - Karen M. Cox

I have read several novels, short-stories, and novellas written by Karen M. Cox, many of them variations of Jane Austen’s novels or inspired by them, most recently Find Wonder in All Things, and like that one, 1932 is a new edition of a novel the author published a few years back. As I hadn’t read it before, I was grateful to get an ARC copy, which I freely decided to review.  It is not necessary to have read Pride and Prejudice to enjoy this book, but because in this case I am much more familiar with the original, I can confirm that there is much to enjoy from comparing the —sometimes subtle and at others quite major— differences between the two and I thought the new setting suits it very well.

The story is narrated in the third person mostly from Elizabeth’s point of view, but also at times we see William Darcy’s viewpoint, and we get a much better understanding of how the feelings between them, especially when it comes to Elizabeth, develop. I think the historical period works very well to explain the changed circumstances for the Bennet family, who until then had lived a comfortable life in Chicago, but due to the Depression find themselves in a tight spot when Dr Bennet loses his teaching position at the university and is unable to find a job that will feed the seven mouths under his charge. The whole family gets uprooted to a small farm in rural Kentucky, and the rather desperate circumstances have a deep effect on Elizabeth’s ideas and decisions. Do not worry, there are pride and prejudices aplenty, but there are major changes in respect of the original novel, although I’ll keep my mouth shut so you can discover them yourselves if you are a fan, or enjoy this version without spoilers if you haven’t read P&P before.

The author has a great skill, as I have mentioned before, at making any historical period come to life, and we are immersed into the Thirties in rural Kentucky as we read, without being overwhelmed by lengthy descriptions and tonnes of unnecessary details. Characters behave according to the era and to their social positions, while at the same time remaining faithful to the spirit of the original.

If I had to name one of the things I enjoyed the most, was the increased role played by some of the secondary characters, like the girls aunt and uncle, who offer them their help; Georgiana (whose new version of the story and how that affects Darcy’s character I loved in particular); Fitzwilliam (he’s a sheriff!); and also the subtle changes to some others, like Mrs Bennet, Elizabeth’s mother, who although loud and overbearing at times, also shows more backbone and her true devotion as a mother, which I found endearing. And there are some new characters that I love, but no, I won’t tell you about them.

Are there changes to the main couple? Well, yes, although they also retain the main qualities devoted fans love. Elizabeth is strong and determined, but seems more willing to put other people’s needs (especially her family’s) before her own convictions and is more practical. We also see her try to behave as is expected of her; she doubt sand questions her decisions and wakes to the pleasures of love. (As I’ve often said, I’m not a big fan of sex scenes or erotica but must admit the very early scenes here are quite sweet and funny, and they are far from extreme or too graphic, but I thought I’d better warn you). Darcy shows his pride and his prejudices too, especially at the beginning of the novel, and he finds it difficult to fully trust Elizabeth, although we get to understand why as the story advances.  I don’t want to reveal too many details of the plot, especially where it differs from the original, but I should mention that we do get to see more of the relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy, rather than only the early period of courtship, in this version.

Do not worry, we still have the witty dialogue, a baddy true to form, and there is an action scene that sets many things in motion and I thoroughly enjoyed. The writing flows easily, and it manages to plunge readers into the subtleties of the minds of the characters whilst at the same time sharing with them the landscapes and the settings. And yes, there is a happy ending.

Here, a taster of the writing, but, as usual, I’d recommend readers to check a sample to see what they think:

Here, we have the couple conversing.

“You seem to have a great faith in your judgement.”

“I suppose I do. I believe I’ve lived a sufficient amount of time and seen enough of the world to earn that confidence.”

“So, you’re infallible?”

“Of course not. That would be impossible for anyone.”

“I see.”

“But I do make it a priority to weigh my decisions carefully. For example, I didn’t build Pemberley by following the latest fads in agriculture without thinking them through.”

“My understanding was that you didn’t build Pemberley. It was left to you, was it not?”

I recommend this novel to lovers of classical or historical romance, especially those fond of Jane Austen, and to anybody who enjoys a well-written story full of compelling characters. Fans of the author won’t be disappointed, and I was particularly touched by her dedication of the novel to her grandmothers, women who had lived through that historical period and had plenty to say and lots to teach future generations. And I’m sure Austen would approve.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?