Thursday, 12 January 2012

Review: Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

note the amazing description at the top
"Mom's fishing for husbands-
But the girls are hunting for love"
so Predatory!
I needed to use some extracts from Pride and Prejudice in my dissertation (the bit about Lydia being lost forever), so I cashed in some Waterstones points for the book, after not being able to believe that I don't already own it. So, typically, I re-read Pride and Prejudice AGAIN, instead of actually spending time on my dissertation. And I have to say, it is literary perfection. The  characters are wonderfully ridiculous, and Elizabeth's family fantastically cringe. I love Mr. Bennet's enjoyment of ridiculous people, and his sly sarcasm gives me major LOLs. I wish I could be friends with him and Lizzie, and sit back and laugh at all the silly busybodies, because I'm cool like that.

I love how the book is written; Austen's style is so flowing and carefully constructed. I love how everything is shown to the reader, rather than told, and how it allows you to work out the intricacies of each character for yourself, and it feels like you know them all better for it. Plus, because you are shown their thoughts, it helps to expose the hypocrisy of their behaviour, and how they are so often deceiving and deluding themselves. Plus, I really like how there is a balance of character driven plot, and the tiniest push from convenience (like the trip to Derbyshire is oh-so-nice coincidence, and exceedingly good timing, but then Darcy totally owns that whole awkward, I proposed and you rejected me, your mean words cut me deep and I am a changed man thing, and I am like yes, fall in love with him already!).

I swear this dance scene is the best part of the movie
Jane Austen manages to make the most normal everyday events seem totally super important, which makes sense, because those are the things that matter to everyday people. Like who you marry, money worries, and how your friends and neighbours perceive you, and your worries about what a silly tart your sister is.

Bit of a side note, because it's not actually about the book, but I really like the different films/tv series that come out of this book, and there is massive competition in my head for who looks like what actor who portrayed them based on the yay-ness of their performance. So, I think I would have, Jennifer Ehle from the BBC 1995 version as Elizabeth, both Colin Firth and Matthew MacFitty-I-mean-Macfadyen alternating as Darcy, depending on the scene, Lydia as played by Julia Sawalha, and the majority of the other cast members from the 2005 version, mostly because I am snobby and pick the better-looking, more Hollywood cast.

what the devil are they looking at?

And another side note; get a load of the image of the book cover I found. I seriously can't believe that this got approved as a cover. I never thought of either Lizzie or Darcy to be big wearers of pink, and if they are, then I'm not sure I want to be friends with either of them.

There is only one thing that I don't like about this book.... ok, that's a lie, there's not one thing that I can think of that I don't like. I mean, it doesn't have a car chase, or magic, or an Elvis impersonator, but then it really doesn't need those things, and they would ruin this little chunk of perfection where they may improve some other chunk of non-perfection. Maybe I just want to think of something wrong with it because I am so annoyed that I can't actually be Mr. Bennet's friend and that I didn't come up with the phrases "earth-shattering Janeaustegasm", or "George Wickham is a cock-blocking braggadouche of startling proportions" (which are part of a loltastic review here that makes me want to force everyone into reading this book for their own good).

Oh, I'm gonna have to just say it if I can't find anything wrong with it by the end of this sentence... nope, ok. Pride and Prejudice is perfect. 10!!!

1 comment:

  1. When I went to college, 20 or so years ago, we did not have to read P & P. It was pretty roundly dismissed as "women's fiction" and my professor said it wasn't "real" literature. It didn't deal with the "big" issues of life and was just a "small" novel. More important as a kind of snapshot of that time than anything. So, I didn't read this book until a few years ago. I just loved it and this is a book that I just can't get the characters out of my mind. I'm actually looking forward to rereading it soon.


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