Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austin

This is a classic.
It deserves to be a classic.
That does not make it exciting.

Perhaps it was my mood while reading... or perhaps I've just read too many books from the time period in too short a span... but I had a difficult time digging into this one.

If I were doing a study on manners, protocol, and society from that time period, this book would be my reference guide. As far as a fun filled story... I struggled at times to keep going. The opening was rather boring, very little occured to draw the reader in other than some interesting conversation. Then in the middle, the intrigue just didn't intrigue me. I'd never seen the movie but I can spot a liar in both book and film pretty quickly... so all of the drama around poor Mr. Darcy was more irritating to me than anything else. I mean, the poor guy, he deserved way better than he ended up with.

I guess my difficulty with this book begins with the fact that I'm a non-romantic woman. I'm also incredibly self reliant and even though I've read tons of books from this time period... I still can't figure out what these people did with their lives to make a living, I assume it's just land ownership but none of them seems to contribute anything! So you take that and apply my opinion that each of the girls in this book needed a severe reality check and a firm slap out of their rose petal glasses and maybe I was just a big angsty while reading. The men were complete mysteries who you never really got to know other than through the perceptions of the sisters... and since they seemed so warped to me, the men were alien.

I just felt bad for Mr. Darcy. I really wanted him to run off and find a decent woman. True the book picks up a bit in the middle and then through the ending, where everyone rides off into the sunset on their white horses to their fairyland castles full of rainbows and unicorns and everyone lives happily ever after and they all eat marshmellow fluff and candy corn for every meal


Anonymous said...

What shall I say first… I know how silly I look but you can laugh with me.

Having first seen the picture of two children wearing foam hats—appeared to be then the birthday party hats or something—I naturally assumed they are your kids, based on the profile page, perhaps evening gathering for book reading; your being book reviewer, it’s more than a plausible scene anyone who visited your house could have found. And I remember I was a little then intrigued somehow; I don’t know exactly what made me feel so or how. It’s the costume I guess. The caps. The silver foam caps they were wearing, which might have been typical in the middle of a birthday party or simply a symbol of childish fun before entering fictional worlds.

Now that I am convinced, well, we will have to see though, that I solved the mystery. Hurray! Why am I making a fuss, silly of me. The striking coincidence, perhaps. See, by what chance could I have dreamt to one day find out something contrary to what I have taken it for a truth without doubt or questioning thus settled as a factual element, and have never bothered to further acquire any proof thereof but turned out to be nothing further than truth, of course, not that it’s such a big deal, I mean, what do I know? How many things we just assumed, and still does and will in the course of life, and never know it’s wrong assumption that doomed to be false conclusion, even unto the last day of life? Well I kind of seem to make a huge statement out of my silly discovery though. But it felt like I did something great(?) Of course now I am thinking about that, if it were one of your family photos, probably you would have captioned that. Anyway I am excited. What do you know? Recently I rent a DVD titled “the sign”. Now your turn to guess what I found in it. I am sure I wasn’t mistaken. Correct me if wrong. With the caption reading “Nice Theory”, I am inquisitive now. By the way I didn’t find the movie very entertaining though. If you like the movie, please pardon me for saying that. No I did not, honestly. It’s interesting, but not that exciting.

Now as for Pride and Prejudice, I am sorry, Kristen, for your counterproductive experience with Jane Austen. Never have past a few pages of her books, and pretty sure that I’d be no more interested in the story or characters therein than you were, what can I say? But I concur that I might have found the same dilemma had I read it through, at least in the story line. So usually I suggest others who didn’t find Austen interesting to try to get acquainted with her voice rather than the story. Jane Austen’s cynical and masculine voice, which is true essence of her strength in my perspective, enchantingly sheer contrast to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s: unapologetic, unadorned, somewhat stiff, that is, more room for edit, yet reflecting relentlessly natural beauty while his dazzling prose yet artificially polished to near perfection like modern skyscrapers.

By the way I’m more excited in waiting for your next classic; it’s far entertaining than any other genre when you mercilessly cracked them on the head. :)

Ravenskya said...

Ahh so many questions to respond to.

Yes the picture is from "Signs" which I find to be a fairly mindless but kind of fun popcorn flick that tried a little to hard to be a moving film. I didn't care for the forced emotion, but I did love the characters in the movie.

Which should answer your question in regards to Jane Austin... my reading focal point is always character... something in my brain is willing to buy into the most far-fetched of notions provided that I belive in the person it is happening to. Perhaps it's my theater background, could be the many film classes and screenwriting groups I've attended, but character is my focus.

I agree with you that this book has a fantastic voice and that Austin has a beautiful way with words. Unfortunately the book was populated by people who all felt like they needed a good boot in the ass and a hard core reality check. Perhaps it was the time frame, or perhaps Ms. Austin was just generally surrounded by flakey snobs but even the characters that we were supposed to like were weepy, shallow, and obnoxious.

As for my kids... I don't put their pics on the internet... but they are two little boys who have a penchant for nudity and costuming. The predominant costume in our house is a pair of undies, a batman cape, a darth vade mask, a pair of cowboy boots, and spiderman gloves.

Anonymous said...

So I was shooting fishes in the barrel. Yes the two children were adorable indeed. And I think the intrigue came when I couldn’t be quite sure if there were two boys in it, I now realize. The cap scene funny and memorable along with the sign-carved fields. In fact that reminded me of Steven Spielberg’s Artificial Intelligence and other alien movies, I mean other than E.T. I wonder why E.T. was so popular back then. A lot of things just popped up that electrify me to talk of. If you didn’t watch A.I. it’s worth I would say. There are silly stuffs of course in it but the child actor’s performance nearly knocked me out.

By the way I came to a conclusion that it’s good of you to stand in depth of horror books and fight(?) in the blood splattered crime scenes, yes I can tell you that, which looked at first a downside. The rationale is like this. As long as you take on the bloody fields of thriller, it would rid me of trouble wading through the muddy trench of the horrible and got hit by heart attack; all suffice to hear them second-handedly from you. Too selfish of me. :)

About Austen I guess the story revolves the upper class of Britain sitting on family wealth or royal titles, those who worry the boredom of day more than what to eat and how to make sure of it. I can’t pick which drama adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, for none of them seemed up to my expectation like Emma with Kate Beckinsale. Worth a try, though, I might. Of course, unlike books, movies rarely do books justice, however, with its innate default, it sometimes makes it quite possible for viewers to take a liking as a whole, including me, mainly resulting from outrageous deviation from the original story by cuts and trims, and then beautification that would eventually lead to complete distortion. Well people still love it, don’t they?

Ravenskya said...

My mom always worried about my love of horror... my response to her has been the same over the years.

Horror makes me feel better about my life. I mean:

Kids failing in school? At least they arent being eaten by Zombies.

Lose your job? At least aliens havent kidnapped you for clinical testing

Have a case of the sniffles? Well just be glad there isn't a serial killer in your closet.

There is a lot of wonderful horror out there, and there is a TON of garbage. The key things that I'm looking for in a good horror novel are characters... I need some that are fodder but at least one that I want to root for. Then I need something nasty - Aliens, Ghosties, Serial killers, werewolves, I don't care as long as they are threatening. I don't care if the ending is happy or sad, but I demand that it makes sense with everything else.

Anonymous said...

Inconceivable. Sigh… I mean it’s an angle the existence of which I wasn’t able to conceive, I must say. Yes I admit that appears better than negativism.