15 May 2010

Really Great Read

I finished Dearest Cousin Jane. It was really good! It's fun to read something with more of a historical feeling. A nice departure.

12 April 2010

A Change of Pace

I've put aside all the Jane Austen sequels for now to delve into something a little more 'true'. I picked this up at my favorite bookstore chain. It is so easy to get into, every chapter is from a different character's point of view, and it lends insight (however fictionalized or supposed) into the life of Jane Austen herself. This book centers around Jane's cousin Eliza (that Frenchified minx), and her family life. Thoroughly engaging!

10 February 2010

Me & Mr. Darcy

I thought this looked like a fun book. Thank you, Paperbackswap.com for providing me with super cheap way to amass tons of books!

This book, however, is less Jane Austen and more Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict. Which I hated. Emily goes on a Jane Austen tour of England and every time she's tipsy, sleepy, or high, she runs into Mr. Darcy. She's finding he might not be the man of her dreams because he is serious, chivalrous, doesn't appreciate her immodesty, and wouldn't think to dishonor her like she wants him to. Emily has a foul mouth and is pretty unlikeable. The author tries to use frat boy humor to portray a funny anecdote or scene, but I'm not finding it funny at all. Not to mention (although I will) the author portrays a bus full of mid-fifties women as all being white-haired and ancient. My mother is neither white-haired, nor ancient, and she would be a good deal more fun on a Jane Austen Tour (so, what do you say, mom?) than Emily.

This story (aside from Emily's hallucinations) is a thinly veiled 'modern adaptation' of Pride and Prejudice. I have to finish, and so far I'm not liking it, but I'll let you know when I'm all done what the final verdict is.

Why do so many authors think that women who love Jane Austen would want to read a book that Austen herself would find scandalous and smutty?

No, thank you.

28 January 2010

Lost in Austen

Not to be confused with the British mini-series, this book is reminiscent of the 'choose your own adventure' books from my childhood. The main story follows Pride and Prejudice with you in the place of Elizabeth Bennet. The choices you are given at the end of each segment, however, allows you to branch into some of the story lines of all of Jane Austen's other novels. OCD that I am, I keep a detailed journal as I work through this book. I want to make sure I read every path. Choose the wrong path (ie, marry Mr. Collins, Wickham, Willoughby, or even devoted Mr. Knightley) and you could be killed, jailed for murder, disfigured, etc. One path even crosses you with none other than Tom Lefroy! This book adheres strictly to all of Miss Austen's works and is thoroughly enjoyable. I highly recommend!

05 September 2009

I'm working on it

I'm still working my way through Old Friends and New Fancies. It is kind of fun how all the 'leftover' characters from Miss Jane's works have found their way to Bath and are enjoying each other's company. This first ever sequel, being written in 1913, is well written in the style of Jane Austen without having modern overtures flung upon it.

13 August 2009

Let's get on with some new (old) material

I picked up this little cutie in the bargain section at Barnes & Noble. This is the very first sequel written of Miss Jane's works. It was first published in 1913. I only trust women to carry on her work. It only makes sense that a woman and only a woman is capable of understanding Jane through and through. And I'm looking forward to some writing that took place before things got all liberated and risque*.
*Tom Jones was written by a man, don't you know.

10 August 2009

Thoughts on Mr. Darcy, Vampyre


We know from the title about Darcy's, erm, condition. Elizabeth, however, does not find out about it until more than 200 pages in. Dangerous situations are barely hinted at and always avoided with little consequence. Darcy is a conscientious vampyre who does not drink human blood, but we are never told exactly how he sustains himself. At one point we are led to believe he can transform into a bat, but that idea is barely explored - if at all. Darcy is transformed in a Edward-esque way, resulting from a plague in the 1500's. Elizabeth encounters numerous vampyres, with none but one being tempted by her blood in the slightest. The oldest vamp of all finally captures her to 'have' her first, a la Braveheart, as all vampyre wives are. But Darcy is able to fend him off with no violence when Elizabeth's love protects him (Harry Potter?), and touching Darcy's skin burns the old bat. Just when they are about to throw caution to the wind, Darcy is told there is a way to reverse his curse. The last chapter takes us to an underground petrified forest where reading an inscription brings about a score of Indiana Jones-like booby traps, and as Darcy and Elizabeth cling together about to drown, the water recedes and he is human again enjoying his first sunrise in over 100 years. I all but lost sight that this was 'our Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet' except for their names. The entire story takes us from Paris ('underground' vampyres) to Draculish castle in the Alps (feared vampyres and werewolves) to Venice (revered vampyres). Grange dedicated this tale to Catherine Morland from Austin's own Northanger Abbey who loved a good gothic novel. This novel, I felt, was not gothic enough to be touted as a vampire tale. I read it in 2 days, flying through it, hoping to get to the good part. I fault this book with being too tame. Grange is brilliant with the diaries of the Austin men, but this venture disappointed.