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Vanity and Vexation: A Novel of Pride and Prejudice [Hardcover]

Kate Fenton
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 19.99
Price: 19.51 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; 1 edition (4 Feb 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031232801X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312328016
  • Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 21.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,951,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Vanity and Vexation A clever and cunning modern day retelling of the adored Jane Austen novel"Tall, dark, and arrogantly handsome---not to mention distinguished, powerful, and rolling in money. Mr. Darcy? No, that's just the woman director of Pride and Prejudice," reports Nicholas Llewellyn Bevan, impoverished novelist and occasional (reluctant) journalist, when a TV production company trundles into his sleepy North ... Full description

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Naughty... 5 Aug 2009
It's a bit naughty to put a new name on an old book, especially when fans are always looking for a bit more KF. I read it a long time ago, twice. It's great. If you haven't read it as Lions & Licorice, enjoy!
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24 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vexations & Liquorice 6 Oct 2004
By A Customer
I was delighted to find a new Kate Fenton book, but then realised that I'd read it before as 'Lions and Liquorice'. It was worth a second read. Kate Fenton's heroes & heroines are never quite 'the norm', not the tall dark & handsome heroes and willowy blonde heroines, and the more appealing for that.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bridget Jones's Diary Lovers! Enjoy this Inverted Version of Pride and Prejudice 16 Jan 2005
By Meredith - Published on Amazon.com
This was such a fun book to read. It is the story of "Pride and Prejudice" in our time period. So if you are looking for a book that carries on the Regency style period and Jane Austen's style of writing this is not it! I recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed watching or reading Bridget Jones's Diary. It is similar to BJD in the language mostly. One, the author uses profanity occasionally and Two, some words or phrases may be hard to understand if you are not British or in this case Welsh.

The author did a fantastic job of not only bringing Pride and Prejudice to the 21st Century but also inverting all the character's genders. Can you imagine the proud, arrogant Mr. Darcy as a woman? You will find character traits of Elizabeth Bennet in the mystery thriller novelist Nick Bevan and Mr. Darcy with film director Mary Hamilton. Also it is hilarious to spot others like Lady Catherine and Mrs. Bennet in the opposite gender roles.

This book will test your knowledge of "Pride and Prejudice" with its many parallels. You can compare what you know from "Pride and Prejudice" and discover that the author used it and reversed it in her story.

It was a wonderful read, I enjoyed the author's intelligent writing. I personally wish she did not include profanity but I wasn't turned off by the use of it. Nevertheless, it was a very funny, entertaining, and intelligent story of "Pride and Prejudice" in the 21st Century with the genders switched.
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars like Chinese take-out; good at first, but you're soon hungry 11 Feb 2005
By Brenda Jo Mengeling - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Vanity and Vexation reads very quickly. I read it in a day while home with a cold. The dialog is glib and sometimes witty and things sail along pretty well, but there are some aspects that leave one feeling flat when all is said and done. I finished the book, with a "that's it?" feeling.

The transposition of the Pride and Prejudice plot and characters to 20th century Yorkshire worked for me. The Bennet contingent consists of the town locals, and the Darcy/Bingley group are the film company and cast who are in town to shoot the outdoor location shots for a television remake of P&P. Kate Fenton reverses the sexes of all the major characters. This worked for some but not for others. Mr. and Mrs. Bennet become the owners of the pub in the Yorkshire town. Bernard is behind the bar, not too swift, sometimes annoying, and lacking in tact. Sarah his wife runs the attached restaurant which serves gourmet, not pub, food. She is very sharp and isn't above making fun of her husband. I had no problem with them, nor with the Bingley sisters becoming the two lead actors in the film. Caroline Bingley's character becoming a narcissistic actor who thinks no one is as clever or attractive as he is, is quite good. Even Charles Bingley becoming Candia, the beautiful, flighty, but good tempered lead actress of the film was a successful switch.

The Darcy-Elizabeth reversals were a problem. Darcy becomes Mary, the film's director, and Elizabeth is Nick, a critically acclaimed, but not best-selling, novelist. Fenton tries to swing the Darcy pride onto Mary while keeping her likable enough to accept as the hero, and I didn't buy it. Mary is driven as a director for her art by her ambition, and that is why she treats people like dirt, but yet that's OK because it was for her art. Well, it wasn't OK; she was just a pain, and not even an interesting pain; nor does she ever see the light and mend her ways as Austen did to Darcy. Nick, could have been a genius in the newspaper biz, but he left for a more relaxed life as an author. He's funny and sharp-witted, but but basically just wants to drink with his mates and write enough to stay afloat. How Mary and Nick are ever supposed to be interested in each other as a couple I could never figure out. There's no chemistry, I mean zero chemistry, between them. And therein lay the fatal flaw of the book for me. Fenton's writing was fine, her minor characterizations were fun, and the Charles Bingley/Jane romance worked in Fenton's hands, but the Elizabeth/Darcy romance was a bust.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Clever Twist 29 Aug 2004
By Ellen Kay - Published on Amazon.com
"Vanity and Vexation" is not a sequel to "Pride and Prejudice" but rather a clever and entertaining retelling of some of the plot elements of that story with a very definite 21st century twist. Though clearly any reader who is familiar with Jane Austen's novel will get a kick out of figuring out how Kate Fenton has produced her own unique version, that should not deter others from reading it. It is a story that can be enjoyed on many different levels.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a find! 2 July 2004
By Rosalind R. Gordon - Published on Amazon.com
This is a really clever page turner. Apparently, it was written for the intelligent Jane Austen fan, who appreciates a modern, witty take on a beloved story. It is written with tongue in cheek, but is respectful of the primary source. Kate Fenton, who has written other good books that were published in England, has written a story with wit, surprises and an appreciation of Jane Austen for modern readers. I loved it!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Same as Lions and Liquorice 3 July 2004
By netherfield - Published on Amazon.com
I enjoyed this book, but be forewarned, it is the same book that was published before as 'Lions and Liquorice' in the UK. I had ordered in a few years ago from amazon.uk
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