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Good idea, poorly executed
on 7 October 2009
There are so many issues with this novel I hardly know where to start... but I will try in order to save others from this poor piece of work.
There can be only one Miss Austen; everything else is poor pastiche. Although the idea of a diary written by Mr Darcy is one that has great promise, it must follow that if one takes on such an endeavour, then one must execute it in the tone and manner of the time. Instead the author has interspersed the dialogue copied from Miss Austen's work, scattered in amongst it, a more modern tone of voice. Thus the voice changes mid-flow, as if Mr Darcy is more of a Jekyll and Hyde character than the gentleman we all know so well.
The other challenge for the author must have been the format itself. A diary, an novel in epistolary format, rarely contains dialogue. Who writes entire pages of dialoges in their diary? 'He told me that...' would seem a more adequate way of writing in one's journal.
There are factual mishaps as well; for example, the author has Mr Darcy looking to replace Mr Wickham Sr, a full three years after his departure from this earth. Not only would there have been no shades at Pemberley for Elizabeth to pollute had Mr Darcy waited thus long, but it would also not be in his character to wish for the delay.
The author seems to like to explain for the more intellectually challenged readers of P&P what it was about Elizabeth that Darcy found so attractive, and to make clear the etiquette of the time in doing so. *yawn* Trust the readers with some intelligence, please, Ms Grange.
Immediately after reading this, I wondered if Miss Austen was spinning in her grave at such an unabashed effort to milk her intellect for personal gain (since there is little or no creativity on behalf of Ms Grange in this effort), but I have come to the conclusion that, as usual, she would not. Rather, she would be diverted at the vanity of Ms Grange, and all those of us who spent money to read this novel.
Nice try, Ms Grange, no cigar.