- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Headline Review; New Ed edition (15 May 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 075533146X
- ISBN-13: 978-0755331468
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.6 x 19.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 2,333 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 960,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Pride and Prejudice Paperback – 15 May 2006
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From the youthful energy of Northanger Abbey to the subtle art of Persuasion, these works reveal the breadth and artistry of one of the most beloved novelists of all time. Now, these timeless novels of manners, morals, and love have been beautifully repackaged to appeal to a new generation of readers. A strikingly designed collection, featuring new introductions as well as reading group guides.
Perhaps her best-loved, certainly her most well-known book, Pride and Prejudice is the classic romantic comedy.See all Product description
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This is such a well-known story and has been made into films and television series so many times that you'd think that reading it would be a yawn. On the contrary, it is subtle and charming and wise and thoroughly enjoyable, in my opinion Jane Austen's greatest novel. How much I'd have missed if I had simply watched this on tv! One really understands why Elizabeth and Jane's embarrassing relatives - their parents and siblings, were such a drawback to making a good marriage, as well as why their father's conduct was a reprehensible as their foolish mother's. What I loved was the realism - the explicit way in which women recognised that their only route to a secure and comfortable life was to marry the right man, and that actually falling in love was an optional extra. Elizabeth's plain friend, Charlotte, trades herself off to a foolish man whom she does not love in order to have a home and family and her painful predicament is completely understandable. Elizabeth is determined not to marry without love. Will she succeed? She learns many lessons in her journey to happiness, as does Darcy, and this is what gives the plot its movement forward. A lovely book!
But to play hard and fast with the material, add dialogue bearing no resemblance to the original, and omit key speeches (I utterly concur with Angela Lovelace's comments on the muffed proposal speech - bravo Angela), when the source material is so superlative, is nothing short of a sacrilege. I know Hollywood took liberties with the plot in the old 40's film adaptation. You could get away with it then. I could even forgive the liberties taken, if the BBC had had less time to adapt the novel. But they had THREE HOURS! They could have got pretty much the entire novel in. Instead, we get filler.
Never been so disappointed in all my life. I would suggest Austen fans seek out the American Radio Adaptations of P&P. Shorter, but superior (available on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com, if you're wondering. They are performed live and are a lot of fun. Miriam Margoles doubles as Mrs Bennett and Lady Catherine and has me in stitches. IBSN 978-1580813594. There is another U.S. version available, but harder to track down).
Also the BBC Radio Adaptations of Mansfield Park - both relatively recent - are worth checking out. They prove the job can be done perfectly well if the source material is given the respect it deserves.
Firstly, I have to admit, Austen's writing style and narrative of events has a really nice tone, and offers a broad perspective. Because said narrator is impartial to the transpiring events, one can experience the book broadly, and develop personal opinions of each character, which I really enjoy doing. Furthermore, having a narrator like this makes it so that one can feel as though they are watching the story through a present - but quiet and impartial - character's mind's eye, which really helps to bring the story to life.
Next, I wasn't expecting I would say this, yet I am: Jane Austen is really funny. Frankly, I didn't expect to get the jokes interjected into this book, for they are from a differing era to my own, yet I found myself laughing along with some of the witty comments inserted into the story.
However, I would say there are too many sub-plots. Granted, they all tie together at the end, yet I would have preferred it if the book focussed plainly on Elizabeth rather than Elizabeth and every one she's ever known. I found myself wishing the book would circle back around to Elizabeth and Darcy, but sometimes there were some rather big gaps away from the main plot line, which bored me quite a bit.
In comparison, I did really like the characters. Elizabeth is really nice to read about, for she is unlike all of her friends and sisters, and decides it is not a man she needs to live. Also, she likes reading, so what really is there to dislike?
Likewise, Darcy is really fun to read about. I love it when a character is so universally hated, only for the truth to dub them all wrong for prejudicing said character in such a way. This is exactly how it worked for Darcy, and I really loved it. Also, the switch between good/bad Darcy is really sudden, yet really natural, further accentuating the poor lighting the characters and the reader have seen Darcy's personality in, perceiving him not as the man he is, but instead the man he appears to be. In turn, this also offers a good message - do not prejudice! You could be prematurely judging the love of your life!
Overall, I really enjoyed this book, but did - unfortunately - feel as though the pacing was rather slow. There were moments when I found myself feeling rather bored, for the pace had hardly furthered, yet, granted, there were moments n whcih I was fully enticed by the novel. Thus, I awarded it 4/5 stars.
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