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Customer Review

154 of 171 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Gloom comes to Austen fans, 22 Nov. 2011
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This review is from: Death Comes to Pemberley (Hardcover)
I am always a bit dubious about the 'hommage' to a successful writer--and Austen has suffered more than most in this respect--but I do enjoy the writing of PD James usually, and so thought 'Death Comes to Pemberley' might be a delightful exception to this general grim rule that imitators never prosper.

Sadly, no. No wit, no social commentary, no sparkling dialogue, no self-examination. The characters were unrecognisable, and there was no sense of their development. This book at times reads only like a badly-written precis of the original--the epilogue, especially, resembled a re-hash of Darcy's previous thoughts about his courtship--would he really be obsessing about this six years in the future? It is hard to imagine that anyone would read this if they were not familiar with Austen, so why tediously re-tell the original plot (unless of course it is a space-filler--the thought did cross my mind).

I was sadly disappointed by this book. As a crime novel it was predictable and dull, as an Austen tribute clumsy and unsophisticated. I find it hard to believe the ecstatic reviewers here actually read the same text as I did. Please, gentle reader, don't be fooled. Save your money and buy one of James's other (excellent books). Oh that the shades of Pemberley should be thus polluted!
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Showing 1-10 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 2 Jan 2012 09:23:12 GMT
Brilliant review;shan't bother posting one of my own as this says it all.

Posted on 3 Jan 2012 02:12:18 GMT
A Watson says:
Thank you for putting into words exactly how I felt about this book. I am doubly annoyed because my daughter spent her hard earned money on this as a Christmas present for me. I feel like asking Ms James to reimburse her. My only consolation in all this is that it has not dented my love of the original. It will, however, stop me buying or reading any more of Ms James's work.

Posted on 10 Jan 2012 02:29:29 GMT
Last edited by the author on 10 Jan 2012 02:30:45 GMT
NK says:
Death Comes to Pemberley

Thank you for your review. Particularly enjoyed your Lady Catherine de Burgh ending - and that more than anything else, was effective in turning me away from this book.

Posted on 16 Jan 2012 02:40:13 GMT
Kat Catte says:
Agree with every single word. This is neither Jane Austen nor P.D.James. Writing is poor, characters are flat and there is at least one anachronism, not to mention some highly unlikely scenarios. Who could, or would, gallop a horse through a wood on a pitch black night? Money down the drain.

Posted on 21 Jan 2012 16:40:18 GMT
I am thankful I didn't purchase the book but rather got it from the lending library. I looked forward to a cozy Friday night reading, but I couldn't get past the preface - it was so artificial - even the writing style was more ornate than Jane Austen's. I don't know what possessed her to write it!!! I honestly don't know how it made it to the number one selling novel in Canada!!!! (I loved her detective books!)

Posted on 10 Feb 2012 13:40:46 GMT
A Shields says:
Excellent review, tallies with my own down to the last line - which I exclaimed frequently whilst reading this travesty.

Posted on 19 Jul 2012 21:51:34 BDT
Leonard says:
Dull book, rather an insult to Austen.

Posted on 19 Jul 2012 21:51:35 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 19 Jul 2012 21:52:51 BDT]

Posted on 7 Aug 2012 07:55:15 BDT
Marham says:
I absolutely agree! Excellent review of a very disappointing book.

Posted on 18 Aug 2012 14:21:02 BDT
Thank you for your perfectly phrased review. I am seriously annoyed with myself that I picked this up idly in the supermarket before checking the reviews. I could have saved myself not only the cost of the book but the loss of faith in P D James, an author whose books I normally enjoy.

However, I can at least save myself some time by consigning it to the charity shop pile now, rather than reading on past page 26, the point at which I threw the book at the wall and frightened the cat. Did P D James REALLY write this tosh?
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