Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ballatrina's Books: Pride and Prejudice

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Author: Jane Austen
Started: 15-June-09
Finished: 28-July-09

Oh my goodness. I loved this book! Well, that was obvious from the time I brought it, but it exceeded my expectations! (ETA - turns out this post if more of a mini-essay, so read on if you have time, but you've been warned! Or you can just shoot down to my overall opinion at the end...)

The olde-english language was hard to get at first, and I found myself re-reading sentences and 'translating' them into today's language just to get my head around what was going on sometimes, but I got used to it after a while. It was strange that sometimes words were missed out - sentences like ' in the ------ shire' are littered throughout, but it was easy to overlook them. It would be interesting to find out why they were there though, and if they are in other editions as well - maybe it was that the first person to type it up couldn't read Jane's handwriting???

...I get lost in the language, words like "Thither. Mischance. Felicity." I'm always in agony over whether Elizabeth and Mr Darcy are really going to get together. Ah! Read it. I know you'll love it!
- Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan, 'You've Got Mail')

After reading the first chapter, I immediately said that Mr Bennet was my favourite character, and that didn't change at all. Some of his quotes had me laughing out loud, which is always a good sign. He's so grounded in reality, but still has a fantastic sense of humor about everything - I suppose you would need it to live with Mrs Bennet. She's such a pain! Its nice that she cares about her daughters so much to get them married off, but the extent that she goes to, to set people up, is a little much. And she always blew things out of proportion, the small things became such a big deal. And really, don't get me started on Lydia, talk about rubbing everyone's noses in the fact that she was the first one married! Her antics just about made me give up on the book a few times, she was that annoying.

But enough of the bad stuff. I loved the relationship between Jane and Elizabeth - it was good that they had somewhere to escape to, to talk about the serious stuff that the rest of the family wasn't taking so seriously. Mr Bingley sounds like a bit of a pushover, but he and Jane are still the perfect pair. As for the main two, I spent most of the book figuring out which one was proud and which one was prejudice - by the end i'd figured Mr Darcy was the former and Elizabeth was the latter, but i'm sure that's open to interpretation, as they each seem to flip around between them a bit. I was taken back a little the first time that Mr Darcy proposed, as it seemed so out of the blue, but that's about the time that he started growing on me, so my feelings changed in sync with Elizabeth's. And i'm a sucker for a happy ending, so I was 'awww'-ing by the end of it - now to find my 'Mr Darcy'! :)

(This must be the first book that i've ever gotten into this much!)

Overall opinion

A brilliant book - if you haven't read it yet, highly recommended. Jane Austen is a talented writer, with humor and intelligence beyond her time - if not for the old language and society setting, it could have been written in the last decade with the same appeal.

Next will be to watch the movies (the loooooong BBC version and the newer 'Hollywood' version) to compare them to the book! And, of course, to read some more Jane Austen classics - Sense and Sensibility perhaps? [ETA - watched the BBC version on the weekend, just as brilliant as I remember! The only difference I noticed to the book was that they did a wedding scene at the end.]

~Happy reading!~

PS - An update on my new knitting book that I ordered: sadly it's out of stock! I ordered it from a discount catalogue, so they won't be getting any more in. I will have to keep an eye out for it elsewhere.


Sarah, The New Girl said...

As soon as I saw the title of your post I thought of the Meg Ryan quote!!! Hilarious and endearing move :) And the book! I totally agree- A brilliant book!

2BSewing: said...

DH & I just finish watching the BBC movie version with Colin Furth. Now, I need to pull my book out and get some summer reading done. We'll see if I can get through the olde-english language. ;)

BTW, I've started reading the Shack. I know you've posted a review on your blog...but I'm holding off from reading it until I finish the book. Great reading!

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