Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

Ohhhhhh, Pride and Prejudice. This is a book that many of my trusted friends have been obsessed with for many many years, and which I have avoided like the plague because all I ever hear about it is how sexy Colin Firth is. Which, I mean, he totally is, that’s not in question, but I wasn’t too keen on a book whose primary lure is the attractiveness of an actor. I knew there was more to it, but I just wasn’t that interested.

But then I found it for cheaps at Mac’s Backs, and I told myself I was going to sit down and finally read it. And I did. Last January. Side note: I started trying to read this last January. I got married four months before that. I have been attempting to finish this book for most of my marriage. That’s intense.

And so I read through about half the book over the course of six months, then decided I couldn’t remember most of it and started over, and then I read more than half the book in a month but got utterly sick of it right around the point when Darcy gives Elizabeth the letter, and so I moved on to more delightful pursuits. Then this February I downloaded the Kindle app for my phone and tried P&P as an e-book, but I couldn’t be arsed to load it up to read. So THEN I found it for the OverDrive app for my phone as an audiobook, and I forced myself to listen to it last week.

It turns out that Pride and Prejudice is quite good.

I had the same troubles with the audiobook that I did with the print version, namely that if Mrs. Bennett and Mr. Collins wanted to run off and be batshit crazy together I don’t think anyone could complain, and maybe we could send Lady de Bourgh over to judge them. I absolutely hated these characters, but of course I imagine I’m not supposed to like them. I also, having gotten to Darcy’s letter, was not a fan of The Darcy, which is supposed to be the draw, right, and I could not imagine how Austen was going to make Darcy sympathetic in a couple hundred more pages.

And yet, she did. I am definitely more in the Jane and Bingley camp, but by the end of the book I was like, “That Darcy isn’t so terrible after all, is he? I do so hope that those two crazy kids work it out.” Darn you Jane Austen!

Aside from the ‘shipping, I was actually most interested in the culture of Longbourn and environs, as I have not read too deeply in or about this time period. I was intrigued by the particulars of politeness and society and how incredibly scandalous pretty much every little thing seemed to be. And with the characters, I loved how Austen was able to make me hate the sympathetic characters and like the antagonists (with the notable exception of Lady de Bourgh, who can go jump off a cliff if she pleases) in their turn.

Verdict: I need to read some more Austen. I think I might go after Emma and see if Mr. Knightley is as enchanting as Paul Rudd.

Recommendation: Yeeeeah, you should probably read this. I wouldn’t quite recommend the audiobook version I listened to, but there are probably better ones out there.

Rating: 8/10
(A to Z Challenge, TBR Challenge)

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5 thoughts on “Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

  1. Laura Ansley says:

    I would like to note that I have never recommended this book on the basis of Colin Firth. I would also like to suggest “Persuasion” – I audio-booked it on my Cleveland trip in February and it was a joy to (sort of) read again.

  2. Alison says:

    Laura ā€” No, you haven't, and neither have my other trusted friends. But everyone else… everyone else… šŸ™‚

    And funny you should mention Persuasion, as I noticed that word many times within P&P and thought to myself, “Is this subliminal advertising? Because it's working.”

    Stephanie ā€” I really know nothing about Emma except for what I know of Clueless, so it will be interesting to see how different they are!

  3. Amy says:

    Emma drove me up the wall for the entire first part of the book. I knew what was coming because I knew Clueless, but I couldn't believe that the plot that drives the entire movie was going to take a 300 page book – it got old real fast. Thankfully it doesn't. So what I'm saying is, you will probably hate the first part. But you should keep at it. Then you should read Northenger Abbey with me. Or Sense and Sensability. šŸ™‚

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