The Jane Austen Book Club
5 journalers for this copy...
With her eye for the frailties of human behavior and her ear for the absurdities of social intercourse, Karen Joy Fowler has never been wittier nor her characters more appealing. The result is a delicious dissection of modern relationships.
Dedicated Austenites will delight in unearthing the echoes of Austen that run through the novel, but most readers will simply enjoy the vision and voice that,
despite two centuries of separation, unite two great writers of brilliant social comedy.
Maybe it's just me but I simply can't imagine reading and re-reading the same six books over and over again, no matter how much I adored them.
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
I came across another copy of this book, so I will release this elsewhere.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
I enjoyed this more than I thought I might; while some of the soap-opera who's-going-to-wind-up-with-whom bits didn't enthrall me, I did like most of the characters, and I really liked the different takes they each had on the Austen books under discussion. From the beginning we get the blend of Austen-related and personal snarkiness that makes the book fun: after noting that Pride and Prejudice might be too romantic to inflict on a recently-divorced member of the club, the group decides to start with Emma, because "no one has ever read it and wished to be married"!
There's some fun with book-group procedures, too, especially early on when most of the members take umbrage with sole male member Grigg, giving him nasty looks whenever he dares to criticize Austen (or says much of anything, in fact), while thinking "Why doesn't he notice?" [I was a bit disappointed to find that Grigg wasn't gay - something that surprised some of the book-group members, too - but I found him one of the more sympathetic characters. And I was rolling on the floor at his flashback sequence explaining how his father had hooked him on reading via bug-eyed-monster-type SF novels!]
So much of the story is about reading... Not just the obvious book-club bits, but debates between different characters on what they enjoy reading, on how they go about reading, and some social fibs about having read things they haven't - there are riffs on it all.
There's a delightful bit at the end that's a collection of comments about Austen's work by friends and family, and collected (or so the book claims) by Austen herself - charming and funny. And there are quotes from other authors and critics, not all positive, but many hilarious - that bit might even amuse folks who don't enjoy Austen at all.
[The 2007 film version was pretty good, too! And there's a TV Tropes page on the film and novel, with some entertaining tidbits. ]
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
I plan to leave this book at the northbound-side welcome center, perhaps on top of a gas pump; hope someone enjoys it!
[See other recent releases in NH here.]
*** Released for the 2020 Movie challenge. ***
*** Released for the 2020 Keep Them Moving challenge. ***