Saturday, January 26, 2013

Novel Review: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Better cover than mine or most of these.

Genre: Classic; Literature; Romance
Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Penguin (Pretty much everyone, though; it's a classic)
Spoilers?: Minor.

Goodreads Synopsis:

When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited; he is indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships, gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life.

Available on Amazon (there are other copies on Amazon, not only this one).


I think I’m going to try and keep this review short, just for the fact that I don’t have as high, or much, of an opinion as most people do. But I might have more to say than I think.
This is my first Jane Austen book, and, while I’d wanted to read it for a while, the main reason I finally got around to it, was because of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Which, if you aren’t watching those, whether you’ve read the book or not, you should. It’s… simply amazing. I love it.
But I’m talking about the book, so let me get back to that.
When I started the book, I was afraid it was going to be long and droning and boring, given the time period it was written, and it kind of was, in parts. There were a lot of dry parts in this book, a lot of slow points, and the language was rather boring at some points. There were long sentences, huge paragraphs, not nearly as much dialogue, and sometimes it was a bit hard for me to follow. There were, though, some scenes, some chapters or plots, that I really enjoyed, and those went by really fast, whereas other ones took way too long to get through.
My main annoyance with the writing was how tell and not show it was. There were countless times that the reader would be told about something that had happened, some scene we didn’t get to see, and sometimes even some kind of characteristic that a character had. And the one reason I’m even a little okay with those things is that, with the characters, it was made apparent in their attitude that what we were told was true, and with the scenes, if we were shown them, the book would have been longer, and I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed that. It still annoyed me, though; is probably the thing I least liked about this book.
Next, the characters. I liked Elizabeth enough, I suppose, but didn’t really care too much about her either way. The same with most of the characters, actually. I liked Mr. Bennet. I liked the romantic relationships. I wasn’t too big a fan of Bingley, most of the time, because he just seemed too prideful and full of himself (which I will talk about again in a minute). I didn’t think I got to know Lydia very well. Jane seemed alright. I didn’t like Caroline, because she was… not a nice person.
I liked Darcy at first, but then later on was kind of iffy about him. I knew what was going to happen with him and Lizzy, but somewhere in the middle, his attitude bothered me. I think it just seemed like too big a jump, from him being standoffish to really nice to her. But, thinking back on it, it wasn’t too bad, actually. I did like their relationship, so there’s that.
Now, the pride thing. After reading the book, I understand what the title means, and I’m kind of okay with it. I don’t mind the prejudiced thing. But the pride part just annoyed me so much. All of the characters were prideful about one thing or another. Bingley was rather full of himself. As was Darcy. And I just… I guess I feel like some development should have been done there, instead of it just continuing to be that way. They aren’t the only characters that were prideful, a lot of them were, but they just made the biggest impression on me.
I think that’s all I have to say, really. The book wasn’t horrible, even if it was droning and boring at times, and had way too much telling. The rating is really so high because of the story line. The plot was good, what with what happened with Lydia, and Jane’s change in attitude halfway through, and the ending, and even how some of the characters acted. There were some parts that I really enjoyed.
I don’t plan on reading any of Austen’s other books, though. I do plan on watching some of the Pride and Prejudice movies, and am at the moment watching the miniseries, but that might take a while. They’re just so long, and kind of boring to me. I know that most people love this book, though, so don’t take my word on it all.
I would suggest watching the web series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, though, because it is amazing, and I honestly think it’s better than the book.

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