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Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice

March 25, 2008

36. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813)

Read by Kate Reading
Length: 12h 00m

Genre: Classics

Started: 13 March 2008
Finished: 25 March 2008

Summary: The five Bennet daughters are in need of marrying well – their family estate will pass to their cousin when their father dies, and their own expected inheritances are small. When the wealthy Mr. Bingley moves into the neighborhood and becomes quickly smitten with Jane, the eldest Bennet, things seem to be going well. However, with Mr. Bingley comes Mr. Darcy, who is even wealthier, but who is excessively proud and disdainful of what he views as lower country society. His behavior offends Elizabeth, who is intelligent and well-bred, but is also not particularly shy about letting Mr. Darcy know exactly what she thinks of him. Still, despite his distaste for the impropriety of her family connections and her willingness to believe the worst rumors of Darcy’s behavior, they find themselves drawn to each other, although they must surmount their own personalities first.

Review: This is, somewhat shamefully, only my second foray into Austen. My first was Sense and Sensibility about seven years ago, which did not go down well at all – I couldn’t get into the flow of the writing, there were too many characters to keep track of, and I just didn’t care for it. So, I approached this one somewhat hesitantly, but between now and then I’ve seen (and loved) many of the film adaptations of Austen’s novels, so I thought I should give the books a second chance. And – although I’m a little loathe to admit it on a site dedicated to books – having seen the movies helped. Also helpful was listening to it instead of reading – Kate Reading did a nice job with the various voices, and the prose style of the period flows better through my ears than it does through my eyes. (I noticed this with Wuthering Heights as well.) Still, although I knew the basic plot line from the movies, I wasn’t quite prepared for how much I would enjoy the various subtleties of the book. I certainly wasn’t expecting the subtle, sarcastic, almost snarky humor that snuck out throughout the book. Also, even though I knew how it ended, it was still surprisingly gratifying when everything works out for the best. 5 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Another classic that merits the name without being dark and depressing or even particularly deep. Worth the read, or, if you’re wary of the language, worth the listen.

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First Line: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 1, 2009 12:54 am

    I am currently reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and am finding it a tough but rewarding read. I can relate to the way that you hesitantly approached Pride and Prejudice after having struggled through Sense and Sensibility, since I did the same thing. I am finding Pride and Prejudice to be a much more in depth and captivating story. I am always looking forward to reading about what imaginative things Elizabeth gets up to. I agree that this book is worth the read, and the characters have more depth than Sense and Sensibility.

  2. Emily permalink
    February 4, 2012 1:53 pm

    This book was so intense in emotions from the main characters, i felt as if i were with Elizabeth the whole way threw the story. Reading it was like feeling everything she felt and exploring the mind of her, and of course falling in love with the Darcy character made me want to fall in love with him too. It was one of the best books i have read in my life, i really enjoyed it. I often find myself wishing there was more, like a sneak peek into the married lives of Darcy and Elizabeth.

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