Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pride and Prejudice... ridiculous reviews

I've just been wasting time on Amazon reading reviews of Jane Austen's book, Pride and Prejudice, and for my own sanity, I just had to challenge a few here.

"Austen uses very long words and convoluted language". 
Compared to what - a 19th-century children's novel? Austen's language in Pride and Prejudice [published in 1813], was appropriate for her times.  Ever tried any of Sir Walter Scott's weighty tomes?  Jane Austen's "convoluted language" appears as easy-to-read as a baby board book next to his Ivanhoe [1819] or Kenilworth [1821], in which he can easily use a few pages to describe a character that Jane Austen would delineate in a sentence.  

"The family, if modern, would be so self-centred as to appear obnoxious". 
Elizabeth's family was self-centred!  Their self-absorption intentionally creates the hilarious scenarios that erupt throughout the book. During his first marriage proposal to Elizabeth, Mr Darcy famously renders her family's objectionable behaviour and situation in life, "inferior."

Finally, my particular favourite: "Very dull".
Uh, okay. If your idea of humour is constrained to appreciation of movies like "The Hangover", then, yep, P&P is probably not for you.  However, if you're more open-minded and appreciate a wide range of comedy, then do give it a try.

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