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I just finished the audio version of Pride and Prejudice, narrated by Irene Sutcliffe. Although I knew the story, I'd never actually read the book before.

P and P cover

Not many of the so-called classics actually stand the test of time. Most lose their luster over the years. Not because they weren't good, but because the style of production evolves and audience taste changes.

While you can expect to see many classics on the typical
100 Best Books Ever list, compiled by whoever, it's often due to nostalgia, or more likely, what I like to call 'The Emperor's New Clothes' effect ie: people vote for a classic, rather than their true favorite, possibly because they think it makes them appear more wisdomous, or perhaps because they don't like to go against the crowd.

I'm happy to say that, for me  at least, Pride and Prejudice thoroughly deserves its good reputation. Sure the language and narrative style has changed over the last couple of hundred years, but the story works just as well now as it ever did, and the characters are wonderful! My favorite by far was Mrs. Bennet. Her reaction on learning of Elizabeth and D'Arcy's engagement made me LoL out loud.

How about you?

What do you think of the book you're reading at the moment?


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( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 4th, 2013 04:33 pm (UTC)
At the risk of being immodest,
I happen to know of a really good
paperback edition of Pride and Prejudice
if anyone would like to read it in print on paper.

Meanwhile, I just recently began reading
The Professor's House again.
It's prolly my favourite book.
Nov. 4th, 2013 05:05 pm (UTC)
I love re-reading favorite books :)
Nov. 4th, 2013 07:32 pm (UTC)
I'm loving Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. Hard SF, interesting world-building, genuine suspense....

Last year or so I listened to an unabridged audio of P&P, narrated by Josephine Bailey, my favorite reader. I don't have much experience with audiobooks, so I've kind of been following the reader in this case -- also listened to her Jane Eyre, for instance. I've enjoyed everything of hers (Bailey, I mean) I've listened to so far.

I will say that for me, Austen is better listened to than read on the printed page.

Edited at 2013-11-04 07:32 pm (UTC)
Nov. 4th, 2013 08:05 pm (UTC)
especially if the narrator reads quickly :)
Nov. 4th, 2013 09:14 pm (UTC)
I avoided reading P & P forever because I thought it'd be boring. Turned out it was awesome!

I'm currently reading After the Ice by Steven Mithen. It's a history of the world from 20,000 to 5,000 BC. Super fascinating!
Nov. 4th, 2013 10:52 pm (UTC)
I put off reading it for the exact same reason. Sometimes, it's good to be wrong :)
Nov. 4th, 2013 11:54 pm (UTC)
I'm reading Hometown Girl by Mariah Stewart. She is one of the few authors I will actively seek out in the bookstore. It won't be a classic. Her characters are closer to real people than Ms. Austen's, or the stiff, Regency style of Austen's writing.
Write what you know.
I read all Jane's books while still in high school. I like them, but I don't understand all the stupid rules involved in living at that time and it bunches my knickers to think people had to follow these rules in order to be acceptable.
So, a widow who is making a new life for herself by baking cupcakes and staying away from the man she was meant to love is okay. She doesn't have to know how much he makes or if his family will accept her, being a poor widow.
I really chafe at rules.
Nov. 5th, 2013 12:00 am (UTC)
'I really chafe at rules.'

Lol, I'm doing my best to sound surprised :)

Nov. 5th, 2013 01:00 am (UTC)
Jane Austen has held up well. One thing people who haven't read her work may not realize is how funny she can be.

I just finished BLACK HELICOPTERS, which was very dark and gritty. Looking for something lighter now.
Nov. 5th, 2013 10:35 am (UTC)
It struck me how little we've changed since her time. I'm pretty sure I've met most of the personality types found in P & P:)
Nov. 5th, 2013 01:43 am (UTC)
The Woman Upstairs by Claire Mesud--still waiting to get out of her character's head and into some kind of story. Meh.
Nov. 5th, 2013 10:31 am (UTC)
Oh dear. I hope it happens soon :)
Nov. 5th, 2013 11:13 pm (UTC)
Just finished Graham Joyce's WFC Award winning Some Kind of Fairy Tale. Haven't read anything else on the award short list but if it was better than this I should be very, very surprised. Very imaginative. Very English. Very, very well written.
Nov. 6th, 2013 10:19 am (UTC)
Sounds like Mr. Joyce is doing all the right things :)
Nov. 6th, 2013 02:58 am (UTC)
Reading Embassytown. Sometimes I don't care what's going on and I plow through, then all of a sudden Mieville makes sense and I'm drawn into the book. There are a few instances of inconsistency that bother me.

Inbetween, I reread Alastair Reynolds's Understanding Space and Time. Reminds me of The Fisherman And His Wife as the protagonist goes through numerous alterations to comprehend the complexities of reality. In this case, the benefactors are benevolent and work to help him collapse into a singularity. Also Elton John has a part as a hologram.

Now I'm back to reading Embassytown.
Nov. 6th, 2013 10:20 am (UTC)
Also Elton John has a part as a hologram.

Lol, I bet that took you by surprise :)
Nov. 6th, 2013 09:28 am (UTC)
I'm reading General Grant's memiors. He's a very intelligent man with a strong sense of morality and irony. I find his writing to be very perceptive when he gets beyond 19th century cultural conditioning.
Nov. 6th, 2013 10:23 am (UTC)
It's strange how there are always three versions of people: the one other folks see, and the good & not so good versions we think of as our self. It must be interesting to see Grant from his own PoV.
Nov. 6th, 2013 12:48 pm (UTC)
I'm reading A Princess of Mars... Which means that, while literary judgement must be suspended, I'm actually rather entertained!
Nov. 6th, 2013 04:01 pm (UTC)
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )


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