02 March 2009

(short) book review

So I cut my evening working hours short (at 10 p.m.) tonight in order to work on my lesson for Bible study tomorrow morning. But then I entered blogosphere and got distracted. Oh well.

So before I go just a quick paragraph on The Jane Austen Book Club. I read it because I love anything and everything Jane Austen except the movie Becoming Jane which is an entire fabrication of the great author's life (and I am fully aware I'm repeating myself. Maybe if I say it often enough, people will not be tempted to see that movie and also will tell everyone else in the world who went gaga over it that it is a LIE.)

Anyways, probably because of this great love I was really excited about the book and I imagined how I would write it if I would write about that. I guess I loved my ideas or expectations more because the book was a disappointment. Self-absorbed, self-pitying characters who are somehow in this book club together only because they love Jane Austen. They don't really know eachother that well, but they spend their time criticizing the others in the group (each chapter we get to see into another character's thoughts, but really, it's just a different tune to the same song that gets quite annoying after a while). They are so petty in their judgments and the author's attempts at providing the typically abusive, exotic, multiple-marriaged, self-tortured, sexually odd backgrounds for each of the characters feels contrived. But perhaps that is the point... the richness of Austen's characters juxtaposed with the pettiness and emptiness of hers... perhaps... it feels like a stretch.

I ended up skimming through the book. I don't often not finish a book because I do want to give an author the benefit of my doubts, although I am often disappointed when I do that (I shudder when I remember Mohintin Mistry's A Fine Balance... I hated it, but give me credit that I finished it). I would want someone to do the same for any of my writing even if they were intensely critical as well.

I am not giving this a recommendation. I guess it becomes a check on my reading list as one of those trendy books I read but didn't like or more likely didn't get. But when moving in certain circles at least I can sound smart.

2 comments:

cara said...

Ok, ok, I'll take your word re: Becoming Jane. Even if you disregard the fact that you say it's a fabrication of her life, it's still not a bad movie. Just pretend that it's someone else's life story. I wasn't an Anne Hathaway fan before that I saw that film, but it coverted me. And my mother-in-law was bawling at the end of it.
Thanks for the head's up about The Jane Austen Book Club. It didn't look that appealing to me and now I will definitely stay away from it.

Di said...

Hey Cara - I actually really liked the movie as well... perhaps I'm just a purist when it comes to things like that... :)