Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I will conquer my fear


I will conquer my fear and finally read Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I won't cringe at all those instances of British politeness. I will read passages of old 19th century English as if they were the latest bestselling thriller. I will not be bothered by all those gossipy characters. I will not be put off by uptight British gentlemen who seem to be above everybody else. I will read Pride and Prejudice if it's the last thing I do.

I've no cboice in the matter really. The book club that I'm a part of is discussing P&P on November 21, and I've already confirmed my attendance. That was the easy part. Now all I have to do is read that bloody novel. And while I think that the movie with Keira Knightley was wonderful, I doubt if just seeing the adaptation would be good enough for the book club members.

I've been very vocal about my aversion to Austen, despite some of my friends mentioning how good her novels are. I guess we all have our literary pet peeves, right? I'd like to know yours, dear reader.

32 comments:

scribesexpress said...

Hi Peter!

You know, I've heard of "pride and Prejudice" before the movie came out and I thought it was just a literary expression. So the movie came out and I was aghast at finding that it was based on a novel. I didn't even bother to know the author of the novel at that time. I watched the movie and at the end, said, "That's it?" Obviously, I didn't get it.

Literary peeves? I used to like Coelho, until I read "By the River Piedra, I Sat Down and Wept." I didn't like him after that. I still have to read "The Alchemist," though. I also used to like the Potter books, but they eventually became dark--death, witchcraft, etc. I also don't like the Twilight series, definitely.

Peter S. said...

Hi, Recis! Wow, that's a lot of pet peeves! I definitely agree with you on Coehlo and Twilight.

Mrs. B. said...

Oh, I agree with Coehlo and Twilight! Just can't get into them. Just keep trying with P&P, you'll reach a point where you won't be able to put it down!

Mrs. B. said...

By the way Peter - in which Booksale did you see the Group? I'm sure it's still there. If you don't get it then I will.

line of flight said...

my first boyfriend was a big Austen fan and I spent a weekend reading all of them. PP is much more developed and interesting, for instance, than Northanger Abbey. PP was much easier to get through than NA.

Ryan G said...

Good luck. I hope you have better luck with this then I ever have.

Peter S. said...

@Mrs. B: I saw it in Booksale Megamall.

@line of flight: I'll take your word for it!

@Ryan G: Thanks!

David Wagner said...

Forget the book, and forget that abominable Kiera Knightly version of the film... watch the BBC version of Pride & Prejudice... Colin Firth is the best Darcy ever (eat it, Olivier!). I usually can't stomach mushy romancy stuff, but that version of P&P is not only awesome, it's one of my favorite movies, any genre.

There, how's that for an endorsement...

Book Bird Dog said...

Coincidence! I borrowed P & P too from the library but am only on page 13. I'm re-reading it inbetween other books :)

Jeane said...

You are braver than I. Made myself read all the way through Emma and I don't feel encouraged to read any more Austen. I'm just not a fan, sorry to say.

StephanieD said...

At least you can say you tried - just because everybody's saying you have to like it doesn't mean you should make an unnatural effort to do so. Many times when that happens to me, my resistance rises to the point that I will hate something just because everyone is saying I should like it.

Petunia said...

I second David's recommend above. The Colin Firth version is the best adaptation hands down. I was surprised they even bothered with the Kiera Knightly one because those who are fans of Austin were bound to be disappointed. And, if you watch the Colin Firth movie you may even get away without needing to read the book, in case you were so inclined.

Literary pet peeves: I am suspicious of any book slated as the latest and greatest which is why I didn't read Harry Potter until last month(and liked it). I also try to stay clear of Oprah Picks because I have read enough of them to know that she holds a special fondness for the morbidly depressing. Oprah's approval does not make it great literature even if it will make the author an instant sensation.

SariJ said...

Sense and Sensibility is my favorite movie but can I read the book? Oh I tried, but honestly the language is so confusing I could not understand the first chapter.
My son read P&P and loved P&P and Zombies.
Someday I will try S&S again.
Good luck Peter.

Cynewyn said...

Jane Austen is my favourite author of all time, but I won't pour forth yet again! ;-) I'm just wondering though (and it is a vague wonder, so please noone take offence!) whether you need to have immersed in the Britishness of it since birth to 'get' it...Now there's an un-PC question!JA is so much part of our cultural fabric, we grow up with her without realising. I find books based on the American way of life very difficult to get into, often incomprehensible, and the language often exasperates me!

Sorry, writing essays again, but your posts and the comments of people here are always thought-provoking, Peter! ;-)
Lucy-Jane

Book pusher said...

Sympathise with the Austen thing, I sometimes wonder if people say they like Austen, when what they really mean is; they like Colin Firth in a wet shirt being all dark and moody. She does seem to adapt to the screen really well. I found her most entertaining writing to be in her letters. I always prefered the Brontes to Austen, or a novel like Hardy's Jude the Obscure which I notice on your TBR, have fun with that one. I can't think of any real literary peeves at the moment, I will read anything although I am sometimes left wondering about the popularity of some books.

Krista said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rise said...

I have Pride and Prejudice too but plan to read it for later, 2010, maybe 2014.

My pet peeve is I couldn’t bring myself to read books whose movie adaptations I have watched first. This includes, yes, P&P, Harry Potter, and LOTR. It’s probably my loss, but there it is.

stacybuckeye said...

I read P&P for the first time a few months ago and really liked it. It does take a little while to get into it, but bny the halfway mark I didn't want to put it down, which surprised me. The BBC miniseries is the best adaptation of the book and if you don't make it through the book in time, get the miniseries ;)

Sumthinblue said...

I have to admit I'm not crazy about it either. Have been reading the book for the past two weeks (am around chapter 12) and I keep falling asleep.

Vivienne said...

Peter, you are so funny!

I speak to a lot of Americans via the blog and they are always astounded that I am British and that I have never ever read a Jane Austen book. I am hoping to read one next year, but they have never really caught my attention.

Logan said...

Pride and Prejudice? I don't think I've ever heard of that book...

just kidding. I wish you all the luck in the world. You have more courage and confidence than I do.

Indigo said...

*Shudder* As I just mentioned in a prior comment, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies would be the way I go. At least it would be a more enthusiastic read. Just remember to leave the Zombies out in the actually book chat. Other wise you might get a few aghast looks.(Hugs)Indigo

A Buckeye Girl Reads said...

You can do it!! I can't wait for your review-don't be too hard on Darcy, ok?

Amber Tidd Murphy said...

My literary pet peeve is Moby Dick. That's about the only one I just haven't been able to sit through.

I gave it over a hundred pages.

I like your blog, so I'm following it now. One of these days I'll send you a picture of my bookshelves.

Krista said...

Haha, I actually enjoyed P&P it was a fun read for me... but if you want you can always read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies! 'Cause I'm tellin' you it's almost the exact same, but with a tiny bit of Zombie Mayhem and really quite funny! :) Trust me you'll come away knowing the gist of the story... lol! Good luck to you!! :)

savidgereads said...

Good luck with it Peter, I have struggled with P&P for years and years! If my book group ever chose it I might actually read it hahaha.

Charlie said...

I may be American and male, but I couldn't put P&P down--I loved it.

But for some reason you have a mental block about it, so don't read it, go to your book club, and just nod your head and smile a lot--just like we all did in school.

josbookshelf said...

Peter, you're cringing again. LOL! But no wonder, P&P is really chick lit, just in our great grandmothers' style.

As your commenter, Charlie, says: go and pretend you've read it. You're there for the food, right? :D

Cynewyn said...

P&P is chick lit?!?! Are you American by any chance, Josbookshelf? ;-)))

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I support you fully Peter! I have started this book in May and it still sits next to my chair about 50 pages in... last night I picked it up thinking I should work on it but again put it down.

You can do it! (And eventually - I will too) :)

austenfan said...

Good luck! My favorite Austen novel is actually Persuasion, but P&P is good too. :)

Cynewyn said...

With you on Persuasion, Austenfan - reading it again at the moment! Normal reading is to have one Austen on the go alongside anything else, that way if the other book is heavy-going I can dip into Austen for a little relief...amazing how differently people react to books! That's their beauty and magic I guess...