Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy

Just finished one of my recent B&N purchases, Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One by Sharon Lathan. It was tolerable, I suppose. (Although, it did tempt me, obviously, I purchased it. :)) But after that point, it was still only tolerable. This was one of those book purchases that tempted me because of the size and feel of the book. It was the right size. The right cover sheen. But really? I'm thinking this one wasn't really worth my time. It was very, very Danielle Steel-esque. I felt the plot lacked some, D & E were suddenly ardantly in love and there was no separating them for the duration of the book (the first five months of their marriage). And once the romance started, the text was too ful of "beloved" this and "my love" that. YICK! At least for my taste, it was obnoxious after a certain point.

Plus, Lizzy rarely talked of Jane, wrote her letters. She was completely absorbed into the Darcy world. For me, that lack of correspondance with Jane made the book lacking in JA truth and purity. What is true of Lizzy's character is that she would have communicated with Jane and we don't see any of that in this book at all. She's none existance after their double wedding.

This book appears to be the first in a series by the same author. Really, though, I'm not sure any of the other books would be worth the time. There is so much other good fanfic out there...best use my reading time wisely. 2 Bonnets in the Bonnet Rating System.

Monday, April 27, 2009

New Name?

Am contemplating renaming said blog. I really didn't mean to name it something that had actually been published as a book. I discovered said book shortly after starting said blog. Now I just read there is going to be a sequel to said book. Hmm, I wasn't happy with the end of the first one (rest of it was good) but wasn't so sure about the end. But I'm sure I'll read it anyway...

Quandry am I in. (Thank you, Yoda.) What to do? Any suggestions? I'm not feeling very original tonight.

Zombie Mayhem Coming Soon!

La Vida es Hermosa: Imagine my delight when I checked my email and Amazon told me my copy of P&P & Zombies would be arriving sometime late this week or early next week! YAY!

(And here I was about to cancel the order and break down and buy a used copy. I know, normally I would go used, but I felt like I needed my own brand new copy for this one...)

Lost In Austen

So, again, I've had this post waiting for quite a while, thinking I just want to add a quote or a video or something and it seems to take me forever to actually accomplish this task. Gha! Finally...

PBS is re-airing a British series from ITV called "Lost in Austen" right now and imagine my distress when the first episode aired and I couldn't keep my eyes open. What does one do? Especially when one no longer has a working vcr hooked up to one's tv? Good question.

Super husband to the rescue! He probably earned several bonus points on this one. We've downloaded not only the first episode, but episodes 1-4 (the entire series) and may or may not have already watch the entire series! Yippeee!

The premise is a bit on the lame side, I will admit--Amanda Price finds Miss Elizabeth Bennet in her bathtub having come through a door from Longbourn that opens to Amanda's bathroom in current day England. Amanda then goes through the door and ends up in Regency England. What follows is a comedy of errors, as the entrie plot of P&P is disrupted because Elizabeth is not there to "make" things happen--Bingley starts to fall for Miss Price, not Miss Bennet; Amanda and Darcy start verbal sparring matches, not Lizzy & Darcy; Mr. Collins wants to marry Amanda, not Lizzy--so he marries Jane instead much to the dismay of Bingley & Jane (who now loves Jane because Amanda told him she prefers other women--I mention this because in a great plot twist, this comment comes back in Episode 3). You see where all of this is going.

I fully admit to being somewhat bored and somewhat annoyed at the story during the first 2 episodes. It was a bit painful to watch Mr. Collins and Jane and the characters were all a bit out of sync. The JA purist in me struggled, but nevertheless, I persevered. The Wickham character in the one, was something else however! He is actually a nice guy, and helps Amanda fit into Georgian England and is apparently just misunderstood. It's a good plot twist on Wickham that we would never imagine, so it was somehow believable and it worked.

Then came episode 3--and some great laugh out loud moments that even dear JA couldn't have foreseen... The best being when Caroline Bingley approaches Amanda at Pemberley and comes on to her, sharing CB's secret that she is a lesbian. Amanda's inside thought that we, the audience, hear is something like, "Goodness, Jane Austen would be fairly suprised to hear she'd written that!" It was hilarious! So much so that I had to watch episode 3 twice.

More great quotes from episode 4: As Amanda, Darcy, Lizzy etc. are trying to get through her bathroom and back into the P&P story: "You, are taking him through there right now. The rest of us are gonna say goodbye nicely and watch you step through all that plumbing into fictional Georgian England. And that will be it and then we'll all spend the rest of our lives in therapy. It's going to be fine."

And then, this one just can't be typed, I had to clip the video...

So now the only thing that still irks me is the title of this series--Lost in Austen is also a book and I can find no relation to it at all. (Book: Lost in Austen by Emma Campbell Webster)

Overall, it was still a bit too much for the purist that I am when it comes to JA. But really it was good fun. Afterall, "For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?" (Mr. Bennet to Lizzy in P&P, Dear JA)...HA!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

No Brains For Me

So, I was going to treat myself today to something I actually do not do a lot of: Going to B&N to buy a book. The book I wanted: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance - Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem! by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith.

This book has been on my radar because AustenBlog has been touting its hilarity for quite a while. Then suddenly this week, this zombie toting P&P jumped to #3 on the New York Times trade fiction bestseller list! Lament: I would pick the week it does this to decide to purchase it. Sounds like it is out of stock/backordered everywhere and that the publisher is printing more.

In the meantime: Here's an article from the NY Times called, I Was A Regency Zombie.
Likewise, here is a link to some posts from AustenBlog about the P&P and Zombies, as well as the Elton John movie mentioned in the NY Times article (subject of the posts: paraliterature).

I'll let you know when the book arrives. I'm off to order it from Amazon, so when they arrive, I get my zombie fix. Er, I mean P&P fix. Right-o. You get the idea...Mmmm, brains!

Oh, side note: I did come home with 2 Jane fanfic books though....from the B&N bargain section: 101 Things You Didn't Know About Jane Austen: The Truth About the World's Most Intriguing Literary Heroine by Patrice Hannon and
also Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One by Sharon Lathan (looks like this is the 1st in a series!). More about them when I finish them...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

An Anglophile Reminisces

(So I started writing this entry last week sometime and ran out of time to finish and now it's sat for quite a while. I've finished typing what was on my mind, but oh for the love of time!)

There must be something in the air right now that's whispering in my ear, reminding me about England and Scotland...

While driving to work this morning listening to NPR, I heard a sound bite of Britain's PM Gordon Brown talking from the G-20 Summit. Not really sure what he was talking about because I got so absorbed in his voice. To be specific, it was his accent that caught me. Gordon Brown has a delightful British accent; one that can soothe an Anglophile from her late winter doldrums. Sigh...

Then there's the matter of my favorite library book bag. Really, it's a plastic bag that has ridden around in the front seat of my car for years. It is my library bag. I put books in it when I need to return books to the library etc. So, whatever, right? But what is special about this bag is that it's from the British Library. Yes, the British Library. In London, England. This plastic bag isn't really that special. It's just a bag from the gift shop, albeit made from plastic that doesn't seem to degrade, but it is just a bag. It did get me reminiscing this week as I returned books to the public library and I looked at it. And here's what I thought, "Wow! I've had this bag for 10 years." Yes, it's been 10 years since my adventures in London during a wet and rainy January. The West End, Theatre, a proper cup of tea, the Tube, the Thames, illuminated manuscripts at the BL. A Shakespeare First Folio etc. etc. Where did the last 10 years go and why haven't I been to London since? Sigh....

Add to it that I went to renew my passport about a week ago--Adding insult to injury is the fact that it hasn't been used since our honeymoon (not to the British isles, but Italia) and that the picture it shows is one from college and I got that passport specifically after my London trip to go to Scotland. And here's where not the sigh comes in, but the "blubber blubber sob" sound--what do you mean it's been 9 years since I've been in Scotland? Perhaps it's been the weather lately, the gray rain and cold. The no sunshine factor playing a part. 9 years, really? Blubber, sob, blubber...Now if only I could get the courage up to ride in a flying tin can again...