Sunday, February 6, 2011

This Will Put Tears In Your Eyes

It's not often that both DH and I fall into hysterics and fall onto the floor, laughing with tears in our eyes!  Because of this hilarity, I share the link.  This post from the website Go Fug Yourself is sure to be a day brightener! 

The posting is titled, The Other Fugs. And yes, it does relate to Jane Austen.  :) :) :)

(I think it was AustenBlog who alerted me to this.  A sincere thank you.  And if it wasn't, thank you to whatever Janeite blogger did actually alert me to it.)

Jane Bites Back by Micheal Thomas Ford

Jane Bites Back by Micheal Thomas Ford
Ballantine Books, 2010.  299 pgs.

 Ok, so I meant to write this post prior to February 1st.  Why, you might ask?  Because SQUEEEEEEEAAAALLLLLLL--the sequel to Jane Bites Back, Jane Goes Batty came out!  By the loud squeal, you can surmise my thoughts about Jane Bites Back.  :)

Here's the plot:  Jane Austen is 'alive' and well.  'Cept she's a vampire.  She owns a bookstore in upstate New York and has a trusty assistant named Lucy.  She's not a big fan of the whole drinking blood thing.  She only doesn't it when she needs to and doesn't kill.  She's been continually revising and attempted to publish the manuscript that she was working on when she 'died'. And finally--a publisher accepts the novel and suddenly Jane is in the limelight, trying to hide her real identity.

This book works, and not because I am a big fan of the mashup genre--vampires, zombies, werewolves--Oh My!   Because the thing is, I'm truly not the biggest fan of them.  But this book worked for me.  Here's why:
  • It's funny.  I was laughing out loud while reading it and that's a rare treat.  
  • There are other literary characters in it that add to the hijinks (Lord Byran, Chartlotte Bronte).  If you have read Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair, I'm thinking you can appreciate this one, too. 
  • She's a got a sassy assistant, Lucy, who orders literary finger puppets for the bookstore and takes the whole vampire thing in stride, but gets a little crazed at her actually being Jane Austen--"You. Are. Jane. Austen....Your Jane freaking Austen!"
  • And Lucy is just one of the many lovable characters in the novel!
So, with that, I SQUEEEEAAALLLL again! I have a bit of dough left on a B&N gift card that would make it feel like I was getting Jane Goes Batty for half price (as if I need an excuse to buy a book, but it helps, right?).  Hmmm, maybe that wasn't a squeal but a squeak, like a bat squeak....Hmmm.  I'm batty for Jane Bites Back.

5 Bonnets out of 5.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Mr. Darcy's Obsession by Abigail Reynolds

Mr. Darcy's Obsession by Abigail Reynolds
2010 Sourcebooks Landmark, 348 pgs.

Let's start the ball rolling with an acknowledgment: Santa was good to Jane and I at Christmastime.  I reaped in JaneRewards and I am now swimming in all good things Jane.  (Ok, so I might have one book from last Christmas that I just started...Please no judgments.) 

Mr. Darcy's Obsession is another of Abigail Reynolds Pride and Prejudice Variations books.  They take the P&P storyline and answer the 'what if' question.  Examples: What if after Elizabeth's refusal at Hunsford, Darcy wouldn't take no for an answer (To Conquer Mr. Darcy/Impulse and Initiative)?  What if Darcy proposed, Elizabeth wasn't listening as they walked and he kissed her, someone saw and she's forced to marry him even though he is the last person she wants to marry (The Last Man in the World)?

In Mr. Darcy's Obsession:  Before Darcy has a chance to propose Elizabeth is called home because her father is sick.  Mr. Bennet passes away Jane is forces to marry a local milliner and Elizabeth goes to live with Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner.  Fast forward about 2 years.  Darcy can't get Elizabeth out of his mind--he's obsessed.  He hears from Bingley, who has news that Elizabeth lives in London.  Darcy's sunk.  He goes through some covert efforts to be able to catch a glimpse of her, including hiring a local street urchin, a spitfire of a lad named Charlie.  Darcy discovers Elizabeth takes daily walks in Moorsfield park and 'accidentally' runs into her one day.  They walk together and renew their acquaintance and begin to fall in love with one another, each believing the other couldn't possibly feel the same way.

Mr. Darcy's Obsession was a light, quick read.  What I enjoy about Ms. Reynolds' work is that she is able to capture Jane Austen's style with ease.  As a reader, I am drawn in quite quickly and it feels as if the characters are just picking up right where they left off (in whatever part of the P&P story Reynolds starts her own story).  Darcy feels like, well, Darcy.  Elizabeth, feels like, well, Elizabeth.  (Ok, for Elizabeth it's most of the time, sometimes she is a little clueless and at various points in the P&P variations I've wanted to give her a whap on the back of her head, but otherwise...)  Overall, a delightful read that offers another path to falling in love for Darcy and Elizabeth.

5 Bonnets out of 5.