Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Filling the Jane Austen Void

We haven't blogged much about Downton Abbey. It seems that everyone else has - and we'll leave it at that. Big fan. Love it all, expect for the cringe worthy duet last week. But hey, you can't be perfect all the time. This anglophilia has reminded me of the master - Ms. Austen and her masterpiece.
I have read it once. I have listened to it on audiobook more times than I can count. I have seen both of the most recent films - the one with Kiera Knightly as Lizzie and the 5 1/2 hour long epic with Colin Firth. We have stated our feelings before on this blog about Mr. Firth.I won't gush on about him. We loved both versions.

But what to do when you have read the original countless times and the Pride and Prejudice dvd's are wearing a bit thin. Literally. Well, there are countless prequels, sequels, and re-imaginings out there. Have you indulged in any of them? Here are some I have watched or read.

There's the Bollywood version of it called Bride and Prejudice.
This version takes place in contemporary New Delhi. Not bad. If you like the Bollywood way of putting every story known to man with singing and dancing. I enjoyed it. Another good film is Lost in Austen.

It's both a book and a movie. The movie, I believe, is better than the book. Funny, but with real respect for Austen. Think of it as if Bridget Jones time travels back to Netherfield and Longbourn.

There are countless sequels and prequels and even murder mysteries. Some are pretty good. I liked Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler. Mr. Darcy Takes A Wife by Linda Berdoll I did not. Ugh. It's a sequel to Pride and Prejudice with all the intimate details of Lizzie's and Mr. Darcy's sex life revealed. Oh, how I wish I could erase some of the images out of my mind. I never finished it. My least favorite is The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet by Colleen McCollough. It's Mary Bennet's story during the time of Pride and Prejudice and long after. Remember Mary, the prudish sister who lectures all on morality? Well, in this story, while she is lecturing on morality, she is wickedly deceiving all around her and well, just behaving badly. No character comes out of this unscathed. I wasn't the only one who hated it . Read the reviews.

My current read and surprising alternative take on the classic story??!! Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.Really. Who doesn't like Zombies? I had seen this advertised and avoided for quite awhile. I succumbed the last time I went to the library and I'm glad I did. Believe it or not - it is the most true to the original, yet it is completely ridiculous and fun. Imagine Lizzie and Jane trained by Shaolin Monks for the killing of Zombies? Lizzie and Jane are not the first heroines trained by Shaolin Monks in the violent arts.
Remember her?

So, if you need a bit of entertainment while stitching, try a few of the above.

Oh, and thanks to all who sent a kind note about the radio interview yesterday. You can listen to it here if you missed it.



Cathy said...

Try the newest by P. D. James, Death Comes To Pemberley. It is a mystery, though the mystery is pretty basic and obvious at about the halfway point. But the language is very true to the original and I enjoyed it.

Taryn said...

Whenever I get an entire day to myself (as rare as a unicorn) I head to my sewing room and pop in the Colin Firth version of Pride and Prejudice. I like to think of it as a very healthy binge.

JoAnne said...

I just put "Murder at Pemberly" on my Kindle, and I can not recommend it. It was dreadful. Everything you love about Lizzy? Absent. At one point, she says that she could not have married Col. Fitzwilliams because he was not rich enough. What?!! I do really like the Stephanie Barron mysteries featuring Jane Austen, though.

regan said...

I love Colin Firth, too! He's the best D'Arcy ever! I recently saw "Lost in Austen" and it's actually quit fun. I pop in the dvd almost as often as Firth's P&P! Almost! lol

aztel2000 said...

I have "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" on my Kindle but haven't had time to read it yet. A while back, I listened to an audible version of "Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters" that was ridiculously hilarious. If you have a Kindle,the mash-up "Northanger Abbey and Angels and Dragons" is free to download today at Amazon.
Of course none of these replace the real Jane, but they are a fun substitute.
Karen in Breezy Point

Mary Anne said...

I agree - the movie Lost in Austen was great fun. Thank you streaming Netflix! Jennifer Becton's two novels "Charlotte Collins" and "Caroline Bingley" are easy reads and enjoyable. Avoid "An Unpleasant Walk" by C. Rafe Carlson...nasty!

Pride and Prejudice and Zombie's caught my attention when I heard the author interviewed on NPR...must add that to my list!

pdudgeon said...

since you haven't mentioned it, i will--"Pemberly Manor" by Kathryn L. Nelson is a fairly good read for the story of Darcy and Lizzy after the nuptuals.
and i LOVE Downton Abby. Season 2 really gets things going in a hurry. i loved both the choice of song and the thought that was put into the rendition in the latest saga. The words of the song reflect the very great possibility of many of the eligible young men being totally wiped out of the marriage market--leaving some young ladies to contemplate being left for spinsters who otherwise never would have been considered as such. and the rendition reflects the very real and personal fears experienced when women of all social classes were being called upon to do things they had never been subjected to before, and expected to do them brilliantly in front of everyone they knew. talk about social upheval and pressure during war time--this latest series has it all.

Donna said...

So, over the last couple days while in my sewing room, watching EMMA, so far three different DVDs, perfect! Prior was watching S & S, and this is just the perfect season to be with my Jane A. favorites.

Heather said...

Oh my! I knew I loved you for a reason. P&P is my all time favorite story. I haven't seen many of the remakes but religiously watch Kiera. I also have read the P&P&Zombies and completely enjoyed it! I've even made a quilt I call my P&P quilt because it's the same blue as the walls in one of the Bennetts' rooms.

Sharrieboberry said...

I'm a Colin Firth fan also and enjoy a good period film.

I'd also recommend Foyle's War. Since it's during the Battle of Britain, I think it goes well with your Victory Girls book. Check it out!

Wendy P said...

Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife was awful! I threw it away without finishing it.

I think you'll love Pamela Aidan's books. They are written from Darcy's perspective of Pride and Prejudice. I think they are wonderful.

Someday I will get to see the Colin Firth version but for now Matthew MacFadyen IS Mr Darcy.

Jill said...

You should read Austenland by Shannon Hale and the sequel, which comes out tomorrow, Midnight in Austenland. Really fun reads!

Heather said...

Thanks for the info on Lost in Austen. I have read or seen all the others and it is fun to discover a new one. I just never get tired of a good Austen read.

Skeeter's Scribbles said...

I think the answer is squash blossom necklace!

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