Book Review: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

It’s the third week in January and I just finished reading my third book. So far, I am on schedule with reading one book a week as one of my goals for 2013. This week’s book was Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (Classic Literature/Fiction, 278 pages).

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”

Holy buckets. This book. It’s been sitting on my list of books I probably ought to read at some point ever in my life but I simply hadn’t gotten around to it. Now I have. And I’m pretty sure that I can safely say I will never need to read this book again.

While I do understand that Jane Austen wrote this book as something of a comedy about the times in which she lived, I spent more time being frustrated by the characters and their total frivolity than I did being amused by it. I can’t imagine that I would have ever gotten along very well in a society where my sole purpose in life was to acquire a husband, nor where my entire content of my social engagements depended on commenting on what people wore or how properly they behaved.

The writing style itself took me a bit of time to get used to and because of that, it took me a little longer than usual for me to read and finish this book. The first 80 pages or so were tedious because the characters cared about things that don’t matter to me. They talk about dancing and balls and dinner parties and all sorts of things that have never mattered to me. Granted, this book was well-written and a good indication of a reflection from the time when the novel was first written, but, as with some other books I have read, I am simply not the target audience for things of this nature. I am not typically a fan of romance novels or any other type of reading where the entire purpose of the story is for characters to fall in love. If I’m reading an action or fantasy story that just happens to have a love story in it, that’s completely different because there’s other stuff going on there and a partnership may save the world or end it when aliens or zombies invade. Or something like that. But a romance all by itself holds no appeal to me, which is probably why this book was of such little interest for me.

About 80 pages in, though, I really started to get a feel that the main character, Elizabeth, was also annoyed with the stupidity of some of her relations or peers. She became a character that I would cheer for, especially right at the beginning where she walks the three miles to take care of her sister, Jane, when she becomes ill. I thought fairly highly of her for being willing to go to such lengths to take care of someone who mattered so much to her. And the book was fairly interesting once Elizabeth started traveling the country. As the story progresses, Elizabeth definitely became a worthy character. I was also appreciative of Mr. Darcy’s character, though not his name. Fitzwilliam? Really? Anyway, I feel as though he was well-explained and revealed appropriately throughout the book.

Overall, though I may not have to ever read this book again, I’m happy that I did read it. Those who enjoy love stories or have a greater appreciation for historical works will probably get a lot more out of it than I did. The book itself isn’t bad, it’s just not my kind of story.

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About C.A. Jacobs

Just another crazy person, masquerading as a writer.
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One Response to Book Review: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

  1. harlotbug says:

    Congratulations on being one of the few who can finish that book without it being assigned to it OR especially engaged by it. I haven’t forced myself to finish a book that I didn’t like, assigned or otherwise, since I threw Gatsby across the room.

    It’s funny, almost all ‘action’ stories have a love story in them and almost all ‘love’ stories have a bit of action…yet I can’t think of a single story that truly tried to balance both.

    I supposed it could be argued that authors like Dickens strike a kind of balance by making characters and their fight/romance ratio such obvious tools for social commentary that the stories can’t be called ‘action’ or ‘romance.’

    Of course, something that is neither is certainly different from something that is both.

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