Saturday, March 28, 2009

Following up with Jane

So, I finished reading my book by Jane Austen. Before getting too far into this though, I'm going to mention the official tally of the recommendations you all gave me for which book to read as my official trial run of Jane:

3 for Pride and Prejudice
2 for Sense and Sensibility
2 for Emma
2 for Northanger Abby
1 for Persuasion

So now I guess I had better tell you which book I actually read, right?

Based on which character I liked most (or related to most) in the Jane Austen Book Club movie, the book I chose to read was Persuasion. Interestingly, although not surprisingly, it was the book least-recommended by my readers. I have a theory about why this is, which I will share in a moment...but first, my thoughts on the book.

The last four or five chapters were quite exciting! The penultimate chapters (right before those last four or five) were interesting enough, as I could see the finale coming together. However the first 25 chapters were so slow and dull as to make my eyes water. I would probably have set it down were it not for my stubbornness and my whole public promise to all of you to actually read one entire book. ☺ When it finally did start getting good, it ended. Pow. Just like that.
My conclusion is that I feel no need to pick up any more of Jane's books, at least not for another couple of decades.

Here is something curious--BEFORE reading the book (although after choosing it), I went and took that quiz that so many of you feature on your sidebars... (remembering that I don't know any of the books well enough to have cheated in any way, as if I would do that anyway, geeze!)

I am Anne Elliot!
Take the Quiz here!

Well, it seems that I chose the best book for me after all--a book with a heroine to whom I could relate. ☺ (Although, on an unrelated topic, I recently read that apparently it's ok to end sentences with prepositions, so perhaps I could have said "with a heroine I could relate to" and it would have been acceptable even for that uptight little editor in my head who always makes me fix those things!)
I mentioned that I thought I knew why almost no one recommended this book... Well, every time I've ever seen this little feature on one of my friend's sidebars, it always shows one of the Dashwoods, or maybe Emma...I am certain that I've never seen Anne Elliot before. I think that perhaps we like the books with the characters that we relate to...and that's why I don't like the books that you like.
It's a good thing we can still be friends anyway, eh?


Janeen said...

No worries with me, I've yet to read any Jane Austin book. lol I have read Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre a few times, the first being at age 12.

Carolyn said...

Wait... you can end a sentence in a preposition? That's crazy talk.

Brooke said...

Interesting! I have zero desire to read Jane Austen, but I took the quiz... I'm Elinor Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility. I'm very practical, so I suppose that makes sense :)

Mae said...

I am so very sad that you don't like Jane. Oddly enough, Persuasion is my ultimate favorite. I never commented on your original post because I couldn't write a short response and I didn't have the emotional energy at the time to write a full treatise on why you should read Persuasion. I am Anne Elliot through and through. Every one in my family always tells me what they want me to tell another family member. I am perpetually the sister that takes care of everything and everyone else without being taken care of myself. Ok, that sounded whinish, but it's kind of true.

And you can end a sentence with a preposition?! Shudder!

If you want to lothe a Jane character read Mansfield Park. H-A-T-E FAnny. She has NO backbone. And in the end, the hero choses her second, and more as an after thought. Blech!

I will have to take the test because I've never seen one before. But Persuasion is probably the least read of her books, next to Mansfield Park (or perhaps The Watsons or Susan...) so that's my guess why it wasn't recommended.

P&P was my introduction into the world of understanding how people think and what motivates them. I was so scholastically oriented my entire life until I moved to Cle Elum my senior year of high school. I didn't get all. That year I started to actually observe people, which is what Jane does in P&P. And I read P&P for the first time and ate it up. Finally I was getting an example of what motivates people! And it was in book format! And I could STUDY it! (Think of Hermione being mad about not being able to learn how to fly from a book...) So that's why I fell in love with Pride and Prejudice.

Josie said...

How fun! I wish I had more time to read- not really, I wish I had more time to sew!!! haha lol

Brittany Ann said...

I'm an Elizabeth Bennett, according to the quiz. I like that your tastes aren't mainstream, my aren't either, and I think it's a good thing.

Kelly said...

But but... you gotta read "Pride and Prejudice" before you give up on old Jane! ;)

I hate romance type stuff, but even I liked that one. ;)


Brooke said...

Maybe you'll like this better :) I know my college age brother also reviewed it for his school paper... now I'm interested in seeing what he thought as well!!

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