Thursday, September 14, 2006

Slogging through...

Prior to the publication of Lover Awakened, I had been working on Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife by Linda Berdoll. I love Pride and Prejudice, I don't consider myself to be any kind of purist, so I was quite pleased by the idea of a sexed-up sequel. I've actually loved this story in all of its incarnations: the old BBC miniseries, as well as the Colin Firth one, the old Olivier movie, and the recent Keira Knighteley one (even though she kinda bugs). The Darcy-type hero is one of my favorites: the arrogant, upright, reserved type, felled by love. And he is the archetype to be sure. Anyhow, Berdoll's book rolled along nicely for awhile, but then my attention started to flag. It's just that the pages are so damn big! And the font so damn small! So I put it down for a week or so, then picked it up again. I'm torn. I'm enjoying her characterizations, but aside from the physical difficulty I'm having in reading it, the language is really getting on my nerves. Ms. Berdoll has obviously done quite a bit of research into the language and slang of the time. And she seems to feel the need to throw in every word she came across, multiple times. She also structures the sentences awkwardly and it often comes across as fake and forced, rather than authentic. It is extremely overwritten. We're just getting around to events foreshadowed from way back. It's just all taking too long. I think I'm going to skim because I do want to see what happens.

Tara Marie just mentioned Darcy's Story by Janet Aylmer on her blog. It got me thinking that there are a ton of pretty recent sequels or offshoots of P&P. I every time I turn around someone mentions another.

Here are some more:

The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy by Mary Street

Letters From Pemberley: the First Year by Jane Dawkins

Mrs. Darcy's Dilemma by Diana Birchall

The Darcys by Phyillis Furey

Mr. Darcy's Daughters by Elizabeth Aston (and sequels)

Pemberley by Emma Tennant

Suspense and Sensibility or, First Impressions Revisited: A Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mystery (Mr. & Mrs. Darcy) by Carrie Bebris (and sequels)

I have no idea if this is interesting to anyone besides myself. I'm just amazed at all the attempts to pick up Darcy and Elizabeth's story. I've left out a bunch. And the reviews are mixed to say the least. Ah well, if anyone's looking to read a P&P sequel, here's a place to start. Ta for now.


Tara Marie said...

I'm slogging through Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife right now too, and have decided to put it aside. I'm enjoying it, but good lord, the font is making me completly blind even with my glasses.

Darcy's story is a nice quick read and the author uses Jane Austen's original dialogue but from Darcy's point of view--great book.

I'm tempted to look for some of the other's you've listed, like my TBR pile isn't big enough--LOL.

Mailyn said...

Completely unrelated but I wonder why it is that that painting is on the cover of so many books. I kid you not. It's even on the cover of a horror anthology. WTH?! LOL.

I do love it nonetheless.

Dev said...

Don't forget the trilogy by Pamela Aidan ~ An Assembly Such as This, Duty and Desire, and These Three Remain. They're told in Darcy's point of view. The first book in the trilogy is out now, the second one will be released later this year, and the third one is due out next year.

Anonymous said...

While I admit the story did get bogged down about 2/3s thru, and I can see where the font could be annoying, I loved this book. :P

Devon said...

I finished it, with a liberal amount of skimming. I did enjoy Berdoll's characters, as I said, but she needed to be taken in hand. Way too much book for so little plot, and a little too much jargon. Whether or not it was hisorically accurate, it smacked of excess to me. And what was the deal with Darcy's deafness? (Spoiler, sorry.) People would talk to him, he would talk to them, then all of a sudden their would be some mention of, oh yeah he's deaf. I had thought it was temporary.