After this post I’m expecting hordes of furious Jane Austen fans at my door.
So when I was at the used book sale I spied Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice. Of course I’m familiar with Austen. She’s one of the biggies. She basically invented the romance genre. And who doesn’t love the movie Clueless (which is loosely based on Austen’s Emma)?
I’d never read anything by Austen, though I know many writers and readers who practically worship her. Romance isn’t my thing, but not wanting to consider myself a literary snob, I handed over the dollar and set to reading.
When I was younger I had it in my head that I had to finish every book I started. As I got older and time became more precious, I tossed that useless rule. With this literary challenge, though, I told myself I’d at least read until page 50. If I still couldn’t take the torture, I’d tap out then.
For Pride and Prejudice I made it to page 38.
I don’t know what it was exactly that made me quit this book.
Was it the ridiculous, over-the-top language?
Was it the horrible stage direction, which always had me confused as to who was saying what?
Was it the fact that the most interesting scenes were being described off-camera?
Was it that the only character I liked was Mr. Darcy, who is considered the villain (as far as romances go)?
Maybe it was all of those.
I’m guessing our hero Elizabeth Bennet blossoms into a character who is 1) interesting and 2) not annoying, but I didn’t have the patience to wait for her metamorphosis. I also didn’t have the patience for the wide cast of characters whose sole purpose was to gossip and pile on the unnecessary dialogue.
Call me overly proud. Call me prejudiced. But I couldn’t find the charm in Pride and Prejudice.
Maybe I should give Pride and Prejudice and Zombies a shot instead. Who doesn’t love zombies?
Next up: a book that’s the polar opposite of a romance, and one I actually finished.