I’ve literally just finished reading this book, and as I missed posting during the weekend, I figured now would be as good a time as any to take up the Eclectic Reader Challenge once more, this time with a romantic fiction. As always, more information on this challenge can be found in the tab above labeled “The Challenge”.
Now, on to the book.
Pride and Prejudice is, of course, one of the most famous of Jane Austen’s novels. Set in Victorian England, it follows the story of Elizabeth Bennet and her family. More specifically, it follows Elizabeth’s relationship with a certain Mr. Darcy, who upon first glance is an arrogant, prideful sort of man.
Most people know this premise (and its conclusion) without ever having read the book. However, once I started reading I realized that P&P is so much more than that. It’s about the Bennets’ new neighbor, Mr. Bingley, and his flirtations with Elizabeth’s sister Jane. It concerns the youngest Bennet, Lydia, who’s constantly getting herself into trouble. It touches on the Bennet sisters’ cousin, Mr. Collins, and his mission to make things right with their family.
In terms of themes, P&P is mainly about first impressions and the prejudices they can bring about. It’s about finding the true person underneath the layers you’ve attached to them. Throughout the book, Elizabeth’s opinions and perspectives are constantly being changed and changed again, and it’s up to her to figure out what’s true and what isn’t.
That’s not to say this book is all about preaching morals, however, which brings me to another of my main points: this book is funny. It’s much funnier than I thought it would be. In all honesty, I expected a stuffy, predictable, old-time romance. But some parts of the book made me actually laugh.
For example, basically any time Mr. Collins showed up was a riot. This man is the most pompous fool you could ever hope to encounter, and the best part is he has absolutely no clue about it.
Moving on from the funny, I did think the book was a bit slow at parts. Near the end, however, things really started to pick up, and I got a lot more interested. So if you’re reading this and it seems boring, my advice is to stick with it.
Overall, this book was very well done, but I do have one point to raise. At some parts, it seemed to me that Elizabeth acted a bit silly. Especially where her opinions of Mr. Darcy and Mr. Wickham are involved, she changed her mind incredibly quickly, and it seemed a bit out of character for her. Besides that, however, I found no faults with the book.
This certainly isn’t a book that has some big deeper meaning. I mean, it’s not like The Catcher in the Rye (which I read before this and will be reviewing within the next couple of days). But for someone who doesn’t generally read a lot of romance, it was a great introduction into the classics of the genre. It surprised me by being much more entertaining than I ever thought it would be. I see now why Jane Austen is such a celebrated literary figure.
I suppose the reason I picked this book deserves a mention. I’ve mentioned YouTube quite a lot in the past few months on here, and it turns out that YouTube is responsible for my finally reading P&P. Of course, I always meant to read it, and I had a copy that I would get around to eventually, but I never fully committed until I heard about the Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Essentially, it’s a web series adaptation of the book, set in the modern day and presented in the form of a series of video diaries made by Lizzie (Elizabeth) Bennet. It’s very funny and, so far, very true to the spirit of the original. If you’re an Austen fan (or if you’re not- it’s a great watch even for people who haven’t read it), I strongly suggest you take a look.
Well, I suppose that’s it for this review. Stay tuned for my opinion on Catcher. In the meantime, my rating for this book is 3 out of 5 stars.
P.S. Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of Novel Journeys! So that’s exciting. I had meant to do something more grand for the occasion, but I suppose this review will have to do.