Archive | October, 2012

Fifty Shades of Pride (A Darcy Interlude)

16 Oct

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single respectable woman in possession of no fortune must be in want of a wealthy husband. It is not even slightly acknowledged, however, that some single women know how unlikely it is to find one.”

Before we can really talk about the amazingness that is this mash up of 50 Shades of Grey and Pride and Prejudice we have to talk about nerds for a minute.  Nerd has for a long time has been a negative connotation, when you thought of nerds you thought of tape on glass, pocket protector, calculator watch nerd classic.  It seems like it’s all ways been around and nerds have been getting swirlys in movies for as long as I can remember.

Being a nerd is actually cool now.  Ever since Al Gore lifted Mjölnir (Thor’s Hammer) and created the internet nerds have been connecting with each other and sharing their nerdom and celebrating it.

That being said there are still a few things which their level of nerdom is high and so ingrained that you will be ostracized in public by even fellow nerds if you mention them.  These things harken back to the olden days of nerd where there was a deep sense of shame and embarrassment about being  into the thing you were in to.  And fairly enough the two are divided pretty well across gender lines.  The first, which is generally attributed to guys, is table top gaming, aka dungeons and dragons.  There is no way around this, people will make fun of you to your face and there is simply no way you can ever talk about this without looking ridiculous.  The second, which is generally attributed to ladies, is fan fiction, aka creating original stories based on other people’s material.  You may not even be aware this is a thing but it is and there are hundreds and thousands of web pages devoted to this.  Lots of it is pretty innocent and simply stories about harry potter’s kids, or what happened after star wars.  But then there is a whole genre of erotic fan fiction where shit gets out of hand.  What would happen if Ron and Harry hooked up?  Google it, it’s out there.

PS: the male equivalent to writing erotic fan fiction is being like a Dexter serial killer.

And that brings us to the main event, Fifty Shades of Pride (A Mr. Darcy Interlude) By Anna Smith.

I was going to avoid trying to go through the massive amount of Pride and Prejudice fan fiction that is out there but when I saw that there was an erotic 50 Shades of Grey Pride and Prejudice mash up that was only 40 pages and free on amazon prime, I couldn’t say no.  First off I haven’t read 50 Shades of Grey so I have no idea how it fits into this story, but if it’s anything like how Pride and Prejudice fits in (none at all) then I’m not missing out.

It starts off sort of like real life Pride and Prejudice where out new heroine, Emily and her friend Charlotte? (I can’t remember the friend doesn’t show up again), is at a ball where she meets Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley.  Instead of her over hearing them talk about the women in attendance like in real life P&P Emily over hears Darcy and Bingley talking about some whores they plowed the night before.  Which I don’t think little girls who dream of Darcy being their dream man imagine him plowing a bunch of whores.  But after he talking about banging whores Emily over hears Darcy mention how he doesn’t want to dance with any women there and how they aren’t tolerable, just like in real life P&P.  Also there is another guy at the ball who wants to marry Emily named Dr. Samuelson who is super boring and no one likes and sounds exactly like Mr. Collins.  So like we literally are all Pride and Prejudice set up at this point with a few different names and Darcy fucking a bunch of whores.  Then we basically abandon all Pride and Prejudice connection from hear out.  Emily owns a hunting lodge which Darcy is going to stay at.  She was going to stay with her friend Mary while he’s there but all of a sudden her plans fall through with Mary and she has to stay at the hunting lodge.  It’s pretty big I guess since she just hides from Darcy and his friends that are hunting and pretends to be a serving girl.  Well one night she goes downstairs to get a book (her uncle has a lot of erotic books) and Darcy catches her.  She leaves but he knows she was going to read erotica so the bait is set.  Next night Emily is cold and goes by the fire downstairs and Darcy joins her and one thing leads to another and they go to pound town.  After that it’s just a series of her sneaking down stairs so her and Darcy can bone.   After a while Darcy has to leave and asks her to come with her on a trip (some more sex happens here as well).  Emily decides to cut her hair and pretend to be a boy so they can travel without cause a stir.  She does, they bone, and then they take a tour of Paris.  They just bone a lot here, blah, blah.  Then Darcy gets a letter about his sister being in trouble and has to leave at once (we are to assume this was the instance with Mr. Wickham from real life P&P.  Since the ball we have completely ignored real life P&P and just been boning).  Darcy asks her to wait for him as he takes care of this and Emily gets a letter that her uncle that left her the hunting lodge also forgot but left her a bunch of money so she can now live a lifestyle of traveling and such and not worry about money, the end.

So the book is really oddly paced.  At first it is straight up scene for scene playing out like real life Pride and Prejudice.  Even to the extend where Mr. Darcy makes some pride full comments that Emily overhears and that there is a Mr. Collins that wants to marry her.  They even retool the opening line from real life Pride and Prejudice.  But they drop all of that all most immediately once they get to the cabin and it’s just going to pound town.  We get a little more Pride and Prejudice at the end but it’s a pretty loose “interpretation”.  So I don’t read a lot of “romance” novels so I don’t know how these things typically go but our hero is completely inexperienced in sex and Mr. Darcy has to show her the ropes.  She starts out as a virgin and goes from kissing Darcy to boning in 4.5 seconds.  It seems like this is probably a common theme in romance novels because it doesn’t make any sense in relating to Pride and Prejudice.  Emily is portrayed as a strong black woman, figuratively speaking.  Her parents are dead (guess?) and she owns a house that she rents out and employs a lot of servants.  She has a lot of real life responsibility and doesn’t take shit (she breaks a vase on one of Darcy’s friends who tries to assault her).  However she is completely passive in her own sexuality in besides having read some erotica.  Mr. Darcy is basically in charge of her learning about all her own sexuality.  None of the other characters really matter in it, they show up but you have pretty much forgotten about them by the time the next boning session takes place.  One thing that stuck out to me was that the servants are still basically non-people just like in real life Pride and Prejudice.  We hear some about how Emily is poor (owns a working lodge and all, but still) and how she is going to have to run this lodge all her life and how sad that is.  Yet there are several people that live and work to run the place who we aren’t supposed to feel sorry for?

There are actually two Pride and Prejudice / 50 Shades of Grey fan fiction books in ebook format that you can read.  The other one probably isn’t good either so if you want to read one this is probably the one to get in that its short so at least you won’t waste a lot of time.  It’s been interesting reading someone fan fiction (erotic fan fic at that!) but I don’t really get the appeal.  It probably would have been a lot worse if there had not been the constant fucking.  I’ll try to review more Pride and Prejudice fan fiction but honestly there is just so damn much and it takes a lot time so I’m probably going to stay away from it.

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Pride and Prejudice Book III: Pride Hard With A Vengeance

8 Oct

. . . and at that moment she felt that to be mistress of Pemberley might be something!

So I may have said that the last volume of the book was the section where shit goes down, so this section I would say is the section where more shit goes down but not as much as the section before.

We start off with our hero, Elizabeth, generally feeling kind of shitty for the way she treated Mr. Darcy on learning that Mr. Wickham wasn’t the badass she had first thought.  She goes on a trip to the countryside with her Aunt and Uncle and go on tours of huge houses around the area, which is something you could just do in those days.  Elizabeth’s Aunt suggests going to Pemberley (home of Mr. Darcy!) and Elizabeth not wanting to blow her cover accepts and to Pemberley they go.

I thought this was weird.  They just go to Pemberley and the house keeper, who doesn’t know any of them, just lets them right on in and gives them a grand tour of the place.  Elizabeth knows Mr. Darcy and they mention that but still the housekeeper doesn’t know that and for all she knows they are stealing silverware when she’s not looking.  It’s weird.

So they learn that Mr. Darcy isn’t there and won’t be there till the next day.  Elizabeth is relieved in that she’s still embarrassed for yelling at him and knowing she won’t see him she can relax and take in all that is Mr. Darcy’s home.   She starts to semi day dream how she could have been the mistress of the house and you begin to see her fall for Darcy for the first time.  Then out of nowhere Darcy arrives at his home early! Elizabeth freaks the fuck out and says all most nothing to him.  Darcy is super nice and shows her and her Aunt and Uncle around the place.

I was a little disappointed in Elizabeth, she’s shown herself a strong black woman so far and she pussys out completely in front of Darcy.  She could have apologized then and there, or made any mention that she believes he was right in his judgment of Wickhams character.  Instead she kind of blushes a lot and Mr. Darcy, I can only assume, still thinks she hates him.  She had just been remorse that she might not ever see him again and be able to make things right, but when presented with the chance to do just that she doesn’t.

Elizabeth and her Aunt and Uncle leave and stay at a nearby inn.  They receive a letter at the inn from Jane that lets them know that Lydia has ran off with Mr. Wickham and are living in sin.  Mr. Darcy visits them right after and Elizabeth is distraught, tells him what has happened before they leave to go to back home to sort this out.

The details are a little tedious but basically without telling anyone but Elizabeth’s Aunt and Uncle, Mr. Darcy pays all of Mr. Wickham’s debts and a large sum of money in order to convince him to marry Lydia, which he eventually does.  Elizabeth learns that it was Darcy who paid Wickham off and falls even more in love with him knowing he saved their family from disgrace.  Once all that is settled we get the greatest Victorian age verbal smack downs in the book when out of nowhere Lady Catherine comes to Longbourn and tells Elizabeth that she isn’t to marry Mr. Darcy.  Elizabeth tells her to fuck right off and the result has the opposite effect Lady Catherine had intended since now Elizabeth is sure Mr. Darcy still loves her.

Mr. Bingley comes back to Netherfield and him and Jane pick back up and he eventually proposes to Jane.  Darcy visits Bingley Netherfield and during a walk that him and Elizabeth have in which they manage to get some alone time he tells her he’s still in love with her and she tells him she loves him.  They get engaged and eventually married and the other loose ends are tied up in the epilogue.

Besides the bitch out Victorian equivalent of a real house wives throw the table moment between Lady Catherine and Elizabeth most of the action feels on the decline in this part of the book.  It feels funny to say that seeing as one of the daughters ran off with a man and caused a lot of scandal but all of the dealings with that were mostly off screen.  We just got letters and so forth from Mr. Gardiner about what was happening and it eventually worked out.  As soon as Bingley got back to Netherfield it was pretty obvious him and Jane would get be engaged pretty quickly.  After Elizabeth found out that Darcy paid for her sister to get married she was pretty much in for him and all the two of them needed was an open discussion on the matter to seal the deal.

This is another part I am a little disappointed in Elizabeth’s actions toward Mr. Darcy.  When Lady Catherine comes to her house to tell her not to marry Darcy she straight up tells her if he asks she would say yes.  She stands up to Lady Catherine who is of higher class in order to do so which is a big no no.  However she still can’t bring herself to say anything to Mr. Darcy.  If he hadn’t have told her that he still was in love with her they would have never got together.  She seemed intent on not bringing up the subject of even thanking him for what he did for Lydia (all though she wasn’t supposed to know).  Mr. Darcy had even been to dinner with their family and Mrs. Bennet acted like an asshole to him (he had just helped their family out a ton but she didn’t know all thought Elizabeth did) and Elizabeth just let her.  She didn’t stick up for him at all when he was being insulted by her own family right in front of her face.  I guess it was her being lady-like by not saying anything but Elizabeth really should have told Darcy something on the lines of apology for what she said about him and Wickham even if she wasn’t going to bring up the help he had provided for her family.

I was also disappointed in Mr. Bennet in this section of the book as well.  So far he’s been one of my favorite characters with his witty statements and disinterest in his daughters getting married.  He provides a great balance to his wife who thinks about nothing but her daughters getting married.  However when Lydia runs away with Mr. Wickham he is utterly useless in doing anything.  He goes to England where he believes they are in order to convince them to get married but after a few days can’t handle it and makes his brother in law handle the situation for him.  During all of the dealings that had to be made to pay Wickham to convince him to marry Lydia he has no part of it.  He goes from being one of our heroes of wit and humor to being fairly useless in a time of need.

So overall I liked the book, if I were to rate it I would give it 4 out of 5.  It’s language and style reflect the time period it was made, and even though this was all most two hundred years ago it still it’s easy to become engrossed in the story.  I’m pretty excited to say the least I didn’t hate this book and then would be spending the next god knows how long going through adaptation after adaptation.  If I did have one complaint it would  be the treatment of lower class citizens in this book.  They are basically non-existent or they are portrayed as completely content with their station in life.  I’ll go into more detail about this later but for all the analysis between the upper and middle class and destruction the class divide brings we don’t hear about the lower classes at all.  But it’s a small complaint and the story isn’t about the struggle of the lower classes it’s a love story so I get it not being in there.  Any ways now that I’ve gone through the original book it will be time to start going through the adaptations!

Pride and Prejudice Book II: Pride Harder

2 Oct

“In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

If this was an episode of Friends the title would be, “The one where shit goes down”.  Book two consists of chapters 24-42 and presents the main conflict and climax of the book.  In these chapters our hero Elizabeth visits her newly married BFF Charlotte at her Huntsford.  During this visit we get some of the best moments so far from the bitchy Lady Catherine de Bourgh, who truly deserves a section all her own.  She is like Cruella DeVille, Professor Umbridge, and Chief Gordon Ramsay all mixed into the perfect storm of cunt.

No governess! How was that possible? Five daughters brought up at home without a governess! I never heard of such a thing. Your mother must have been quite a slave to your education.

All though statements like the following made by Lady Catherine seem pretty tame, in Pride and Prejudice talk she mine as well have just told Elizabeth that she is stupid and her mother is a whore.

All though our main parties’ visits with Lady Catherine are entertainment enough in this section of the book the real shocker in this section is the surprise proposal of Mr. Darcy to Elizabeth.  Mr. Darcy is the nephew of Lady Catherine so he visits her estate during the duration of Elizabeth’s stay with the Collins. He acts some what strange but Elizabeth could really give a fuck and from her earlier accounts of Mr. Darcy’s behavior from Mr. Wickham he is an irredeemable pile of shit.  So when out of left field Mr. Darcy proposes and not only that but says he has been in love with her, it is quite the shock to all.  Up until this point we assumed the hatred between the two was mutual but it becomes clear that Mr. Darcy was not catching the bad vibes Elizabeth was sending him.  Elizabeth not only rejects him but kicks him swiftly in the balls with her shut down and confronts him on what Mr. Wickham has said of Darcy’s character and on him keeping her sister Jane and Mr. Bingley apart.

From the very beginning–from the first moment, I may almost say–of my acquaintance with you, your manners, impressing me with the fullest belief of your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish disdain of the feelings of others, were such as to form the groundwork of disapprobation on which succeeding events have built so immovable a dislike; and I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry.”

In other words, “Not only no, but HELL no”.  Mr. Darcy is left a broken mess and leaves without saying much more.  The next day he gives Elizabeth a letter that gives in full detail an explanation of his actions.  He explains he did try to keep Jane and Bingley apart but only because he didn’t think she was into him.  Jane is a quiet girl and he apologized for his inference because he truly thought it was in their best interest.  As for Mr. Wickham he lays out what really when down and that he gave Mr. Wickham the money his father had left for him and much more so he could become a lawyer.  Wickham blew the money on hookers and blow and came back asking for more and Darcy, rightfully so, told him to go fuck himself.  Afterwards Wickham tried to secretly elope with his sister which would have been all kinds of a scandal and this is why he and Wickham hated each other.   Elizabeth realizes she fucked up and judged him wrongly but the damage has already been done so she can only hope that she doesn’t suffer the embarrassment of seeing him again.

Ok that was a lot of plot and lots were left out but the main theme of the whole book has been this back and forth anger/hatred between Elizabeth and Darcy.  You expected that feelings were mutual so it is a really big shock that he was actually in love with her the whole time.  More so it is a shock that Mr. Wickham isn’t who he say he is.  Elizabeth herself was growing a half chub for Wickham before she left for Huntsford and Wickham was reciprocating those feelings.  However shortly before she left another richer girl in town became available and Wickham dropped his affection for Elizabeth for greener pastors.  This should have been a sign for Elizabeth but their attraction was never that strong so she just assumed he was never that interested in the start.  This in and of it self isn’t much but it’s helps Elizabeth find the truth when she’s presented with two drastically different characterizations of Mr. Wickham and Mr. Darcy.

For me the most interesting and best part of the book so far has been seeing Elizabeth after receiving the letter use her logic and reasoning to realize what Darcy is saying is true.  She has hated Darcy the entirety that she’s known him so far and it would have been much easier for her to convince herself he was lying and Wickham is right.  After her outburst she very possibly won’t ever see Darcy again and there would be consequence if she held the façade that Mr. Wickham told her to be true.  However, Elizabeth sets what she feels emotionally aside and decides based on the merit of their statements what is true.  In this pre-election climate you can really see that putting your emotions aside and taking a hard truth is something that a lot of people are simply unwilling to do.  It is hard to take a cherished belief and stare at the facts and say “hey I fucked up”.  With the internet and how polarized things are right now we can just find the facts that best suit us and double down regardless of what introspective thought and reasoning might tell us.  Elizabeth took the harder path and had to realize her actions might have hurt a decent man rather than take the easy way out and say he was full of shit.

Our hero is growing up.  While she’s not a girl, not yet a woman, she’s definitely on her way.  When she first heard that her BFF Charlotte was getting married to Mr. Collins she acted like an asshole.  While she didn’t do anything outwardly other than a small outburst when Charlotte first told her inside she turned on her friend.

Charlotte the wife of Mr. Collins was a most humiliating picture! And to the pang of a friend disgracing herself and sunk in her esteem, was added the distressing conviction that it was impossible for that friend to be tolerably happy in the lot she had chosen.”

Between Elizabeth and Charlotte there was a restraint which kept them mutually silent on the subject; and Elizabeth felt persuaded that no real confidence could ever subsist between them again. Her disappointment in Charlotte made her turn with fonder regard to her sister …”

It was kind of shitty for her to be so hard on her friend for getting married a guy who was yes an idiot but also wealthy enough so that she could live well.  Seeing Elizabeth reason and reconcile her mistake with Darcy shows leaps and bounds in her growth as a person from the girl she was.

Next up is book three and the conclusion to part one of this many part series.  After all the scandal and surprises of book two I don’t know if book three is going to try to top it or just tie up loose ends.  Either way its going to be interesting to see how this tale ends.  Also after reading thus far it’s become clear that Mr. Collins, Lady Catherine, and the Bennet girls are going to need a separate discussions of their own.  They are all some of the craziest/catty/bitchy/dumb/greatest/most entertaining parts of the book and so don’t feel bad if I haven’t given them justice yet.