Tag Archives: Book Review

Pride and Prejudice Episode III: Tokyo Drift

25 Apr

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Episode two ended with Mr. Collins proposal to Lizzy and episode 3 picks up with Lizzy visiting Charlotte Lucas who has just become engaged with Mr. Collins. Lizzy thinks this is horrible and that Charlotte has made a huge mistake but Charlotte tells Lizzy to step correct. She says that even though Mr. Collins isn’t attractive to her she’s not the romantic type and honestly thinks she’ll be as happy with him as with any other man. She tells Lizzy that he can afford her a comfortable lifestyle, is a good man, and that there is more to life than just being in love.

The Bingley’s leave Netherfield and Jane is heartbroken. Lizzy tries to cheer her up and tell her that they’ll be back soon but you can tell that Jane already knows that this means her chances with Mr. Bingley are over. The Bennet crew go to a party in which Mrs. Bennet talks mad shit about everyone in attendance and Lydia is extremely giddy / boy crazy and annoys everyone. Later when they get home Mary, the unlikely voice of reason, drops a deep quote about how you shouldn’t gossip and no one really listens to her.

Jane leaves Longbourn to visit her Aunt and Uncle in London. This is Lizzy’s idea since Mr. Bingley is also in London this will allow them to see each other and maybe get a marriage proposal. Jane goes to visit Caroline Bingley as soon as she arrives and gets a real annoyed unwanted vibe from her. Caroline makes an excuse to leave but promises to visit Jane in a day or two. Three weeks later Caroline finally comes to visit her and Jane realizes that Caroline has actually been her frenemy all along and has no interest in helping her get with Mr. Bingley.

Lizzie goes to Kent to visit Charlotte Lucas which a lot of things happen during this visit. First we meet Lady Catherin De Bough who is a prime example of a SOC (Sandy Old Cunt). We have seen how up her ass Mr. Collins is but once they are at Kent you really see how basically Mr. Collins entire life revolves around being her bitch. They have a real awkward dinner in which Lady Catherine is just a huge bitch to everyone. During the dinner there is some flirting/teasing between Mr. Darcy and Lizzy which is the first time you really suspect they have interest in each other. This is followed by a real awkward meeting where Mr. Darcy goes to Kent to see Lizzy. This is probably for him to propose but he loses his nerve after a little small talk and standing and sitting a lot.

The next day he comes back and proposes. Unknown to Mr. Darcy his timing could not have been shittier, because moments before Lizzy had learned that Mr. Darcy was personally responsible for discouraging Mr. Bingley from proposing to Jane. Not only that but that Mr. Darcy was bragging about it and telling people it was his great accomplishment because Bingley was in love with Jane. Needless to say Lizzie does not appreciate this so this adds a lot of gasoline to the fire of hate she already had for Mr. Darcy. Mr. Darcy also fucks up on all kinds of levels during the proposal and manages to insult her even further. Lizzy keeps her cool at first and just turns him down but when Mr. Darcy presses her she lets him know how she really feels and the gloves come off. The episode then ends with a rejection of the proposal and both having more disdain than ever for one another.

Deeper Thoughts

I’ve always liked the Lizzy/Charlotte scene in the book because the contrast shown between Elizabeth’s and Charlotte’s interpretation of Mr. Collins marriage proposal. Lizzy balks and runs immediately hearing his proposal and cannot fathom any one marrying Mr. Collins. Charlotte on the other hand realizes her prospects limits and while she has no romantic interest in Mr. Collins that he can provide her with other comforts and that she can live a fulfilled life with him. When Lizzy goes to Charlotte to express how sorry she feels for her it shows a real lack of maturity and understanding on Lizzy’s part. Lizzy has a hard time with empathy and understanding things from other people’s prospective.

Lady Catherine De Bough is really something else. Initially I assumed her relationship with Mr. Collins is that of one feeling sorry for him and supporting him because of his praises. Here you get a glimpse that Mr. Collins is a pet project for her and that she gets as much enjoyment out of criticizing and injecting herself in his life as he gets from her wealth. Her SOCness (sandy old cunt) has really left her with no friends and she has to provide for Mr. Collins just to have a sad sack around the home she can bitch as while he kisses her ass. What annoys me the most about Lady Catherine is her endless critique and advice on things that she has no idea what she’s talking about. When she is criticizing Lizzie for her piano playing and giving her unsolicited advice she throws in that she never learned the piano herself.

Mr. Bennet once again shows how useless he is. Now Mrs. Bennet is clearly hysterical most of the time and I suspect that Mr. Bennet in some ways enjoys seeing her like this. When she expresses a real fear that they will in fact lose the house after Charlotte is engaged to Mr. Collins his only comfort is “Let’s hope for better things!” I think Mr. Bennet is a decent guy but he just is incapable of dealing with emergencies and shuts down when trouble occurs.

Again the class differences she Austen’s lack of experience and empathy for the real lower class. When Mrs. Bennet is wailing around about her nerves and how poor and desolate their situation is there are at least 3 people working at their house hold cooking and cleaning. Sure they don’t have the money of Mr. Darcy but they are also doing pretty damn good.

Stray Thoughts

 

  • Jennifer Ehle is growing on me but still don’t love her as Lizzy #notmylizzie
  • I ain’t saying Mr. Wickham is a gold digger but he got real interested real quick when it became known the red head at the party was getting a fat inheritance
  • What war is going on that has all these military officers in town?
  • Whats up with the old lady with the sleeves at the party? The camera stays on her a long time and nothing comes of it
  • Mary be dropping deep knowledge on every one!

Drinking Game

 

  • Every time Mr. Collins fawns over Lady Catherine, double drink if he the fireplace is mentioned
  • Whenever Mrs. Bennett cries
  • Whenever Mrs. Bennett speaks of her nerves
  • Mary rocks the piano
  • When Caroline Bingley gives Jane a look that she wishes she was dead
  • When Darcy is ringed in to the Collins house
  • Someone is shown writing a letter
  • Lady Catherine De Bough does something bitchy
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Pride and Prejudice 1995 Episode I: The Phantom Menace

21 Jul

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Here we go…

This begins my five part series on the Pride and Prejudice mini-series from 1995 starring Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy and Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet. This is generally considered the pen ultimate version of Pride and Prejudice with the Colin Firth being the best version of Mr. Darcy

My first impression is that it did not need to be so long. I am only on the first episode which ends with Elizabeth and Jane leaving Netherfield after Jane has recovered from her cold. So that means we have had introductions and the first two dances and then the extended stay of Jane at Netherfield. It felt a decent pace so far but I can’t imagine how they stretch the entire story over four more hours.

As the general consensus of the people being that Colin Firth is the ultimate Mr. Darcy I am leaning to agree. He does a good job of not showing too much expression during his scenes but also to have that look that he is constantly absorbing and deconstructing everything around him. I don’t quite like Jane in this version as much as I do Keria Knightly in the 2005 film version. I initially didn’t like the actress who plays Elizabeth but she’s growing on me as I was watching, however she doesn’t quite hold up to Keria Knightly. The Bennet sisters did a great job and the actress who plays Mrs. Bennet also did a great job. In this version you get a better sense of how odd and improper the entire family is. Mrs. Bennet immediately starts hating on Mr. Darcy and has a pretty awesome passive aggressive bitch out moment at Netherfield that is awkward for everyone. Lydia and Kitty are even more boy crazy in this version to the point of being obnoxious, especially at the party hosted by the Lucas’s. Mary was really well cast in this version and there is a particularly good interpretation of the piano scene with her in it. Rather than her playing at the Netherfield ball she is playing at the Lucas party and it’s her own sisters who insult her and ask her to play something else. Mrs. Bennet even joins in and it looks like Mary is about to cry before Mr. Lucas has to step in to defuse the situation. It’s a good example of how Mary is proper and boring but also how improper the rest of the family is especially in front of other people.

I really liked Charlotte Lucas in this version as well. She warns Lizzie early on that if Jane wants to get with Bingley she’s got to act even more interested than she actually is or he’s not going to know. Knowing how things end up later on if she had taken Charlotte’s advice it would have meant a lot less heart ache later on.

The portrayal of Mrs. Bennet is very interesting in this version as well. She acts a lot more improper and offensive which is more in line with how the book describes her. She not only makes an ass of herself at the Lucas party but also really lays it in deep on Darcy when she comes by to visit Jane. She knows that He’s slighted Lizzie at this point but goes much further than a little sarcasm and straight insults him. It’s a lot easier to see in this version why Darcy had thought so low of the Bennet family initially the way they are acting now. Mrs. Bennet also straight tells Jane that she wants her to take horse back so she will get sick due to the rain. That was a strange choice of her to actually tell Jane of this rather than it be part of her “master plan”. Another strange choice was that during the scene in which Miss Bingley and Jane are walking around the drawing room while Darcy is reading. Instead of him giving both explanations on why he would rather sit and let them walk around (so they can talk amongst themselves and so he can stare at that ass) he only mentions the staring at that ass portion. For such a long miniseries it seems odd to cut that part, which now just makes Darcy look like a creeper.

A minor thing that I liked was they mentioned at the Lucas’s party why the troops were there. I don’t remember them mentioning that in any other version, and it playing such a big role later on, it was nice to have at least some explanation.

Overall some of the attention to detail you get in a 5 hour miniseries is nice but it feels entirely too slow. We have so far only gotten up to Jane’s stay at Netherfield in an hour and there is just so much more to cover. The book isn’t entirely that long and doesn’t need this Lord of the Rings style over kill version.

Drinking Game Rules

  • Every time Mrs. Bennet talks about her “poor nerves”
  • Every time there is a direct quote from the book that isn’t dialogue
  • Whenever Mr. Bennet makes a sassy remark about how dumb his daughters/wife is and how smart Lizzie is
  • Whenever Lydia/Kitty mention officers, dancing, or attending a ball
  • Whenever Miss. Bingley makes a snide remark about how awful the Bennet’s are
  • Every time Darcy says something nice about Lizzie
  • Take a shot when Lizzie jumps in the mud

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.

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.