Pride/Prejudice: A Novel of Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet,

Pride/Prejudice: A Novel of Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet, and Their Forbidden Lovers Audacious and masterfulTrue to Austen s spirit, Ann Herendeen has given us a compelling, and sexual, novel of manners Pamela Regis, author of A Natural History of the Romance Novel Ann Herendeen s Pride Prejudice a novel of Mr Darcy, Elizabeth Bennett, and their other loves revisits the classic Jane Austen work to fill in the gaps that the original left unexplained and unexplored Ingenious, brazen, and unrelentingly entertaining yet always appreciative and respectful of one of the world s most beloved literary works this masterful reinvention by the acclaimed author of Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander is truly a Pride and Prejudice for the st Century I absolutely LOVED this book I appreciate the manner in which Ann Herendeen paid tribute to Jane Austen without mimicking her I thoroughly enjoyed how the plot twists, while staying true to the thrust of the original story, drew life, and a wonderful sense of life, by the very nature of the differences Herendeen created to make her story as plausible as Austen s I also think Jane would roll her eyes and roll over in her grave were she to read this Not because she wouldn t like it, but rather I absolutely LOVED this book I appreciate the manner in which Ann Herendeen paid tribute to Jane Austen without mimicking her I thoroughly enjoyed how the plot twists, while staying true to the thrust of the original story, drew life, and a wonderful sense of life, by the very nature of the differences Herendeen created to make her story as plausible as Austen s I also think Jane would roll her eyes and roll over in her grave were she to read this Not because she wouldn t like it, but rather, because she would think The jig is up, I ve been found out, let s dance Jane Austen wrote the book she could write Ann Herendeen wrote the book Ann Herendeen wanted to write For Austen purists, if, indeed, there really is such a thing, I believe you would shudder at Pride Prejudice, and the shuddering would be not entirely without delight For others, I think the author s implicit request that one expand one s imagination, might be too much to ask And for yet another group, I think their belief in an all powerful and loving God does not, under any circumstance, include homosexuals, bisexuals and lesbians So they really should not read this book because the sex alone is shockingly, wonderfully, deliciously sinful By the way, there s no way one can look at the cover of this book and read the first page without realizing the same sex nature and inclinations of the two main male characters So, it s OK to say you hate it, it s OK to say you love it it s not OK to say you were shocked shocked I tell you to discover two men making love with one another and, quite separately, of course, with their wives Oh, sorry, didn t mean to reveal that much No, Pride Prejudice is for readers who love the well turned phrase, who demand a plot and storyline that keeps moving and who want characters and dialog that remind them of the original reasons they loved Jane Austen, while being frankly happy to read something that uniquely resonates with their own lives Herendeen says in her essay at the back of the book The Story Behind Pride Prejudice, her own story is a way of bringing to light the alternative universe that was invisible in Austen s time As even the most casual observer of marginalized people could agree, the invisibility first, of women, and second, of the subcultures of homosexuals, bisexuals and lesbians, did not preclude individual members of these groups from pursuing, in whatever manner least likely to get them hung, their inherent passions and preferences.And, as with Austen, Herendeen completely convinces that the people in her world are passionate creatures with high moral standards that are measured against and coexist with a very fallible and human nature Like most moral dilemmas, the prevailing one in Pride Prejudice involves lies of both omission and commission in that environment, Herendeen brings her characters to life as they make sound and unsound, moral and unmoral, thoughtful and thoughtless conclusions that support their own narrow first impressions As I read some of the other reviews, I can t help but think some of the readers of Pride Prejudice have missed the irony inherent in their own disparagement of Herendeen s book as a trope right out of that very book Ann Herendeen s writing reveals a level of sophistication, subtlety and prowess of language mastery that most writers and authors wish they had She dispatches her dialog, the characters and the storyline with an ease that belies the difficulty of taking a beloved story and making it one s own.For anyone familiar with fan fiction, and for anyone who has had the talent and skill to move beyond it , Pride Prejudice is a delightful, beautifully written recreation of the way it very well might have been.I knew Ann was great with dialogue when I read her first book, Phyllidia and the Brotherhood of Philander, but the way she captures the tonal coloration of the world in which the Pride Prejudice characters live is completely rewarding for its believability, authenticity and rigorous reflection of the times All the good emotional satisfaction one had when reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is redoubled and brought forward to us by a 21st century author who perfectly captures the voices of Elizabeth, Darcy, Bingley and others that you know and gives them words, and a world, you may or may not know.I especially liked Herendeen s virtuoso ability with Elizabeth To put this character s even handed sensibilities and turn of phrase together with a so called modern configuration of loves and lovers and make it utterly credible, leaves this reader convinced that Ann Heredeen may very well have written the book social convention would not have allowed Jane Austen to write That makes it all thesatisfying that a modern day heir apparent has.I think Ann Herendeen is a remarkably gifted writer from whom we are going to hear a great deal.FULL DISCLOSURE Ann Herendeen is a good friend of mine, and I am mentioned in her Dedication of this book Until I actually had the book in my hands, though, I never read so much as a single sentence of this book however, as a friend, I certainly encouraged her as a writer and said the kinds of things cheerleaders say to their friends who are challenging themselves to create something of value In that regard, I applauded every word, and probably every semicolon and exclamation point Writers, even previously published ones like Ann, need feedback, and mine was of the conceptual, emotional and existential variety, i.e., yes writing is glorious, yes it sucks, yes it s where we love to live, yes it s a dreadful place to be, etc etc I do not feel that my friendship precludes my ability to write a book review of a friend s book, and yet I claim no particular objectivity, either So Make of this disclosure, and my review, what you will Oh dear Perhaps it s my own failing and there s something I fail to understand about the real motivations for writing, but I find it hard to believe that when Ann Herendeen set out to write this homoerotic slash version of Pride and Prejudice that this published result really conveys the exact sentiments to the reader that she intended I can understand the creative ambition that would drive a writer to put some kind of twist on a Jane Austen novel they re classic and amazing and many reader Oh dear Perhaps it s my own failing and there s something I fail to understand about the real motivations for writing, but I find it hard to believe that when Ann Herendeen set out to write this homoerotic slash version of Pride and Prejudice that this published result really conveys the exact sentiments to the reader that she intended I can understand the creative ambition that would drive a writer to put some kind of twist on a Jane Austen novel they re classic and amazing and many readers love to explore new twists or sequels And I can totally understand why folks might write slash fiction for their favorite characters But then there s this Pride Prejudice, which seems as though it s using the classic novel to advocate for a bisexual open relationship telling, but still remains oddly biased and limiting Really, all Herendeen wanted to create with this telling was bisexual porn that seems to advocate male love over female love The basic story follows the plot of the standard Pride and Prejudice but behind the scenes motivations are all a bit different for our three main couples Darcy isn t as convinced of the Bennets unsuitability for his friend Bingley so much as he wants to keep Bingley to himself, as his young and pliable gay lover Wickham used to be Darcy s lover back in the day, and it broke Darcy s heart when Wickham ended it and said he only did it so he could get money out of Darcy and then tried to seduce Darcy s sister, too Lydia s a slut oh wait, that s the same, never mind Lizzy is repulsed that Charlotte would consider marrying Mr Collins but is partially jealous that Charlotte could give up Lizzy, her gay lover but not quite because apparently women don t have the same attachments that men do when it comes to same sex couples There s something a bit confusing in this logic and I m not quite sure what to do with it, as clearly Herendeen has no problems when it comes to gay couples but she seems to imply that female couples just don t last Apparently love between two male friends is this Greek ideal and is the highest level of love that can be attained but women are just kind of playing around Um, what Then there s the issue of committed relationships versus open ones and if Herendeen was trying to make a bid foropen relationships when it comes to sex, then I m not sure she achieved her goal Things seem to wind up where Bingley and Darcy get to have their cake and eat it, too, but the ladies are totally satisfied with their husbands Even while I m glad we don t delve into incestuous sisters, it still seems to be a bit unfair Lizzy finds out pretty early what s going on between Bingley and Darcy and evidently so does Jane, as Bingley confesses it to her during their courtship Bingley is not as committed to such a homosexual lifestyle as Darcy and lashes out at Darcy a few times while Darcy tries to ignore Bingley s insistence and keep him under his well, let s just say thumb Darcy is presented as a very selfish woman hater who coerces Bingley into keeping up their sexual activity long after Bingley has expressed a wish to end things Bingley s love for Jane seems a bitlikely as opposed to Darcy s love for Elizabeth, which hinges on her ability to converse with him as an equal and is semi sparked when he originally thinks that her body resembles that of a boy Darcy seems to learnabout honesty and openness and forgiveness and not hating women as a result of his struggle over loving Elizabeth, but I m not quite sure that I buy it Ultimately, the gentlemen marry their lady loves, but there s a bit of a rift between the two couples before the wedding when Jane learns that Darcy was responsible for keeping Bingley and Jane apart when she was in London The anger is uncharacteristic of Jane, but then, Herendeen doesn t quite present the same Lizzy and Jane that we all know Ultimately, after a month of marriage sanctioned sex, the couples reunite and with their wives blessing, Darcy and Bingley get to have their ideal male love while still having perfect marriages Lizzy and Jane, however, remain completely devoted to their husbands and while Jane blossoms into rational and sweet womanhood, Lizzy s conversation makes her appear somewhat bitter and whiny once she starts having children The only pro lesbian pairing is Anne de Bourgh and Charlotte Collins, but Anne isn t interested in the sexual side of things and even agrees to a very gay husband, as she just wants to be left in peace.I read this book in the space of time that it took the Super Bowl to occur, as I had a quiet apartment to myself and a friend had presented me with an advanced reading copy of this novel At least it was a fast read And free Seriously, I don t recommend spending money or much time on this particular book, because even if the idea of gay sex in PP is new, it s not all that interesting or if it is interesting, it s interesting for the hypocrisy and ridiculousness In the beginning, things seemed to move along quite quickly thankfully, Herendeen didn t see the need to re hash every scene from the original Austen with her new motivations threaded through la Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Instead, she tends to occupy the space between the existing scenes so I thought we might get through the original story rather quickly and then Herendeen could stake out her own territory in the post wedding storyline Not so We get bogged down when Darcy and Caroline accompany Bingley to London Bingley mopes around, forming a platonic friendship with Georgiana, and Darcy takes up with a men s club that specializes in his particular sexual preferences The amount of time spent on this club seemed ridiculously unnecessary and bizarre until I noticed that Hendereen has written another novel that features that club that she felt the need to link into the PP plotline Clearly, this was all set up for the writer s delight and the reader just has to trudge through There was only one moment in the book where I laughed, and that was when the fellows at the homosexual club mentioned a fellow named Henry Tilney the male lead in Northanger Abbey who is so foppish that it s likely he was gay, despite marrying Catherine Morland If someone wanted to explore the homosexual past of a character, Henry Tilney would be the prime candidate.If you expect any kind of interesting statements about alternative lifestyles or homosexual relationships, then you ve come to the wrong place Perhaps I was wrong to expect that I have not read widely in slash fiction, but I feel certain there is better material out there And I m all for people doing what they love and seeking out whatever floats their boats If you re looking for a ridiculous pornographic re telling of Pride and Prejudice that requires little to no thought on your part and focuses on the gay sexthan straight sex, then you ve found exactly what you re looking for I might also recommend Linda Berdoll s Mr Darcy Takes a Wife originally published as The Bar Sinister , which has asubstantial story, but also features Mr Darcy and his new bride having lots of sex But if you re looking for a clever and sexy re telling of Pride and Prejudice well keep looking To start, I have absolutely nothing against the content of this book I ve been around long enough and read enough fanfiction based on series books movies spanning many genres Pretty much nothing can faze me I m sure this book is meant to be tongue in cheek and a bit shocking The Achilles Patroclus type of relationship between Darcy and Bingley doesn t squick me End disclaimer.See, I m a P P retelling reinvention modern adaptation collector I ve got shelves full of books putting a differe To start, I have absolutely nothing against the content of this book I ve been around long enough and read enough fanfiction based on series books movies spanning many genres Pretty much nothing can faze me I m sure this book is meant to be tongue in cheek and a bit shocking The Achilles Patroclus type of relationship between Darcy and Bingley doesn t squick me End disclaimer.See, I m a PP retelling reinvention modern adaptation collector I ve got shelves full of books putting a different spin on PP This book won t find a home on those shelves My problem lies in the fact that I am simply unable to imagine the characters from Pride Prejudice acting and speaking this way Ever Rather than creating this situation in Pride Prejudice, the author would have been better off creating original characters in a similar setting Hell, she pretty much did already and just slapped on the names Fitzwilliam Darcy, Charles Bingley and Elizabeth and Jane Bennet Yes, they are that OOC.I simply can t finish this book If I could replace the characters names in my head I d keep going But when Fitz Darcy and Charles and Elizabeth are splashed across every page, I just can t take myself there If anyone would like to give this book a whirl and swap this for a book I have listed on my find a copy shelf, I d be happy to trade Otherwise, this is going back to This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here I give this story credit for being unlike any P P variation I ve ever read before It was an interesting take on the close friendships presented to us in the original.With that being said, there were other parts that just seemed out of place to me I didn t enjoy Darcy s characterization, especially with his domineering behaviour over Bingley in the slightest, and his behaviour made me question the validity of his feelings for Elizabeth Most of the story deals with the gaps in the story , the I give this story credit for being unlike any PP variation I ve ever read before It was an interesting take on the close friendships presented to us in the original.With that being said, there were other parts that just seemed out of place to me I didn t enjoy Darcy s characterization, especially with his domineering behaviour over Bingley in the slightest, and his behaviour made me question the validity of his feelings for Elizabeth Most of the story deals with the gaps in the story , the unseen moments we are not told of in the original In this particular version, Darcy spends much of his London time at his gentleman s club, which is a reference to Herendeen s other book Personally, I think the addition of Darcy very special gentleman s club valid, and I found it odd that he took exception to Bingley being interested elsewhere, yet he was receiving favours from the men in this club.What bothered me the most, though, was very subtle and laced through the novel I find it a chronic flaw in most slash fan fiction over many fandoms There is quite a dislike and distrust of women in the story Elizabeth is the only woman to escape this characterization for the most part, and even then her treatment showed the dislike, as well With the exception of Elizabeth almost of the women in the story are described as plump, jiggling, jelly like, rounded, large breasted, or resembling a barge Lydia is described as being one or two stone 14 28 pounds heavier than Wickham, and is the barge in question This is opposed to Elizabeth s body, which is described as having small breasts, waist, nimble and like a boy There is a particular off putting mention of Jane s cellulite during one amorous scene, and despite Bingley adoring it, as the reader I thought it unnecessary None of the men are described with words such as jiggling or mentioned have bellies, or cellulite They are the living embodiment of the Greek gods oft mentioned in the story.Even Darcy and his Elizbeth can t escape these mentions of unattractive female girth Darcy, while wondering if Elizabeth could be with child, wonders how will he bear those last months when she is big and ungainly p 339 Elizabeth did not want to think about what pregnancy would do to her body, the distended, swollen body, all slenderness and attraction gone, perhaps forever Some women never regain their figures, p 341 Further, it is Darcy who is the natural parent when said child does arrive, and Elizabeth appears less enthralled, loving and engaged.This does happen in real life, and I know it s good for women who have felt this way about pregnancy and children to feel that they aren t alone, but I just find it out of place in the original s context, and I find it adds to this undercurrent of dislike of natural or expected feminine attributes Elizabeth, our heroine, has a leaner body shape that is not described in a demeaning manner unlike the other womens , and does not appear to have that motherly urge Further, I was upset with the idea that the men were allowed to carry on their relationship after marriage, but Elizabeth was denied so with Charlotte Again, the men are praised and elevated, and the female aspect is put down and denied.This book made me think a lot, mostly about slash fan fiction writers and why women are put down so heavily in these stories In real life if you aren t attracted to someone you just aren t, you don t find everyone repulsive She s not a fat woman or a skinny woman, she s just a woman

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