The book review that never was…

xDSC_3427_jath_punchy

Wow them with unexpected flora to suck them in. Anonymous.

 

I thought I’d review Pride and Prejudice, but after a thorough search of the internet–and later the pockets of every venerable vagabond in the vicinity, which yielded several condoms, a crumpled picture of Chairman Mao, and a stack of tiny plastic zip bags–I have concluded that it’s been sufficiently reviewed by my peers, and I don’t want to crowd the field with another essay, which would nevertheless have been received with great éclat, as the work of literary Bolsheviks is always in demand. Luckily and vibrantly, her next novel, Prick Me With a Fork to See If I’m Done, will be out soon and I’ll review that one instead. I’m drooling already.

Jane Austen is an author worth sleeping out in a van for–on a frosty night, without anything that might reasonably pass for a blanket or, alas, without a half-empty (or half-full depending on your general outlook on life) case of cooking sherry procured from a one-armed vivandière and sure to take the bite off the cryogenic chill.

And it must be said that Pride and Prejudice, Austen’s defining work to date, apart from story, setting, and character, is fairly good. My major quibble with Miss Austen is that she’s an unapologetic technophobe. I mean just look at the opening scene. Why not fax the news about Mr. Bingley (Mr. Big) to the Bennet family? In a modern context, what could be more natural than for the Bennet gathering to learn by facsimile that Mr. Bingley is gay and that he’ll soon be moving to Netherfield Park? The fax is a small detail, but it’s symptomatic of Austen’s inability to grasp the import of modern telecommunication devices.

And to add to her modern-day gadget gaucheries, she uses quaint anachronisms in the transport realm as well: no bullet trains or supersonic jets for Austen.  It’s a sort of parallel structure, office equipment and handheld devices on the one hand and monster cars and trucks on the other, that doesn’t quite seem to work. Jane Austin’s Audi never gets into the fast lane, if you’ll pardon the grotesque though totally apt and refreshingly wrought metaphor.

I can’t tell you, for example, how many times Austen mentions horses. Private cars, buses—even unicycles would have been better, grittier. See for yourself:

Your father cannot spare the horses, I am sure.

An author with an ear to the ground would have written something such as–

Your father cannot spare the jetskis, I am sure.

And this business with Kitty and Wickham. Couldn’t flower-sweet Wickham, somewhere in the misty dawn of his tawdry affair, have texted the doe-eyed girl with the news that he was transitioning? Why leave poor, flirty Kitty in the dark for so long? Text the girl, Wiki—you know she always has her phone with her.

Somehow Austen’s work seems stuck in another age. And for this reason her opus stops at the door of greatness (as the security cameras deem the small stack of books to be just about the size of a I.E.D and shoo it away indecorously).

 

Anyway, it’s still a pretty (in)decent book and I look forward to reviewing her next novel, which is, as far as I can tell, a space opera that takes place on the rugged mountains of Mercury, amid hordes of belching sasquatches, under an incandescent sun that is as close to the bald pate of Jason, a convivial moneylender, as Obama is ideologically to Hillary.

And just as Pride and Prejudice before it, Prick Me is essentially a thriller, so you can look forward to some pretty villainous shenanigans—the type of thing you might expect from, let’s say, twin political conventions.

 

Don’t forget to read this or my royalty checks no longer clog up my red mailbox.

 

K & B Get Married

Advertisements

14 Comments

  1. You idiot. She’s writing about the past!

    Like

  2. A horse is so much more filmic, which is possibly why Austen gallops away on it. To be ever-so-slightly critical, I thought your suggestion of a “space opera that takes place on the rugged mountains of Mercury, amid hordes of belching sasquatches, under an incandescent sun” sounded a little dated. I’m a bit surprised that Austen might consider something so “yesterday”. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a woman in possession of a good computer keyboard, must be in want of a plot.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes! Yes!

      “a woman in possession of a good computer keyboard, must be in want of a plot–”

      A new mantra for the book review section of this blog.

      It’s fresh and so very today.

      I thought the Mercury storyline a little stilted myself, but you have to put up with this sort of thing if you’re into fine literature (like I am–like we both are).

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Jane Austen…one of the greatest writers ever.

    Your book review makes a certain point, but you’ve put a chapeau on it so no one will notice. As Jane Austen herself said, in EMMA: “Silly things do cease to be silly if they are done by sensible people in an impudent way.”

    Any novel with “prick” in the title is bound to attract a certain audience.

    Liked by 2 people

    • A gentle prickle of wit, Cynthia. (I actually love JA–it’s a fault in my dna and I’ve been trying to enter a clinic that can tweak my helix–so to speak).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ain’t nothin’ wrong with your helix, Prospero.

        I, on the other hand should probably look into that kind of clinic you mention. Perhaps I should not have followed those twin conventions so compulsively, but even though I am not an official partisan I seem to have become a political junkie. Ah well, some people like to spectate football; I like this equally disgusting sport, which is getting even more so, with each passing day. It’s like wanting to go rubber-necking at the scene of an accident.

        I tell myself it’s only because I am witless, at this august moment, and wordpress-weary, and that this too shall pass… or fumble…or touch down…

        Liked by 3 people

      • Nothing like using a faux Jane Austin critique to introduce the debasing topic of politics.

        I know exactly what you mean too–like gawking at the scene of an accident.

        I have no skin in the game (being a non-US citizen–a citizen of the world is the wording on my passport, impeccably penned in my own calligraphy ) and I watch the ongoings with a certain detachment. But when things get this nutty, when neither candidate is fit to lead a parade never mind a country, you have problems.

        It isn’t a cure for your August doldrums, but maybe the spectacle can distract you till the unease passes. Enfin, c’est un peu de divertissement.

        Dear Cynthia, you know I’ll be with you in spirit, with my bag of popcorn (extra butter), watching which fool can outfool the other.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. The unexpected flora (spreading it thin) got me right there, *points to a spot behind her ear* and dragged me, sleigh-like over cobbles to read and re-read the above, and the following, (side by side in matrimony really) piece of K & B. Sneaky.

    ‘Prick Me With a Fork to See If I’m Done’ – Hahahahaha. So much of the above had me laughing, still does. Also I read ” hordes of belching sasquaches” as “Hordes of belching squashes” the first time round, so I squeezed an extra glass of enjoyment out of it subconciously.

    – esme prefering Austin Powers to Jane upon the Cloud

    Liked by 1 person

    • Squash on Mercury? Is that summer squash (zucchini, zucchetta, courgette) or winter squash (for the most delicious pumpkin pie)?

      Jane researched sasquatches extensively for the book. I’m not certain she is conversant in zucchini or Pattypan squash. Shame really. Prick My Crookneck Squash would be killer in bookstores.

      *fixed the sasquatches typo by the way…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Winter squash always, if we’re talking seriously. The exception is spaghetti squash. Bloody awful, unreliable, useless even in cake form. Gem and Acorn squash are divine but don’t tend to mess about with any laws of physics or smite people much. And yes, that would be a superb title for a book. Or. . .a band!

        – esme liking his attention to detail from upon the Cloud

        Liked by 1 person

      • I am deadly serious about squash, winter and summer, but in autumn and spring I am a little more frivolous, often smiling and laughing irreverently.

        I agree that acorn squash does not adhere to Newton’s laws of motion. Why apostate squirrels collect acorns is another matter. And spaghetti squash (or the Devil’s pasta) obeys the laws of quantum mechanics, sometimes being at different places at the same time.

        I bet you thought things were strange on the cloud! This island may give you a run for your money

        Liked by 1 person

      • ” but in autumn and spring I am a little more frivolous” – I’m seeing a flowery summer dress on you with a smart bonnet. Very nice it is too.

        ‘The Devil’s Pasta’ – Hahahahaha

        “This island may give you a run for your money” – I have a feeling this is very true. *laughs*

        – esme eating pumpkin pie upon the Cloud

        Liked by 1 person

  5. A thoroughly delightful review:)

    Liked by 2 people


Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s