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On Vox: Pride, Prejudice and Jasmin Field

This book is one of those modern day retellings of Pride and Prejudice. Jasmin Field (Jazz) is a reporter at a woman's magazine who signed up for an audition for a one day "Pride and Prejudice" play, with director Harry Nobel. She finds Harry really arrogant and her contempt is cemented when she overhears him calling her "the Ugly Sister" compared to her actress sister George. What follows is a parallel of the Pride and Prejudice, which is very obvious considering the play and the title of the book, but there are several things I thought made things more interesting - the author focusses on the characters of Elizabeth and Jane Bennet, Mr. Bingley and Darcy more than others in the Jane Austen Novel and there are some twists to the Wickham scandal, the Bennet family and Mr. Collins.

Nits:

  • Well I saw reviews complaining about the main character being called "Jazz" and her best friend and sister were "Mo" and "George" - like there are too many cool names here. This didn't bother me, but maybe avoid it if it's a peeve.
  • There's apparently a lot of swearing. I barely noticed though, I thought this was all part of Jazz's lifestyle as a young woman with snarky female friends. They are all very blunt with each other.
  • This was my only really complaint: it was so obvious that the story paralleled the Jane Austen book, but the characters who were doing a play were rather oblivious except to kind of laugh when their words paralleled lines in the play maybe a couple of times. You have to suspend some disbelief here.

 

Good things:
OK, the rest of the book - I really liked it and enjoyed myself. I found it hard to put down. Even though I knew what was likely going to happen because I know the Pride and Prejudice story, I thought that Pride, Prejudice, and Jasmin Field was originally done and was humorous. It was very different from the original because of the modern setting, with Jazz/Lizzy having a job as a reporter and her work issues, while Harry's actor background is very different from the Darcy in Jane Austen's book. It was fun to see Nathan's creativity in translating the Austen book to this setting. I thought the romance was very sweet too. Jazz is often really angry at Harry and he's a bit intimidated, but she doesn't realize this, so when they get together at the end, it was nicely done, and showed his insecurity. I also thought Nathan's version of the scene where Lizzy first sees Darcy's house was very different - you wouldn't easily guess it until you see it. So discovering what scenes translated to what was fun. I read this book in just a few hours and quickly googled the author as soon as I was done. I was really sad to find that Nathan died of cancer only a couple of years ago, but she has another Jane Austen based novel which I plan to read (Persuading Annie), as well as other books. I think I'm likely to go and devour her backlist, I think I found a new author I love. Judging from amazon though, it was definitely either loved it or hated it regarding this book. Don't read it if you want something serious and similar to Austen, it's more like irreverant, chick-lit Austen.

Originally posted on janicu.vox.com

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
bookblather
Feb. 24th, 2012 08:06 pm (UTC)
I read Persuading Annie, and I was very... on the fence about it. For multiple reasons. If I still have my copy, would you like me to send it to you?
janicu
Feb. 24th, 2012 08:14 pm (UTC)
You are so awesome for offering. Thank you, but I ended up getting a copy and I've read it. I ended up feeling like.. PERSUADING ANNIE didn't make me believe in the romance as well as I wanted to. Is that what you ended up feeling?
bookblather
Feb. 24th, 2012 08:16 pm (UTC)
Yeah, and it also took away Anne Elliot's self-possession and self-confidence, especially what she had by the end of the book. I felt like it made her a weaker character and Frederick a stronger one, and that left me ambivalent about the whole thing and extremely skeptical about the romance.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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