I saw this in the newsagents…and this in no way a filler post until I get around to writing another review.
It us a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
However little known the beliefs or views of such a man may be, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of someone or other of their daughters.
When this landed on my doormat, I was understandably a little bit reticent, for although it is rightly regarded as a classic, me, being a bloke, was under the impression that this novel would be a whiney, feelings fest, with women harping on about shoes and dresses and men going all docile over a glimpse of bodice.
I let the stereotypes influence me and I’m sad to say I broke the cardinal rule of cliché fans everywhere…I judged a book by its cover. Admittedly it’s not one to set the pulses racing but nevertheless for fear of some sort of imagined retribution I started this with an already weary heart.
(I assume the classic plot needs no introduction as it has been rehashed so many times, so I will jump straight in…)
It was at page 22 that it occurred to me that this was going to be a great book and that I had been a bit foolish in my original mindset. Yet it was earlier, at around page five that I realised I had overlooked this and so many other potentially great books because of my own ignorance and, dare I say it, prejudice? Disregarding any semblance of pride I had at this point, I plunged on and discovered a razor-sharp satire, wonderfully drawn characters and some talk about hats.
From the off, there is perfectly balanced blend of tightly written intertwining narratives, with cutting swipes at the ridiculous and at times absurd rules of the class and social structure of the time. It’s all very arch in its humour but in such a gentle way that you can’t help but notice all the clever nuanced jibes that Austen liberally sprinkles in. Read the rest of this entry »