Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Mr. Darcy Takes A Wife, again and again, and again....

The other day I bought Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife on pure impulse. I'm a Pride and Prejudice junkie, but I have steadfastly refused to read any of the many sequels that have been written. I generally turn up my nose at any sequel undertaken by authors other than the original as they invariably suffer by comparison. And, it has always seemed highly unlikely that any author could live up the standard set by Ms. Austen. But despite that fact, and despite knowing that it was probably going to be rife with cliche and riddled with euphemisms, I could resist no longer. Who after all has not wanted to know what happened after Darcy and Elizabeth and Bingley and Jane wed? Who has not wondered what happened to the obsequious Mr. Collins and plain, pragmatic Charlotte, and whether the irascible Lady Catherine DeBourgh ever gets her comeuppance?

What rot. What rubbish. What panty drenching, bosom heaving tripe.

I loved it.

The author tries way too hard to mimic the formal but effusive Victorian vernacular of Pride and Prejudice. Now, since Jane Austen actually spoke that way, her writing and her dialogue is, though sometimes a little laborious, nonetheless fluid and unaffected. Unfortunately, I think its very difficult (if not impossible) for a contemporary author to adopt this manner of parlance without sounding very stilted and contrived. Ms. Berdoll is no exception. At times the writing is merely artificial and pretentious; others it is downright ridiculous.

BUT...

Behind all the petticoat twisting frippery and grandiloquent blather, is some good writing. And I was so engaged by the continued story of Darcy and Elizabeth et al, that I found it pretty easy to overlook once I had made up my mind to just enjoy the book for what it was; an enjoyable piece of lascivious and irreverent (to Austen purists, that is) fluff. And I think that Ms. Berdoll did a decent job remaining true to the characters as they were originally written by Jane Austen. I recognized Darcy and Elizabeth as the same people to whom I had bid a fond but sad farewell at the end of Pride and Prejudice.

But what made the book a worthwhile read, are the absolutely scorching scenes between Darcy and Elizabeth. What Austen fan hasn't imagined Darcy and Elizabeth in a sweaty, naked embrace, snogging the life out of each other the way we all knew they would have had they been unencumbered by Eighteenth century convention and theological contraints? Who among those esteemed ranks has not hoped that the long suffering Darcy would simply ravish Elizabeth and be done with it, despite her protests, which we all knew were a sham anyway? Yeah...she wanted it. And in Mr. Darcy Takes A Wife, she gets it. A lot.

Writing sex is hard. I've tried it and the results were....unfortunate. Nn keeping with the very chaste attitudes and behavior of that period, Ms. Berdoll really had no choice but to employ a variety of cliches and euphemisms. But I found it to be reasonably well done, and in a really puzzling kind of incongruity with the rest of the book, not at all ridiculous.

Let me put it this way...reading some of those scenes made me want to crawl through the pages, elbow the Mistress of Pemberly right out of her tester bed onto her batiste clad derriere and then ride her husband sideways. I've always been somewhat enamored of Darcy. His arrogance, his recalcitrance, his audacity; those qualities alone are enough to completely enthrall a woman who can't resist a mysterious glowering rogue. But to know that such obduracy is merely a facade behind which smolders a nature both passionate and tender, well....((Swoon)). This book reveals him to be the kind of lover we all imagined he would be. Yum. I guess it's kind of like...highbrow porn; a Harlequin romance all grown up and really, really horny.

So...it's not great literature. I'm sure some would argue that it's not even very good literature. If you look, you will see that it did not get very good reviews at Amazon. Normally, I would never even consider reading such nonsense. But sometimes, a gal needs a generous serving of really good romance with a side helping of mind blowing sex. This book delivers just that, even if it is couched in some extravagant and hackneyed prose.

It's a good beach read. But make sure there's a Cabana Boy nearby.

Now erm...anyone know where I can get my hands on some breeches and a waistcoat?

24 Comments:

  • At 9:56 PM, Blogger Veronica Mitchell said…

    Well, you've described it well enough that I know I don't want to read it. That is a skill in itself, and I thank you.

    I don't generally read sequels either, but I've read two that I thought were well done. Throne, Dominations, Jill Paton Walsh's attempt to write a novel from Dorothy Sayers's notes for her last Peter Winsey mystery was pretty good. And I was surprised at how well Laurie King continued Sherlock Holmes in A Beekeeper's Apprentice. The series declines as it goes on, but the first one manages to be true to Holmes's character if not his circumstances.

     
  • At 10:17 PM, Anonymous mothergoosemouse said…

    Dammit. Now I really do have to slog through P&P.

     
  • At 7:59 AM, Anonymous Antique Mommy said…

    At least if it comes in cheap paperback, you can read it at the beach and leave it there and no one will be the wiser. What is read at the beach stays at the beach.

     
  • At 9:49 AM, Blogger Mary-LUE said…

    I have two friends who loooooove this book. I've never read it but it might make it to my summer list now.

     
  • At 10:50 PM, Blogger Karyn said…

    Breeches and a waistcoat.

    I'm thinking come Halloween, you'll have a field day laying in a nice supply of recreational costumes, but until then, sadly, I'm out of suggestions.

    Christ on a crutch. Pretty sure I'll have to look at this one now, and endure months of my husband's snickering and general mockery of the double x chromosome contingent.

     
  • At 10:31 AM, Blogger Tori said…

    I am definitely interested now....
    I am always surprised when authors even attempt to sequel such 'greats' but like you said... who wouldn't want to find out what happens next..
    And Darcy and sex seem quite delicious...

     
  • At 7:11 PM, Blogger Ruth Dynamite said…

    You crack me up. Who wouldn't want a Wuthering Heights sequel, anyway?

     
  • At 12:57 AM, Anonymous Izzy said…

    I couldn't read the whole post because I didn't know if there were any spoilers in there. But I'm intrigued and now I must get the book and see what happens!

     
  • At 6:38 PM, Blogger Blog Antagonist said…

    No spoilers, I promise. Read the whole post...I don't want to mislead anybody. I just bought "Darcy and Elizabeth, Nights and Days at Pemberly." I must have some kind of weird disease that makes otherwise intelligent people ready trashy romance novels.

     
  • At 11:51 AM, Blogger TheBeaufordsHappyLove said…

    Breeches and a waistcoat.....try a costume store. They usually carry items like that.
    Sounds like interesting role-playing.

     
  • At 12:37 PM, Blogger Her Bad Mother said…

    Hmm, I'm intrigued. I would otherwise have stayed far, far away, as I regard Jane Austen to be one the greatest modern writers, male or female, and so inimitable. But, yeah, the whatever happened with Darcy is tempting. But didn't Bridget Jones' Diary cover that?

     
  • At 12:01 AM, Blogger aussie said…

    I'm with you. I am now half way through the sequel to the sequel. In your blog you didnt mention the satisfying plot twists.Some of the dialouge is so witty that it made me laugh out loud.Most of these were exactly what Lizzy would have said to torment poor Darcy.I loved it to bits.

     
  • At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Hannahmae said…

    I have read this book and the sequel I enjoy them both a bunch. The romance between Darcy and Lizzy is all kinds of good fun. And being a hopeless romantic, the plot twists that the authors weaves in makes it a good read. I have looked at other sequels and have found them to be very disappointing. The ones called Mr. Darcy's Daughters are completely awful. There is one called Mr. Darcy's Diary. It is the story of Pride and Prejucide from Mr. Darcy's point of view.

     
  • At 11:11 PM, Blogger "Knight" said…

    I must say that as much as I wanted to hate it, it really could have done worse. I'll start the sequel to the book tomorrow (Darcy and Elizabeth); does anyone know if there is another book after that? If not, I'll try my hand at the trilogy by Aidan which gives P&P from Darcy's perspective.

     
  • At 11:54 PM, Anonymous Jodie said…

    I am reading this book at the moment and I love it. I can't wait for the kids to go to bed so I can keep reading.

     
  • At 12:38 PM, Blogger CHER'REE said…

    Were we reading the same book? I read it all but disliked where she took the characters.....read Mr and Mrs Fitzwilliam Darcy, I loved that book in this one I think she took the characters far from where jane would of ever had them go.I agree with lizzie's comments were on target but that's all I will give the writer! Darcy was represented as a virgin a gentlemen waiting for the right women, he wouldn't trifle with women that had sex before marriage he felt above that in this book it makes bennett and bingley adultreses and darcy questioning if he was a father to a bastard kid. he left lizzie for a while when he went on the road in austens book he couldnt stand to be apart so I didn't like it at all.

     
  • At 7:44 AM, Anonymous wildercat said…

    You are absolutely, completely, incredibly right. Even I have not been able to express my own thoughts as you did.

     
  • At 5:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I was wondering in this book what the mirror was doing underneath darcy and lizzy's bed??
    Does anyone have a clue?

     
  • At 3:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I've read both books and can hardly wait for the third installment coming in January 2010! The first two book won't win any prizes it's true, but I personally have been waiting a long time to see what happens to the characters. I was very nice to go back in time again and read about the beloved Darcy's.

     
  • At 1:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    it was used as a sexual aid.

     
  • At 11:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow! I have read somethings like that. If you want to read a good plot plus steamy sex and are not willing to risk your salary trying all the books in the bookstore, well I suggest you people a thing call Fanfiction. There are sites for this to almost every popular book. Here you can find sequels, stories based on the novel but completely alternate, other ages, the same age, other periods of time, the same periods of time, you name it, even other pairings. There are really good writers that should get published, others that not so much, and you can review them. I highly recomend it; of course there is a Jane Austen section.

     
  • At 6:28 PM, Anonymous Susan S. said…

    I have read, and re-read this book many times... and my husband loves it every time I do! This book provides a luscious view into the world of Darcy & Elizabeth.
    Let's face it, we all knew Darcy would be a stallion. But he's also gentle, warm, kind, heroic, very romantic and very, very, in love with his wife. The book is also funny, suspenseful, heartwarming, emotional and just all together a great read. Linda Berdoll made me fall in love with this legendary couple all over again!

     
  • At 8:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I just finished reading it and I enjoyed it very much. Darcy and Lizzy,swoon.

     
  • At 9:46 PM, Blogger texmimi said…

    darcy and elizabeth were written long before queen victoria, so they could not have had victorian speech!

     

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