Rating: 4/5 stars
Suitable for Fans of: Classics, Jane Austen
Set in England in the early 19th century, Pride and Prejudice tells the story of Mr and Mrs Bennet’s five unmarried daughters after the rich and eligible Mr Bingley and his status-conscious friend, Mr Darcy, have moved into their neighbourhood. When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Mr Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited; he is indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships, gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life.
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
Classic novel Pride and Prejudice tells the story of Elizabeth Bennet, and her struggle for matrimony in the 19th century north of England. This being the first classic I completed, I thoroughly enjoyed it. However, I should note, I listened to this book in audiobook format via Librivox, for I find it much easier to follow complicated books this way.
Firstly, I have to admit, Austen’s writing style and narrative of events has a really nice tone, and offers a broad perspective. Because said narrator is impartial to the transpiring events, one can experience the book broadly, and develop personal opinions of each character, which I really enjoy doing. Furthermore, having a narrator like this makes it so that one can feel as though they are watching the story through a present – but quiet and impartial – character’s mind’s eye, which really helps to bring the story to life.
Next, I wasn’t expecting I would say this, yet I am: Jane Austen is really funny. Frankly, I didn’t expect to get the jokes interjected into this book, for they are from a differing era to my own, yet I found myself laughing along with some of the witty comments inserted into the story.
However, I would say there are too many sub-plots. Granted, they all tie together at the end, yet I would have preferred it if the book focussed plainly on Elizabeth rather than Elizabeth and every one she’s ever known. I found myself wishing the book would circle back around to Elizabeth and Darcy, but sometimes there were some rather big gaps away from the main plot line, which bored me quite a bit.
In comparison, I did really like the characters. Elizabeth is really nice to read about, for she is unlike all of her friends and sisters, and decides it is not a man she needs to live. Also, she likes reading, so what really is there to dislike?
Likewise, Darcy is really fun to read about. I love it when a character is so universally hated, only for the truth to dub them all wrong for prejudicing said character in such a way. This is exactly how it worked for Darcy, and I really loved it. Also, the switch between good/bad Darcy is really sudden, yet really natural, further accentuating the poor lighting the characters and the reader have seen Darcy’s personality in, perceiving him not as the man he is, but instead the man he appears to be. In turn, this also offers a good message – do not prejudice! You could be prematurely judging the love of your life!
Overall, I really enjoyed this book, but did – unfortunately – feel as though the pacing was rather slow. There were moments when I found myself feeling rather bored, for the pace had hardly furthered, yet, granted, there were moments n whcih I was fully enticed by the novel. Thus, I awarded it 4/5 stars.
As aforementioned, I listened to this book via an organistation called Librivox. Through this site, one can acquire audiobooks. These audiobooks are in the public domain, and so can be accessed for free, which is really good when considering Audible.com require payment for their recordings of books in the public domain. For this book, I chose the narrator Elizabeth Klett, for she has a really soothing tone of voice, and one that actually matches the setting of the book rather well. This particular recording included different voices for different characters, which was a really nice touch, and really helped bring the book to life. You can click here to access this particular recording directly, or you can always download the app.
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