The very very best. Maybe not by a mile, but for certain the best Jane Austen of the Big 4 that I've now read. I was a little shocked after reading itThe very very best. Maybe not by a mile, but for certain the best Jane Austen of the Big 4 that I've now read. I was a little shocked after reading it that I had not really heard as much of it as P&P, S&S, and Emma, and I realize now that it is because there are fewer film adaptations, and those that do exist of it, are not so good. Sorry, BBC.
The final novel Austen finished before her untimely death, or so my good friend Wikipedia tells me, this is just so amazingly relevant. Even more than the other books, which are still so relevant, with characters that could be plucked out of present day, this book is practically premonitory of the dangers of media and consumer culture. For a book that was written A HUNDRED YEARS before radios and automobiles, that's impressive. You guys, there is one thing that is important above all the nonsense of appearances and social approval, and that is: the love of hot Naval officers. Respect.
Whoa. I was definitely in the right head space to enjoy this book, but honestly I think I'm always up for Russian literature. Those Russians never holWhoa. I was definitely in the right head space to enjoy this book, but honestly I think I'm always up for Russian literature. Those Russians never hold back. I read the public domain kindle edition and it was very readable, though looking at other translations, they seem even more enjoyable. But this one was FREE. so that's a plus.
Big takeaway: The GODDAMN PATRIARCHY! right? The goddamn patriarchy is a runaway train, and Anna was just Leaning In. She was ahead of her time. The original Sheryl Sandberg.
I'm sure Tolstoy meant for Levin to be everyone's favorite character, because he clearly modeled him after himself. And usually I would go for the brooding, socially awkward protagonist, but this time NO. Anna is my favorite. She got booted off set way too soon. Maybe she would have come to some philosophical truths and the key to personal happiness, too, if she had the LUXURY of being able to brood and think and hole up in the country shooting grouse as she pleased. But no, she had to scheme out ways to visit her own son on his birthday and occupy her time after being completely shunned by nearly every human, even the one who claimed to love her. She was smart enough. She probably would've come up with the key to happiness long before Levin, while entertaining visiting dignitaries, and designing a high-tech school for peasants. If she had simply been allowed to get hers, like her brother Stiva had been. Honestly, how much has changed?
Full disclosure: I did NOT read this book. not entirely. I very carefully read the first three pages. Well, the first 3 kindle-pages, which probably aFull disclosure: I did NOT read this book. not entirely. I very carefully read the first three pages. Well, the first 3 kindle-pages, which probably amounts (with my large font preferences) to about one quarter of the first page. Then, when I woke up, I decided there was no way I was going to get through it. Sorry, Mr. Hardy. Sorry, Book Group members.
Summary of the first quarter of the first page: Darbyfield, possibly the town drunk, may be related to a prestigious family known as the D'Urbervilles, according to research conducted by the pastor. Dying to know what happens next?! me neither. ...more
so interesting to read a book that was written without contemplation of its eventual screen adaptation. that is probably what makes the adaptations soso interesting to read a book that was written without contemplation of its eventual screen adaptation. that is probably what makes the adaptations so interesting too, there can be a lot of different interpretations of characters and descriptions and scene. the Bbc series sparked my interest and I think nailed the characters best of all. Holmes seems so arrogant and clinical and cold and snotty because he has a real issue with social pragmatics. that's a character who has stood the test of time and is really relatable. but had I read this without having seen Benedict cumberbatch, I don't think I would've connected to the characters at all. Holmes would just be an ass and Watson a sycophant.
what I did find fun was the Mormonism plot twist. didn't see that coming from a British crime novel. this is not fantastic literary substance here, but it is kind of fun and more eloquent prose than every present day crime novel that I have read. he was probably the Gillian Flynn of his day, I bet. which is not what I expected when I picked this up....more