A.B. Gayle's Reviews > Gay Pride and Prejudice

Gay Pride and Prejudice by Ryan Field
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's review
Dec 19, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: shelf-32

So far, of all the remakes, I enjoyed this one the most. Mainly, because Ryan does such a good job of translating the pride and prejudices to the gay community.

Don't expect a scene by scene remake. This takes the aspects that are at the core of Jane Austen's book: the cutting observations about people and society and what people are proud and prejudiced about but putting them into a modern gay context. So, we're not getting dry 1800 social observations of character but 2010 characterisations from a gay POV. They're none the less apt.

This means that the characters will be different. Tristan is no Eliza Bennett, but he shares some of her qualities: her honesty and her embarrassment at the behavior of her relatives, and most of all in being opinionated. Likewise Miller is no Mr Darcy, but he also is bound by the strictures of his parents and background.

In this case the prejudices and pride are linked up with new vs old money, gays vs straights, old queens vs new age gay.
I want you to stick with our own kind, and I don't want you screwing around with all these straights.
There's also the more normal kind of pride:
Ellen's face gleamed with pride; she gazed at her big strong straight son with love and affection.
I love that the alternate love interest is a stud ex-serviceman just back from Iraq. Mind you, Ryan hasn't covered every aspect, only the ones needed to get his points across.

The parallel works really well in this case, as the whole topic of marriage is at the core of the original. Who should marry who and why and again in this case, all Tristan wants to do is get married:
“As I got older and legalized same-sex marriage became an issue within the lgbt community, I started to realize I deserved to fall in love and get married just as much as heterosexual couples deserved it. I made a decision a long time ago I wouldn't settle for less. Call it pride, call it being stubborn. But I won't settle for less.”
In this case "Mr Darcy" is still anti marriage. He just wants to fuck.

There are some priceless bits eg when one main character comes up with this:
“Do you want to suck my dick?” Miller asked. He adjusted his position and spread his legs wider.
Tristan smiled. He had a feeling Miller was trying to shock him on purpose. “That's not very romantic,” Tristan said.
“You haven't sucked my dick yet, so you don't really know that for sure. It might be the most romantic thing that's ever happened to you.”
And the other MC says this:
Though Tristan would have laughed at clichéd expressions like dripping dick or weeping cock in public, and he would have frowned if anyone had used these awful, trite, clichés in ordinary conversation, when he had one right in front of him it was a different story.
you have to smile!

Ryan has the equivalent faux pas down pat. The comments about the price of things, never done by someone who really is "old money". And I loved this bit:
And Clint had been giving him fashion tips. Eldridge hadn't worn a bow tie, a crew neck sweater draped over his shoulders, or a pair of pink plaid slacks in weeks.

But Ryan doesn't neglect sharing real facts to educate people about factors affecting the LGBT community. In this case:
“There are many older gay couples who have been together for years. Just like straight married couples, they own property together. When one of them passes away, the surviving partner is forced to pay inheritance taxes on their own property. It runs into thousands and it wipes them out.”
He also doesn't pull his punches on a couple of occasions about hypocrisy.

Ryan's "Covers of Classics" can be a bit hit or miss, some work better than others, but to me, "Gay Pride and Prejudice", does exactly what he has set out to do. Check my review of "Four Gay Weddings and a Funeral" for more info in that respect.

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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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ElaineY Thanks for the review. I'll go get this:)

message 2: by A.B. (last edited Dec 23, 2011 03:10AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

A.B. Gayle I'll be interested in your comments, Elaine. Books like these depend very much on your expectations and what you want to get out of a book. I've mentioned the things I liked, but I will understand if others see it differently.
I think there is a subtle undertone to a lot of Ryan's character's inner thoughts which may or may not reflect the author's attitude on life. I've sent a whole stack of interview questions to Ryan which will appear on my blog and webpage in the New Year.

ElaineY So far, I'd say the title spoilt it for me. Even though it's not meant to be similar in plot to P&P, nevertheless, I was expecting some similarity (I started last night and had forgotten much of your review). Having reread your review just now to see if I could find out why it was nothing like Austen's book, I'll try to forget the title and imagine it has nothing to do with P&P.

A.B. Gayle Interestingly, I want to add a sequel to "Mardi Gras" and retitle it "Pride+Prejudice". I discussed this with Ryan who said:
Just be careful with that title. The romance police might go after you...lol. I would probably change the title of "Gay Pride and Prejudice" if I could go back now, mainly because when romance readers see the title, they expect it to be almost a tribute to the original Pride and Prejudice. And if it's not, they will let you know. Be careful with that one.
Then I said:
How about "Prejudice+Pride"?
and he said:
Honestly? I would probably stay away from it altogether. Only reason is that people who love the original are always going to be critical just because of the title. I wouldn't do it again. I'd fight the publisher tooth and nail...lol. You want to give your book a good, fresh start. Titles are important.
So, as you can see it wasn't his choice of title.

ElaineY A.B. wrote: "Interestingly, I want to add a sequel to "Mardi Gras" and retitle it "Pride+Prejudice". I discussed this with Ryan who said:
Just be careful with that title. The romance police might go after you....."

Thanks for that info, AB. He should have fought them. I'm only halfway through and can't get the unfortunate title out of the way. While I enjoyed Pride & Prejudice back in high school, I've only read it twice. I'm not an Austen fan and P&P was the only one of her books I liked.

I wonder why the publisher wanted that title when, despite your review explaining it, I just don't see the resemblance.

message 6: by A.B. (last edited Jan 16, 2012 01:00PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

A.B. Gayle Because "Pride" has LGBT connotations and the book does showcase some prejudices in the community. I didn't have a huge problem with the title.

I liked the way Ryan took enough of the setup and showed how some of the same aspects could be translated even though the sexes were different, the settings was different and the era was different.

That, to me, was the point that underlying everything there was the same snobbery and inverse snobbery pervailing. Because underlying everything, we have the same human fears and insecurities, they just manifest differently.

I suppose I was happy to appreciate the academic exercise as well as the story.

If anything the parallel constrained the story, but if it hadn't it would have been just another ho-hum m/m romance.

I like it when suthors try to achieve a point as well as tell a yarn.

But each to his (or her) own.

I appreciate the fact you took the time to give it a chance.

Aves Raggiana Actually, I've already read this, and didn't remember it! I do remember having enjoyed it though now that it's come to mind again and I believe I'll be re-reading it too.

A.B. Gayle Aves wrote: "Actually, I've already read this, and didn't remember it! I do remember having enjoyed it though now that it's come to mind again and I believe I'll be re-reading it too."

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