Richard's Reviews > Death Comes to Pemberley

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James
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Mar 25, 12

bookshelves: mystery-thriller, british-literature, reviewed, by-women, 2012, something-borrowed
Read from March 20 to 25, 2012

There were good and bad things about this book. It gave more nuanced portraits of some of the characters, notably Darcy but also some minor characters. It invites the reader to think a little differently about Jane Austen's classic novel.

However, the use of Austen's source material, though meant as an affectionate tribute, is wooden, often heavy-handed and often overdone. Some characters are dealt with unsatisfactorily. Mary ends up in a situation which for her is suitable (in fact I had thought of a similar fate for her long before reading this). But Kitty is scarcely mentioned, is portrayed in a way that doesn't jive with Austen's version of her, and is relegated to the shadows. Mrs. Bennet, who could have provided some gorgeous comic relief, is barely heard from. Lady Catherine, suitably housebroken, barely barks at all. Finally, Georgiana's fate, while happy, seems engineered in a rather facile way and perplexes me also.

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Reading Progress

03/20/2012 page 15
5.0%
03/20/2012 page 15
5.0% "In the prologue, the event's of Austen's novel are recapped from a point of view which hints that the neighbours thought Lizzy was trying to trap Darcy. Cute, but would an Austen fan need the recap?"
03/21/2012 page 63
21.0% "P. 47: James describing the short time Darcy and Lizzie actually spent alone together in P&P: "If this were fiction, could even the most brilliant novelist contrive to make credible so short a period in which pride had been subdued and prejudice overcome?" Author chortles to reader: "Look what I did! I worked the title into my book! Aren't I the clever one? Nudge nudge, wink wink. Say no more.""
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Richard Thanks for the likes, everybody! I feel so warm and fuzzy I might break into an off-tune chorus of a nineteenth century ditty!


message 2: by Richard (last edited Aug 24, 2012 10:51PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Richard Thanks Damon and Ian!...

And Brian and Moira!


Becky I so agree with your review! Now, can you solve the puzzle of why all these so called books trying to ride on Austen's coattails are written? Especially about Darcy, Elizabeth and P & P in general? Why can't they just leave Austen's masterpiece alone? I am sorry I ever thought P D James might be the one author who could pull it off! Wrong!


message 4: by Richard (last edited Mar 10, 2014 07:20PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Richard Becky wrote: "I so agree with your review! Now, can you solve the puzzle of why all these so called books trying to ride on Austen's coattails are written? Especially about Darcy, Elizabeth and P & P in general?..."

Thank you, Becky! I can't explain the puzzle unless the answer is greed and a lack of originality. I'm sure P.D. James' intentions were good; her ability just didn't match her intentions.

By the way, my review was inspired by this one, which you may enjoy even more: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


Becky Thank you. I loved it and wish I had written it! Alas, had I read these reviews BEFORE I so unwittingly read the book! But then, with my stubborn I-have-to-see-it-for-myself nature I would most likely have HAD to read the book anyway!


Becky I hope you figured out I meant I loved the review you referred me to! Not the book. I have sworn off reading any spin offs! Now if we could just keep people from thinking they can ride the coattails of a great classic.


Richard Becky wrote: "I hope you figured out I meant I loved the review you referred me to! Not the book. I have sworn off reading any spin offs! Now if we could just keep people from thinking they can ride the coattail..."

No worries, I did figure that out. :)


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