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Bitch In a Bonnet: Reclaiming Jane Austen From the Stiffs, the Snobs, the Simps and the Saps, Volume 2
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Bitch In a Bonnet: Reclaiming Jane Austen From the Stiffs, the Snobs, the Simps and the Saps, Volume 2

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  149 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Novelist Rodi (Fag Hag, The Sugarman Bootlegs) continues his broadside against the depiction of Jane Austen as a “a woman’s writer … quaint and darling, doe-eyed and demure, parochial if not pastoral, and dizzily, swooningly romantic — the inventor and mother goddess of ‘chick lit.’” Instead he sees her as “a sly subversive, a clear-eyed social Darwinist, and the most unsp ...more
Paperback, 1, 526 pages
Published April 12th 2014 by Robert Rodi
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 ·  149 ratings  ·  22 reviews

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Start your review of Bitch In a Bonnet: Reclaiming Jane Austen From the Stiffs, the Snobs, the Simps and the Saps, Volume 2
Abigail Bok
Sep 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is volume two of Robert Rodi’s publication of his blog series about Jane Austen novels; this volume covers Emma, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion. The blogs were close readings of Jane Austen’s texts (each one covering three chapters, more or less), done by a man who is not a scholar but a comic author. So expect the lay point of view here, not arcane historical disquisitions or essays about abstruse symbolism. Basically, he’s translating the novels step by step into modern terms while riff ...more
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Just a lot of fun.
Books that start out as blogs are often problematic. If the material is available for free online, why would you pay to have it in book form? For me, it’s a matter of convenience, but also of presentation- I’d rather read on my Kindle than stare at a computer screen, plus most books compiled from earlier materials go through another phase of editing before being packaged for sale (I hope, anyway). Plus, I can help support an independent author.

Bitch in a Bonnet started out in 2009 as a blogging
Christopher (Donut)
Although reading this along with Austen's novels will lead to a feeling of 'instant replay,' Rodi's commentary is insightful and funny.

After setting it aside, I came back to it a few months later, and reading his chapters on Persuasion reminded me again what a masterly novel it is.

Here is Rodi:

Wentworth says, almost there, just a sec; he seals up the letter “with great rapidity,” and hurriedly joins Captain Harville, who leaves Anne with a “Good morning, God bless you”—but from Wentworth, “not a
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
I definitely liked the first one better. Rodi reuses the same joke about once a page, picking a character's emotional reaction and physicalizing it humorously ("And then, being Mary, she's got to add in this little knife-twister. I'm pretty sure it makes her day. Possibly after writing it, she goes out of doors and frolics among the winter flowers, and twines some in her hair and sings tra-la-la-la-la.")

The images are reasonably amusing most of the time but the device is ridiculously overused.
Margie Dorn
May 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
Rodi is a published author, yes, and has a clever way with words, some very enlightening bits, but I found both of these volumes a disappointment. In reviewing Austen, he revealed a lack of research, did not know enough about the century he was reviewing, nor had he actually read about the author herself to any appropriate degree. For example, he does not raise an eyebrow at the passage in "Northanger Abbey" that shows how close the heroine might have found herself stuck helplessly in a coach ex ...more
Bcoghill Coghill
Sep 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: essays
This book is an amazing rereading of Jane Austen.
Austen is probably my favorite author though I cannot really say why. I have read and reread more times than any other author. Partly because it is easy to do. Rereading Search for Lost Time presupposed that I got through it the first time (60% and stuck).
I have enjoyed great perceptions of the author. I shall read Austen with greater enjoyment in the future.
The jokes, or at least some of them, fell flat after a while, but on the whole I enjoyed it.
Oct 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: humor, jane-austen
Rodi's snarky comments make this a modern day condensed versions of Austen's novels that is fun to read.

I enjoyed his rewritten condensed version, but toward the end, I got tired of the modern day humor and was looking forward to finishing this book. As I read these other books about Jane Austen and her works, II keep wanting to get back to reading what she wrote rather than what someone else wrote about her/it.

I was quite struck that he missed (or ignored) the social commentary about slavery.
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jane Austen criticism

Just as insightful as Volume One. Rodi obviously loves Austen's irony, and her depiction of comic villains especially, and he wants to ensure that people don't misread her novels as corny romances. I do, however, have a problem with his style, it's a bit too jaunty and colloquial, it began to jar once we got to PERSUASION. Also there are rather a lot of references to what I presume to be characters from American TV programmes. Still I enjoyed reading it, so glad there are pe
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jane-austen
I enjoyed this one more than Volume 1, although I still had to take a break in the middle as his humour gets to be a bit much, especially when there's a character he dislikes. But if you only read his commentary on one Austen novel at a time, it's enlightening and very entertaining. ...more
Melissa Ennis
Feb 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: austen
Impudent insight
Annie Jones
Contains some excellent insights and discussions and I love the underlying premise of focussing on Jane Austen' s clarity and sharpness of vision about human nature and society. However, the relentlessly jokey tone can become repetitive and a bit tedious. ...more
Jan 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
The fun continued in volume 2. It wasn't quite as much fun as volume 1, because I'm used to the author's approach and more inclined to notice repetitions, and also because it had more typos than volume 1. I appreciate the fact that it is a compilation of blog posts and the style of blog posts was purposely retained, but catching typos and careless use of the wrong character name would have required no more than a quick edit...

But enough complaining. It was fun and I'm sorry there isn't more. Rod
Sep 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
More snarky retelling, more laughs, some real insights. This author sure can turn a totally inappropriate phrase, and he appreciates writing, the sentences, sometimes just the choice of words the same way I do; he appreciates the cadences, the tightly controlled writing that makes Jane Austen's books among the few I re-read every couple of years. As with the first Bitch in a Bonnet, I learned some things reading this book, also had some laughs. Can't beat that! ...more
Velma Morgan
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mr. Jodi, you did it.

You had me laughing out loud. Now I must go back and read JA again. I can see I'm going to spend a lot of time with Miss JA and MR. Rodi.. So happy I discovered Mr.ROdi.
Oct 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
The voice and expressions are the same as Volume One; snarky and irreverent in a way I'm sure Jane Austen herself might have enjoyed. These two volumes are an entertaining accompaniment to the six beloved novels. ...more
Pam Jessup
Oct 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: austen-obsession
The snarky tone of this book is right up my alley. I would have finished this months ago, if not for the slog of final chapters about Northhanger Abbey (which in Rodi's defense, is more of my lack of interest in NA and less about his observations to make that book more relevant than it is). ...more
Jul 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this immensely. I agree with the premise of the author that Jane Austen in not a romance novelist but a social satirist. My only complaint with this book is that it needs a good editor as there were quite a few errors in the text.
Jun 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed both volumes and definitely recommend it, as long as you are happy with an irreverent (but not in a bad way) attitude to Jane Austen's work! ...more
Loreen ☕️
I always enjoy a good lit critique. His analysis is spot on, and it's nice to see someone try and free Jane Austen from the "chick lit" bookshelf. ...more
Sep 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent critique

This delightfully continues Mr. Rodi's first volume, and what a romp it is! I so appreciate the author's point of view.
Rowena Eddy
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Nov 26, 2020
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Richard Holmes
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Jan 14, 2020
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Robert was born in Chicago in the conformist 1950s, grew up in the insurrectionist 1960s, came of age in the hedonist 1970s, and went to work in the elitist 1980s. This roller-coaster ride has left him with a distinct aversion to isms of any kind; it also gave him an ear for hypocrisy, cant, and platitudes that allowed him, in the 1990s, to become a much-lauded social satirist.

After seven acclaime

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