Peter Meredith's Reviews > Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
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it was ok

18 chapters in... I want that to sink in for a moment... ok. 18 chapters in and NOTHING has happened. I am enjoying her writing style very much, but I also enjoy the back of an occasional cereal box so that may not mean much. We will see.
I am sitting here eating a tootsie roll, a Halloween left over, and I can't help notice the similarities between it and the novel Pride and Prejudice. First off, like P and P, the tootsie roll wasn't one of those dinky ones that you can almost swallow in a single bite so you know that I've been at this for a while and now that I finally got it down, I have to wonder why I put it into mouth to begin with. Secondly, tootsie rolls are a throwback to another age, there are far better candies out there and the 36 wrappers littering the floor will attest to this. You have to really like tootsie rolls to appreciate them. I don't.
Pride and Prejudice is the dullest most wonderfully written book that I have ever read. I read it simply to get a feel for the author's fantastic ability at arranging words, and really I mean it when I say, oh what wonderful blather.
I give the book one star.
After 62 chapters, there is nothing that happens. There is barely a story to the story, at least not one that could be remotely interesting...even to people who like romance. In the age of bodices, there is nary a one that is ripped open, let alone one that is undone with the gentle exploring fingers of a lover.
And then there is the hubbub over the book...Satirical? A witty comedy of manners? Sure, I smiled a few times at the only funny character in the book, Mr. Bennett, but overall, I read, studied the sentence structure, noticed the wall paper and waited patiently as the paint dried. Even the dramatic ending where Lizzy gets the guy, is a letdown and dull. Just to let you know, I was joking about it being in any way dramatic. Which brings me to the characters. Other than Lizzy, they are all stereotypical and lack even the most remote concept of depth. Jane is pretty and sweet from the first page to the last. The mom is overbearing, the dad aloof. Other than Darcy, no one grows or changes in a book that spans a few years and endless pages.
Normally, I use one star for books that I just can't finish and if I wasn't an aspiring author, I wouldn't have bothered to get through half the book, but since I did... and when I compare it to yawner like A Tale of Two Cities, I had to bump this one up a notch.
PS, Don't read Moby Dick either, if you know what's good for you.
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Reading Progress

October 24, 2011 – Shelved
Started Reading
November 5, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-35 of 35 (35 new)

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Effy I am reading Pride and Prejudice and I wonder what is all the rave for the book when barely ever anything happens.

Peter Meredith Effy, I'm going to give you a big spoiler concerning chapter 41. Nothing happens except alot of talk, not even another ball! How am I expected to go on reading if there isn't another ball!

Effy I think I passed that chapter. Back in that time it was mostly words expressed and not much action. Balls were a chance for some one to be able to communicate with men in a more friendly manner and well I don't mind the times of no balls. But this book is almost boring. I don't get what is all the hype about.

Susan Your review made me eat a tootsie roll - lol. My college professor said that P&P was the closest example of a perfect novel, with all the plot points resolved at the end. It's been awhile since college, but I liked P&P well enough, and it was Henry James that sent me reeling in frustration over hundreds and hundreds of pages of nothing happening.

Shannon Okay, okay, okay! For all the Austen fans out there, I must jump in. Though, I learned long ago there's no point in trying to convince someone to like a book, you must understand that it's the seemingly normal events that make Austen so amazing. Things that don't seem important, we find out later meant something, moved a character in some way and changed the course of events. But, it is something you have to read to the end for. ;)

Tracy this is why pride and prejudice and zombies is genius - for those folks who can't stand to read Austen, PPZ gets you all the glory of the relationships, sharp tongues, and yes, romance - plus ZOMBIES. (this way, you can never say "nothing happens" – because at least some brains get eaten and Elizabeth is a warrior, and not just in a verbal way.)

Effy I like Austen very much. My favorite so far is Emma. But as far as this book, I am getting closer to the end of the book and the ending is most eventful and interesting. I don't know what I was expecting to get from this book but I suppose more dialogue. Darcy is silent and as Elizabeth discovers she doesn't know him so well. How can I love a character so mysterious and silent? I just don't know. Maybe I will like it more later.

Jayaprakash Satyamurthy Ann Radcliffe>Jane Austen.

' I am enjoying her writing style very much, but I also enjoy the back of an occasional cereal box ' made me laugh out loud!

Kathy I'm sorry you aren't liking it, Peter. I loved Pride & Prejudice....and Moby Dick, for that matter. These are both classics and not just due to their age. But to each their own...

Peter Meredith Were there zombies in your version Kathy;)
I used to read to entertained, to be taken away to another world, but P and P, despite its wonderful prose, seemed too much like our own world, just more dull. Now as for Moby Dick. I equated that with eating a big bowl of lima beans with two pieces of bacon in it. By the time I got to the meat of the story my apatite had all but disappeared.

Kathy No, no zombies, sorry. I just feel that classics, that obviously take place in another time in place, need to be injoyed for that fact. I want to go there! It might seem like our own world, because it is.....just alot earlier. If you want a different world, there is always science fiction/fantasy. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying there is anything wrong w/ you not liking them, then obviously the genre isn't for you.

message 12: by Effy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Effy I've finished the book long ago and want to say I will have to try and like the book because I do like Darcy in the end and I don't in the beginning. I mostly dislike the book because of Mrs. Bennet and her personality. But watching Lost in Austen has me wanting to love the book. However I love Emma. My bookshelf mostly consists of Barnes and Noble Classics and I didn't want to ruin my copy by rereading it over and over. So I bought another copy for rereading and I wouldn't do that for Pride and Prejudice.

Sherly Septiani Indeed, it's a simple story with so long explanation. But just remember that it's a classic :)

Collene It's so good to find someone else who agrees with me about Pride and Prejudice.

message 15: by Sherry (new)

Sherry Okay, I'm glad they made a couple of movies that are a bit better? Maybe? Right now I'm in the midst of a re-read of Wuthering Heights -- now there's a brilliant book! In my humble estimation.

message 16: by Leigh (new)

Leigh Moore LOL! Awesome. I've actually tried to read P&P several times and couldn't get into it. But I very much enjoyed that 6-hour BBC miniseries. It made me *feel* like I read it... :D Thanks for the laugh, Pete!

message 17: by Starbubbles (last edited Mar 09, 2012 09:37PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Starbubbles I think you failed to properly assess what Pride and Prejudice really is. It's a romance novel written in the Victorian Era, and more importantly it's British Literature. While romance novels had been accused of luring women into sinful situations for centuries, many were much like this. It's probably important to note that the Victorian Era inspired a greater push for conservatism in both private and public behaviors. The bodices being ripped off in a moment of ecstasy is more of a modern interpretation of historical fiction with romantic flare rather than books from that time actually getting their bodices ripped off. A better comparison would be to Vanity Fair. It's slow for everyone who reads it whereas Moby Dick truly had breathtaking moments. But I personally love Moby Dick, whereas i despised Pride and Prejudice. Don't feel bad though, Mark Twain hated Austen too.

I have to admit though, your comparison of the tootsie roll and this book was spot on.

Loren To each their own. I loved the book but I also loverd your review.
What's wrong with Moby Dick?

Peter Meredith Loren wrote: "To each their own. I loved the book but I also loverd your review.
What's wrong with Moby Dick?"

The book would've been better without all the talk about the boat and the ocean...and the whale.

message 20: by Marielle (new)

Marielle Massey Posts like yours make me cry. You obviously lack the will and patience to truly understand this masterpiece.

David Congratulations, Peter, you have spent the best part of 500 words telling us 'Pride and Prejudice' is boring but wonderfully written, you smiled a few times. However, the characters are stereotypes, and you don't get what other people see in it. There you go, under 30 words.

The rest of your "review" is irrelevant "blather" about how you don't like tootsie rolls either - any reason you can think of why I, or anyone else, should be interested in your dietary preferences? Oh, and you don't much like Dickens' 'A Tale of Two Cities' or Melville's' Moby Dick'.

At least Jane Austen had the decorum to be well written in her non-event novel, something which your review conspicuously lacks.

Stephen Sorry you didn't like it. Everyone has blind spots and things that they don't like that everyone else does. My least appreciated classic was The Scarlet Letter. Loved the idea but in Hawthorne's own words it was a tale of somniferous wonder

message 23: by Shmuli (new)

Shmuli Cohen Great review. I agree so far and am only 9 chapters in. Takes courage to rip P&P. Miss Austen is revered amongst these book fiends.
PS- I was just about to buy Moby Dick!

Erica I love this review. I also love this book. I'm never surprised to hear men say they don't connect with P&P. It surprises me a little when women don't enjoy it, but to each his own. I think you just need to have a taste for this kind of classic english lit. I read it as a young girl and have had a soft spot for it since then. It has become my waiting-for-a-new-book-to-read book. Books speak to each person in a different way; you're not wrong if you don't like the book (also not wrong if you do!), but you must at least appreciate that classics endure through generations for a reason, so it's not a bad book just because it doesn't speak to everybody. That's my two cents :).

Stacy I am an avid Jane Austen fan and have read P & P too many times to count. That being said, I respect that everyone has a right to their own opinion and i quite enjoyed your review of P & P and The Great Gatsby. Just because i enjoy Austen doesn't mean i enjoy all classic literature. Besides a Tale of Two Cities, that i read in high school, I have not been able to get through a Dickens novel. I enjoy the movies, but my gosh, that man wrote with A LOT of words. Whew! i am exhausted even thinking about his novels.

Wouldn't it be a horribly boring world if we all agreed on everything?

Peter Meredith Yeppers Stacy. Who would I have to argue with? Thanks for being cordial.

message 27: by Pam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pam Reading this book for book club--it is painful.

Jessica All you peole need to go on Youtube and watch The Lizzy Bennet Diaries. it makes a lot more sense and Whatever face is that wrote this review things WILL happen. And in those days that was basically the celbrity gossip. You have to see it through someone elses eyes. Have an open mind about it.

message 29: by Lauren (new) - added it

Lauren Schmidt The lack of depth is a sign of Austen's musings; her point. The lack of care/finesse is because people of that wealth and character were all striving to be solely one thing: a showcase. Her humor is IN her shallow characters.

message 30: by Paul (new) - rated it 3 stars

Paul Starbubbles - the book was not written in the Victorian era. Austen was dead before Victoria came to the throne.

message 31: by K.N. (new) - rated it 2 stars

K.N. I'd like to add that I enjoyed your review more than I'm enjoying P&P. The tootsie roll analogy was spot-on.

message 32: by Lucinda (last edited Jul 26, 2015 11:18AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lucinda Well, it's not so much about what happens in Austen's books but the way she describes a social system. She had a pretty boring life anyway but a dashing, witty sense of humour to entertain herself. Some people get it, some don't.
And for romance haters, this is the perfect book, that's why I enjoyed it so much. There's actually nothing romantic about the relationships taking place in the early 19th century. Long live the Austenites and the Janeites.
(Btw couldn't finish Moby Dick either, fell off my hands)

Andee CCHS I believe there is a reason it is a literature classic and though it may seem cliche to us, the people who read the first copies of the book may disagree. When looking at aspects such as this, you have to remember that these books didn't come out yesterday, they were some of the original love stories of our time. Would you call, say Romeo and Juliet cliche? If so, I'd like to know why. Although the book gets to be slow in some sections, no question is left unanswered in this book. I would agree with you that it is beautifully written though. I do not agree, on the other hand, that it deserves one star.

James Keegan Mr Bennett is the only funny character? What about Mr. Collins? Ms. Bingly? Mary?

Daniel Triumph See, this is why people say men don't like Jane Austin.

(I liked what she did, but I do think the plot could have been better handled.)

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