Defending My Pride (Reprint)
Tonight is the scheduled night for book club; we won’t be meeting in our traditional way due to the recent loss of our leader.
This year’s book list was devoted to the group’s favorites over the past twenty years. Tonight was to be a return to Pride & Prejudice. Gotta admit that I didn’t want to read the book the first go around – due to a bad experience with Sense & Sensibility (see below). But when Jack puts a book on the list, I feel the smart thing to do is at least try it.
And I’m glad I did.
In honor of Jack’s Great Book Salon, I am reprinting below a defense I gave of the book. Doubly timely, as Donald Miller’s swipe comes from the book Blue Like Jazz, which just made its own leap to film this past weekend.
From the archives:
So yesterday I printed a swipe on Pride and Prejudice by Donald Miller. And today I tell you what I think of Mr. Miller calling the book “hopelessly boring.”
He couldn’t be more wronger (to quote his majesty in King George and the Ducky).
Pride and Prejudice isn’t at all boring, unlike Sense and Sensibility. Pride is funny and light and quite a good read. My book club tackled it a few months back, when the movie was coming out. I approached the book with a lackluster will, as I recalled banging my head against the wall to relieve the pain of reading Sense and Sensibility. For those that haven’t read that novel, let me sum it up for you.
A bunch of girls talk about someone that is coming to visit. That person comes and visits, and they talk about how happy they are that the person is visiting. Then later the girls talk about how that person came and visited. Then they talk about another person coming to visit. And that person comes to visit, and they talk about it and talk about it and talk about it… And I bang my head against the wall, and the pain just won’t go away.
Pride and Prejudice was written by a wholly different Jane Austen – one of action, and heart, and humor.
The recent movie starring Kiera Knightly does an able job of condensing the book to a two hour bite-size morsel. Although — and those who have read the book know what I am talking about – Mr. Darcy is not as despicable and unlikable as he needs to be for the ending to truly work.
Another film version worth catching has the same title, directed by Andrew Black, set in modern times. Not a perfect film, but just the right amount of froth and fun to make the trip worthwhile. (Also stars another friend, the fiery Kelly Stables – which is how I knew to look for this adaptation.)
Of course, there is the original. And by original, I don’t mean the first one made, I mean the 1995 mini-series starring Colin Firth. And I only call this the original because I know that Tamara will shun me if I imply that there could be a version without Colin Firth that may be considered primary. Haven’t seen the mini-series myself, but I understand that they take the time to make you hate Darcy.
And starting out hating Darcy is one of the great joys of the book.
Just my thoughts,