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The Jane Austen Book Club eBook –

The Extraordinary New York Times Bestseller In California S Central Valley, Five Women And One Man Join To Discuss Jane Austen S Novels Over The Six Months They Get Together, Marriages Are Tested, Affairs Begin, Unsuitable Arrangements Become Suitable, And Love Happens With Her Eye For The Frailties Of Human Behavior And Her Ear For The Absurdities Of Social Intercourse, Karen Joy Fowler Has Never Been Wittier Nor Her Characters Appealing The Result Is A Delicious Dissection Of Modern Relationships Dedicated Austenites Will Delight In Unearthing The Echoes Of Austen That Run Through The Novel, But Most Readers Will Simply Enjoy The Vision And Voice That, Despite Two Centuries Of Separation, Unite Two Great Writers Of Brilliant Social Comedy

10 thoughts on “The Jane Austen Book Club

  1. says:

    I m convinced the first thing Jane Austen is going to do on the Day of Resurrection is hire a lawyer and sue the philistines who have commandeered her name and characters However, this book is beneath her notice A clich d combination of unfulfilled women could hardly be conceived a middle aged woman who s just been left by her husband her lesbian daughter who falls easily and unhappily in love a spinster who breeds dogs a dissatisfied French teacher in an unhappy marriage and finally, the six times divorced earth mother who brings them all together for six months of Jane Austen book clubbing They re joined by some computer guy named Grigg, if that s even a name, who probably was supposed to add a bit of male perspective and surprise a love interest, but the book is so poorly written that he s virtually indiscernible from the women Their discussions are banal, the correspondence to their personal lives contrived, and the characters themselves both irritating and supremely boring, which I suppose must be some sort of an accomplishment Normally I like reading about losers and rejects A Confederacy of Dunces, my journals , but these people and their self created angst grated on my nerves I borrowed this on cd from the library and found myself skipping ahead because I simply couldn t take any of their inane conversations And, I m shocked shocked to report that skipping parts of the story didn t really detract from its overall flow Confession Embarrassingly enough, I did watch the movie on dvd because it stars that dreamy Hugh Dancy who, tragically, looks about half my age and body mass and the movie was not nearly as bad as the book extremely chick flicky, but not downright dreadful.

  2. says:

    I like contemporary literary fiction I really like book clubs I love Jane Austen I thought this book would be right up my alley How could it bore me to tears like that Lots of drama about the current lives and loves of the various members of this book club, which has its reflection in the themes of the various Jane Austen novels they read each month It was mildly interesting, and I finished the book, but it just never really engaged me.

  3. says:

    I really didn t get into the book In fact, by about the middle of the book, I felt that the only reason Jane Austen shows up in the title or the book at all, was because the author knew people like Jane Austen, therefore will buy the book The book really could ve been about any author Dickens, the Brontes, Hemmingway, Fitzgerald with the same results The ties to the Austen books, in my opinion, are tenuous at best If the title and the book club were not tied to Jane Austen, the references to the books would be a bit subtle, and I d consider the book as having genius, but as it stands, it just seemed like a cheap attempt to get Austen into the book I adore Jane Austen as much as the next Janeite , but this felt cheap to me.Beyond that, I always felt like the author created her characters, and was trying to keep them from us, much the way Jocelyn tried to keep details of who Grigg was from the others when the book club was formed Most authors are proud parents of their characters, and want us to know everything about them To me, Fowler came off as a selfish friend, who doesn t really want to share her friends with others the only reason she s sharing them here is because she ll be the center of attention for a bit Sadly, the characters I felt closest to were minor ones Dean, Daniel, and Grigg s sisters.The writing style wasn t bad, and I d consider reading other books by Fowler, but I was disappointed in this particular book.

  4. says:

    DNF review alert If you don t think they should exist, do not read this Jocelyn and Sylvia, two middle aged women, one never married and the other crying rivers because she just got divorced Bernadette, a sixty seven year old Liz Taylor Prudie, a French teacher that shares her thoughts in French whether you speak it or not Allegra, Sylvia s daughter, a thirty year old lesbian who cannot get a happy relationship, and Grigg, a guy that I don t know what to say about this choice All these people start a Jane Austen book club.This book starts slow and I don t think its pace ever changes I couldn t finish this thing I couldn t find the energy, so I put an end to this weird self inflicted pain.While I was reading this book, I couldn t stop thinking that if you are going to write about this outstanding author or her works, without a gram of her wit and fine humor, then please, do not do it Save a tree and your dignity Fowler s writing style can t get any drier Let s be honest, some of these characters, from different points of view, have experienced failure they might be considered losers , though that is a harsh word so let s call them non winners My point is, there are clever ways of describing non winners, however, Fowler picked the dullest ways possible They lacked development, in my opinion Funny thing, there are many unnecessary and over detailed anecdotes that tried to explain some context , but they only made me forget about the whole plot okay, let s imagine there is a plot So this Daria on Valium kind of writing really bored me And that is a big problem for me because I prefer writing over plot I can deal with an average plot, but the writing must be good And this is certainly not the case Like I said, all these people are members of a Jane Austen book club, so you could imagine all the witty comments you will read No animal passion , Allegra said about Emma Really Just find some Sade Book Club, there s some animal for you to enjoy I found some other very insightful remarks like Emma is a snob Yeah, mind blowing A couple of lines later, I was reading some Jocelyn s story about tennis and yadda yadda yadda Then, back to the book And so on And so on I was lost Cohesion, coherence, connection It is a literary technique, sure, but if you are going to use it, you have to be very crafty to pull that off, lady And again, this is not the case I was frankly annoyed by all this And one of my rules in life that helps me preserve my mental health is to not force myself to read something I am not enjoying I don t have to prove anything to anyone, really So, if by, let s say, page 50, I feel like I couldn t care less about the whole story, then adi s Anyway, there is a movie based on this book It is one of those chick flicks you can watch on a Sunday afternoon I didn t like it that much Feel free to ask, then why did you read the book Because I have read somewhere that the screenplay had little to do with the book So, I thought it was going to be better Poor child Let s just say that you might want to watch the movie and leave it at that I found it much entertaining than the book Sacrilege, I know, but in this case, it is the sad truth.Jan 24, 2014 Also on my blog.

  5. says:

    I picked this up because I enjoyed the movie version I like the story a modern day book club that reads all of Jane Austen s novels, and the participants lives become entangled and resemble some of Miss Austen s famous plots However, I thought Fowler s book was scattered and poorly written, and I couldn t finish it I thought it was mediocre fan fiction.

  6. says:

    I can t decide how successful this novel actually was, in storytelling On the one hand, I genuinely liked all the characters On the other hand, a good two thirds of the book is spent in telling backstory As a way to describe character and motivation, it s an interesting technique, and kept my attention despite all the narration On the other hand, there s very little real time interaction between the characters Although what interaction there is, plays out beautifully and believably, it s also spread between the six main characters, like a series of interconnected vignettes or short stories, rather than a novel I ended up feeling slightly dissatisfied with the all too brief glimpses into six fascinating stories.And, let s face it I couldn t help wishing for Jane Austen As is, the book club is nothing than a framing device, and although the novel concludes by asking who but Jane could have changed us this way I didn t quite believe in the Power of Jane myself I mean I do, in real life, but there wasn t much evidence of it here A passing musing from the characters here and there, did not do enough to convince me that their lives were truly Changed by Jane, or even that any of them were real Janeites, since the things they talked about were pretty basic Oh my gosh, Emma is totally classist The idea that each person s impressions of Austen influence and intertwine with his or her own life, is a great theme, but could have been explored much deeply.I did, however, greatly enjoy the plot parallels with the JA novels, and the Janeite in jokes and allusions sprinkled gently over the text, as if with a conspiratorial smile On the whole, I do recommend the book It was a fun read, just not as satisfying as I had hoped for But then, my expectations for anything with Jane Austen in the title are probably unreasonably high, so take this with a grain of salt if you wish.

  7. says:

    BLURB The Extraordinary New York Times BestsellerIn California s central valley, five women and one man join to discuss Jane Austen s novels Over the six months they get together, marriages are tested, affairs begin, unsuitable arrangements become suitable, and love happens With her eye for the frailties of human behavior and her ear for the absurdities of social intercourse, Karen Joy Fowler has never been wittier nor her characters appealing The result is a delicious dissection of modern relationships.Dedicated Austenites will delight in unearthing the echoes of Austen that run through the novel, but most readers will simply enjoy the vision and voice that, despite two centuries of separation, unite two great writers of brilliant social comedy.COMMENTSThis was a good read The author brought Jane Austen into the lives of five women and one man The lives of Jane Austen s characters and plots are woven into the lives of these 6 members of the Jane Austen Book Club It brings a new perception of Jane Austen to the reader, but also cause a renaissance of love and commitment into the 6 members lives I found the overall plot a bit messy, terribly confusing at times Yet I enjoyed the author s excellent wordsmithery She is a true artist in her craft and I will certainly make time to read of her books The detail is amazing It s a good as well as bad thing, since it enhances the reading experience, while causing an avalanche of word dumping here and there It was, however, a wonderful, enriching experience My next read is her book We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves.PS The author added comprehensive notes on the life and work of Jane Austen at the end if the book Reading them, particularly first timers, will make dedicated Austenites out of anyone It certainly inspired me to reread all her books for the umpteenth time

  8. says:

    So disappointed I wanted to like this but could never get into any of the characters or the stories they told They are a mismatched bunch who all come together to read Jane Austin Perhaps there should of been Austin and less of these characters Each book was suppose to relate or have particular meaning to one of the present day characters.or at least I think maybe that was the point I really don t know as I never felt any type of flow We learned odd stories of each characters past, that I didn t really see made them any interesting, nor related to who they were in the present I didn t really get the sense that very many of them connected to each other, nor I to them Glad it was a quick read, but not one I would recommend Rather slow, disjointed and blah Only went up to a 2 star as some of the Austin comments made me want to read her

  9. says:

    This book is boring and obnoxious Bernadette s Austen was a comic genius Her characters, her dialogue remained genuinely funny, not like Shakespeare s jokes, which amused you only because they were Shakespeare s and you owed him that. Talking trash about Shakespeare

  10. says:

    I just finished The Jane Austen Book Club So good I m craving Jane Austen now I just want to go through each novel in order I just might I can t decide I am a quite reliable multi taskerIf you love Jane Austen, I think you will really appreciate the book Even if you don t love Jane Austen, I think you will appreciate the book and maybe come to appreciate Jane Austen .It was really good Four Hello Kittys.My favorite Jane Austen book is Pride and Prejudice I heart Lizzy Bennet and Mr Darcy I m dying to hear what any one else s favorite Austen is She s such a master with characters and keen observer of relationships I love her.One of my favorite classes I took in grad school was on Jane Austen Besides my poetry classes, it s probably the one class I remember quite vividly and am most fond of I wrote a great paper on Jane Austen paper dolls.I finished Fowler s novel this evening by our outdoor fireplace FD got a really perfect fire going he used some of our applewood we bought last fall from a local orchard We smell woodsy and wholesome and happy Very simply happy.When the fire got low, our neighbor boy Joe, crept between the pines in our backyards, apologized for interrupting my reading and asked if he and his brother could get me wood It was really sweet I thanked him and told him it was sweet, but we were letting it burn out He crept back between the trees and continued playing It was such a small act, but it really made my night.Tonight has been on those nights where everything feels good and perfect and calm Everything feels full of love and goodness We had a hearty meal, a glowing fire, fine reading, quiet conversations, good neighbors It was one of those precious nights that if you don t record it becomes lost in all the hum drum of the quick days that slide by It was an evening worthy to share.