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Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Published by Enhanced Media Publishing on December 28, 2016 (first published 1813)
Source: Purchased
Genres: Romance, Classic
Pages: 354
Format: eBook
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Mrs. Bennet has but one aim in life: to find a good match for each of her five daughters. Mr. Bennet, a mild and indolent man given to witty cynicisms, refuses to take this vulgar project seriously; he ridicules his wife instead of giving her support in her schemes. One of the daughters, Elizabeth, becomes prejudiced against her future suitor, Darcy, because of his arrogance and his uncalled-for interference with his friend Bingley’s courtship of her sister Jane. In interfering with Jane and Bingley, Darcy is influenced by Mrs. Bennet’s undisguised husband-hunt and her impropriety in general; he mistakenly believes that Jane is only seeking an advantageous match and that her feelings are not sincere. In spite of his disapproval of the Bennet family, Darcy cannot keep himself from falling in love with Elizabeth, and he proposes to her. The tone of the proposal (it is evident that his love for Elizabeth is a blow to his pride) and her own prejudice cause Elizabeth to coldly reject him...

How can I really write any comments about Pride and Prejudice that haven’t already been written? This is probably my third time reading it and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The dialogue, and the story relies on its dialogue, is sparkling and fun. Elizabeth and Darcy are a wonderful couple and complement each other well.

This time around I actually chose to read it because my daughter is reading it for her English class and it’s nice to be able to discuss the books she’s reading at dinner or on car rides. I didn’t read A Tale of Two Cities with her, and I only partly remembered Dracula, but I’m glad I joined her in this one.

Amber and I have talked about the story some. It’s interesting, since she’s looking at it from a different perspective. She’s 17 and it’s the first time she’s read it. Neither of those things can be said of me. I think the thing that struck me most is how she sees Elizabeth Bennet as an early version of the typical YA heroine. She’s strong, well-read, says what she thinks. She doesn’t allow society to dictate her choices and behaviors. At the same time though, she’s fun and more than willing to laugh at herself and others. And she still gets the perfect guy in the end. She is delightful, but even her flaws are positives.

Jane, as Amber sees it, is a little too perfect. Pretty, kind, always seeing the nice in everyone. Once again, her flaw is a positive too, always believing the best in everyone.

The other characters don’t really rate much notice from Amber. Wickham’s the bad guy, and Mr. Collins is rather stupid. She does have to write five essays, so I’m sure she actually does have to think more about the other characters, but we haven’t really discussed them much.

They’ve been watching the 2005 movie with Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen. I haven’t seen it, have you? Is it worth watching? All I’ve gotten out of her is that it’s pretty true to the book and Bingley does not look like she thought he should.

Next up for Amber is The Great Gatsby. I haven’t read it; should I?

About Jane Austen

Jane Austen (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) was an English novelist known primarily for her six major novels, which interpret, critique and comment upon the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Austen’s plots often explore the dependence of women on marriage in the pursuit of favorable social standing and economic security. Her works critique the novels of sensibility of the second half of the 18th century and are part of the transition to 19th-century literary realism. Austen’s use of biting irony, along with her realism and social commentary have earned her great and historical importance to critics and scholars.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Othello by Vincent Goodwin, William Shakespeare

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Othello by Vincent Goodwin, William Shakespeare Othello by Vincent Goodwin, William Shakespeare
Illustrator: Chris Allen
Series: Graphic Shakespeare
Published by Graphic Planet on July 1, 2008
Source: Purchased
Genres: Classic, Graphic novel, Play
Pages: 48
Format: Hardcover
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The tragedy of William Shakespeare's Othello comes alive in this stunning graphic novel adaptation using the original Shakespearean dialog. The world-class art, romance, betrayal, and tragedy of Othello will capture the attention of reluctant readers.

I actually bought this graphic novel for Amber. I thought that it would give her an idea of what Othello was about before we went to see it. She never read it, but I did  – a quick refresher never hurts. This is just a quick version of the play. Yes, it uses Shakespeare’s language, but a lot is cut out of it. It does give you most of the general idea of what’s going on though, and the illustrations are attractive enough. Not outstanding, but they let you see what’s going on in the play which is so much more helpful than only reading the sometimes difficult to understand dialogue. I think it took me like a half hour to read or so. It definitely can’t replace the play itself, but it’s a good introduction I guess you could say. Graphic novels like this one can make Shakespeare relatable and less scary, I guess. Some people hear “Shakespeare” and are immediately turned off, but the plays are chock full of love and sex and war and violence. This was not quite as good as the Macbeth graphic novel I read earlier this year.

We did get to see Othello on the stage a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed it.

About William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare (26 April 1564 (baptised) – 23 April 1616) was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England’s national poet and the “Bard of Avon.” His extant works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, of which the authorship of some is uncertain. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

Macbeth: The Graphic Novel adapted by John McDonald, written by William Shakespeare

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Macbeth: The Graphic Novel adapted by John McDonald, written by William Shakespeare Macbeth: The Graphic Novel by John McDonald, William Shakespeare
Illustrator: Nigel Dobbyn
Published by Classical Comics on November 5, 2008
Source: On shelves
Genres: Classic, Graphic novel, Play
Pages: 144
Format: Paperback
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Witches, murder, ghosts, and madness — one of Shakespeare’s finest tragedies is also a perfect fit for the graphic novel format. This compelling adaptation depicts every blood-curdling scene in easy-to-follow illustrations, accompanied by Shakespeare’s original text. An illustrated cast of characters reminds readers who’s who, and fascinating background information on Shakespeare and the real Macbeth adds historical context.

Macbeth is Shakespeare's shortest tragedy, and tells the story of a brave Scottish general named Macbeth who receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the throne for himself. He is then wracked with guilt and paranoia, and he soon becomes a tyrannical ruler as he is forced to commit more and more murders to protect himself from enmity and suspicion. The bloodbath and consequent civil war swiftly take Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into the realms of arrogance, madness, and death.

When I read Light Thickens by Ngaio Marsh earlier this year, it made me want to re-read Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Amber has had this graphic novel for a while and she enjoyed it, so I though it might be an interesting format to read the play. The dialogue is all the original, but the format obviously makes it feel different from reading the straight play.

Macbeth is a great play and this is not a review of it. It’s got witches and ghosts and murder and betrayal. It’s really a fun tragedy, which is part of the reason I encouraged Amber to read it. She’s not one to be afraid of classics, but Shakespeare’s language can be daunting for anyone. The graphic novel makes it more accessible, you can see what’s going on in addition to reading the dialogue.

The illustrations are clean and colorful but not outstanding. I don’t read many graphic novels, so take it for what it’s worth, but the images didn’t make me say wow. That’s okay though, they did their job. It helped me understand what was going on, without being overly graphic. I do love the witches and Hecate.

The end of the books contains some history on Shakespeare, the true story of Macbeth and some of the superstitions surrounding the play. I’m really glad I borrowed it from her. We’ve got tickets to Othello later this spring, so I just ordered a graphic novel version of the play from a different publisher, thinking it will help her enjoy the play more if she has some idea of what’s going on. I hope it’s as good as this one was.

About William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare (26 April 1564 (baptised) – 23 April 1616) was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England’s national poet and the “Bard of Avon.” His extant works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, of which the authorship of some is uncertain. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

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