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domingo, 18 de enero de 2015

The Jane Austen Book Club - Karen Joy Fowler

Rating: 
24/01/14


*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.
The 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, 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 your 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 adiós.

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 more entertaining than the book. Sacrilege, I know, but in this case, it is the sad truth.







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