Thursday, November 08, 2007

Reading and Drinking in the Kingdom

So remember how a couple of friends and I started a classics book club? Well, I pulled my little, “I’m a princess” routine at our first meeting, and while the majority of the book selection process was democratic… I dictatored my way into Jane Austen’s Persuasion (fortunately, everyone was fairly agreeable) because I have always wanted to read that book. My enthusiasm even demanded I host that discussion, and that we read that book FIRST! We'll see if there's mutiny in the book club. Eh! What do I care, as long as I get my night of hosting the Jane Austen novel?

With visions of finger sandwiches and tea dancing through my head, I immediately bought the prettiest version of the book available from the Tattered Cover, and set into reading, what some call Jane’s best work.

The second night in, though, I had a thought. “This is all so familiar. Her books are all running together in my head. It’s the same, self-restrained-to-the-point-of-mental-straightjacket-dom, 19th century British literature that I love, but o.k., it’s nothing new. I was hoping for something a little more from her final novel.”

The third night I continued down my, “It’s like I’ve read this book before,” train-of-thought. (Though I was still engrossed enough in it to miss meeting The Funasaurus for dinner at IHOP. And that’s a Big Deal, considering how hungry I had told him I was when he called me from the road and offered to go out to dinner.) “This reminds me so much of that one story where the chick falls off the wall at the beach, and the other chick shares a clandestine look with a stranger on some stairs…” the mental images came rolling in, as I read about their walking around the moors between the manor houses with nary a beach in sight.

Then I turned the page and they got in their carriages and drove to Lyme, where the one chick falls off the wall at the beach and the other chick shares a clandestine look with a stranger on some stairs.

Apparently… I have read this book before.

So much for finally reading all of Jane Austen’s works. Turns out I did that many years ago. Derrrr.

So, ah. I don’t exactly remember how it ends (though it is Jane Austen, I’d bet money they end up together at the end, after all hope had been lost, and live happily ever after) so I shall continue on. It’s a good book. And fortunately, worth re-reading.

That’s about it for my life recently. Well, besides the fact that I passed up a massage for a glass of cheap cabernet, last night. It was worth it. Cabernet is kind of like a Swedish for the frontal lobe.


Diane said...

I love Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility and Emma. I had a harder time with Mansfield Park. In your defense, sometimes Austen seems familiar because it is frequently the basis for current productions. See, for instance, Clueless, as a modern update of Emma.

meno said...

I think Persuasion is my favorite of her books. There's also a great movie of it out there somewhere, from 1995.

Maybe your book club could switch to movie night.

hamiam said...

LOL - btdt with so many books - but I love reacquainting myself with old characters - am a re-reader and all. Goes well with the obsessive parts of my personality ;-) Yup, OCD reader right here.

Cabernet is so good....

Mama P said...

Do you like the book even if you read it? And regarding sports: I hate them also.

Hey, did you post Halloween photos?

c3 said...

Jane Austen should have written more books; then you wouldn't have this problem! You could read her two unfinished works, which I did when I was desperate for more Jane Austen, but I wouldn't recommend it. You get all into the story, and then it just... ends. So frustrating! (I should have seen that coming, I know.)

M-M-M-Mishy said...

I love her works. I read them all when I was in high school. Now I want to read them all while drinking lovely glasses of wine.

Princess in Galoshes said...

Diane- I know, I loved Clueless when it came out, for just that reason! :-) (And Mansfield Park wasn't my favorite, either.)

Meno- There's a movie? I'm on it.

Ham- "btdt" why can't I figure out what that stands for?????

Mama P- Yes, I am LOVING this book. I could re-read this book many times. And no, we bailed on Halloween because The Funasaurus had a business trip. So sadly, no pics.

c3- Why does it not surprise me that you have also read her unifinished works? I would also find that highly unsatisfying... so I may not go there. At least, until I get desperate!

Mishy- That's the sucky part about high school. Good literature can be so much better appreciated with a nice glass of wine in hand. Time to lower the drinking age! (In the name of education, of course.)

hamiam said...

Ack, I committed acronym sin and assumed you'd know BTDT=Been there done that!


Diane said...

I just downloaded Persuasion onto my iPod

c3 said...

If you need the movie, I'll mail it to you. But I was kind of disappointed with the lead character. If you watch it, let me know what you think.

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