Friday, September 10, 2010

Go Ahead, Say I Told You So

Months back, when J.D. Salinger passed, I was moved to conquer some classics. As a writer, I felt kind of bad when people would talk about certain classics that I’d never read.

On my short list was:
The Great Gatsby
Bram Stoker’s Dracula
The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Catcher in the Rye
Pride and Prejudice

I’ve conquered two on that list so far—The Catcher in the Rye and Pride and Prejudice. Lets just say, I’m not such a fan of The Catcher in the Rye.

Pride and Prejudice. First, lets not talk about how I’m probably the last person to read this book, because I know that I am! As I started reading I thought, “WTH is going on? Why do so many people love this book?” I just didn’t get it. It was drawn out, full of telling over showing and—as I put it to my sister—terribly fussy. Some parts of it actually exhausted me. I think I caught the vapors.

And then Mr. Darcy proposed…and was turned down flat. All of his pride and arrogance tossed back on him by lovely and head-strong Elizabeth Bennett.

I was hooked from that moment on. Whoda’ thunk it…me, a romantic. But I wanted MORE when I was done. I wanted it so much that I went on Netflix and looked up Pride and Prejudice. There are about half a dozen versions so I scaled it down between the one with Kiera Knightley or the miniseries with Colin Firth…Colin won and boy was I happy I chose that one.

I don’t have a big problem with Kiera Knightley, but the in the A&E miniseries seemed so much like Elizabeth. I thought I’d always be conscious that it was Kiera Knightley if I’d chosen the other one. Plus the reviews said the man playing Darcy wasn’t at all like book Darcy. I wasn’t disappointed in Colin Firth.

A lovely time was had by all. So I can now be counted as one of those people who love Pride and Prejudice.

Go ahead, say I told you so…


Vicki Rocho said...

That's one of my favorite books. And I love the ending when they're out walking just before he proposes (again).

Of your list of have not read the only one I haven't got to yet is Catcher in the Rye and seeing as how you weren't overly impressed, I'm reluctant to tackle it.

Karen Denise said...

Oh yes, Vicki, I love that part too!

And in all fairness, I think I may have to give the Catcher in the Rye another chance. It's written in a very conversational way and so it's repetitive with broken english, sentence fragments and sometimes jumbled thoughts. I kept being pulled out of the story because I was trying to edit the darn thing. So know that I know, I think I can be better prepared for how it's written.

Tere Kirkland said...

If it makes you feel better, I have only read Pride and Prejudice and The Great Gatsby (which I would urge you not to waste your time on. I think I would rather read A Separate Peace again. *shudders*)

I never liked the character of Holden Caulfield, so I never really liked the book, either. Pompous ass. ;)

Really, really, really should read Stoker, though. Don't know why I haven't.

Karen Denise said...

LOL, Tere. I think I'll give the Great Gatsby a try because I'll feel guilty if I don't. But yeah, we should really get on the Stoker and then compare notes.

Angie said...

It's wonderful, isn't it. I love the Colin Firth version, too. You should read some more Austen. I especially like Emma. There are a couple on your list of classics that I need to get to also.(And I have a degree in English literature. What's up with that?)

Mystery Robin said...

All I have to say is that YES, you chose the right movie and just wait till you get to The Great Gatsby. I've kind of had a crush on him since the 7th grade. ;) And probably for no good reason.

Hannah Kincade said...

I lurve me some Colin Firth so yes, you made the right decision. Pride and Prejudice is wonderful. I'm more on the romance is dead side but let me tell you, there are a few stories that COMPLETELY win me over and that is one of them.

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

Yay! You're converted!! I love the mini-series. Hate the movie version with that Kiera person who has way too many teeth to be the *real* Elizabeth Bennet. ha ha. :)

Welcome to the club!


Karen Denise said...

Angie, for shame! You have a degree in English Lit, you should have read them all...twice-lol. I just ordered Emma from the library and I have Sense and Sensiblility already so prepare for follow up posts on them as well. I'm sure I'll watch the miniseries on both of them as well.

LOL Robin, I can't wait to read all of these books. My plan was to have 100 books read in 2010 and so far I'm only at 40! I gotta get cracking.

Hannah, Colin Firth is just the best. I can't believe I even debated which version to choose. And I was never a big romantic person, but the older I get the more I want it.

Karen Denise said...

A.L. LMAO! I knew there was something about her face that didn't sit well with me, but I couldn't put my finger on it. I've already scoped out the miniseries for Emma and I've seen the movie for Sense already, but I really enjoyed the movie so I'll watch it again after I read the book.

Joanne Fritz said...

Great post, Karen. Of all the books on your list, I've read every one EXCEPT Pride and Prejudice. How have I managed to never read that? And an English major to boot.

However, I've seen the mini-series and loved it as much as you do. Yay!

I found Dracula boring. Picture of Dorian Gray is intriguing, if you can get past the stilted style. I recommend Great Gatsby. But I also know people who hate it. Everyone's tastes are different. I personally loved it.

Karen Denise said...

Joanne, I started on Dracula and all the foot notes, history on Bram Stoker made me put it down for a while. So now I think I'll skip all that and start again. My sister recommended The Picture of Dorian Gray, but I think she saw the movie. I've had conflicting comments on The Great Gatsby, so I can't wait to see which side I fall on.

Jai Joshi said...

I'm a huge Jane Austen fan! Her wit, her characters, her interesting observations on human nature - fabulous! And yes, the BBC mini series (which you mentioned as the A&E mini series) is definitely the best adaptation. The Keira Knightley version wasn't bad but the BBC series was the best.

I haven't read Dorian Gray but I want to. It's on my list.

Caroline Tung Richmond said...

Okay, you might have convinced me to read Pride & Prejudice... (Yes, now I am the only person who hasn't read it!)

I've tried reading the book three times but I can never get into it. (Too much telling like you mentioned, etc.) But maybe I just didn't read far enough into it?

Maybe I'll dig up my copy of P&P and skip to the proposal!

Karen Denise said...

Jai, I think A&E was may have aired it in the US, but that's what was on the DVD I got from Netflix. I'm thinking of buying it. I want it in my collection!

Yes, Caroline! Don't be the last one! Plow through all the telling and get to the meat. I had to do that, not only with P&P but with The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Only you will know if it's worth it in the end.

L'Aussie said...

Pride and Prejudice, swoon. Yes, it takes awhile to get hooked, but you do. I teach it to my students and they end up fully in love. Ooh, Colin Firth IS Mr Darcy..:)