trying to see the world with my ears
...because so many of us keep reading them. I doubt I would be seen in public with this book, let alone admit how much I enjoyed it, but read (or listen) to Austen spin-offs I do, and Audible is, well, anonymous and filled wih other P&P compulsives.
This Darcy tumbles with maid servants, actually supervises work at Pemberly, carouses with former Cambridge classmate Lord Byron, and can be inconvenienced by too tight britches; however, he still is not as villianous as much of the male gentry of his day. He is, of course, set back on course by "a fine pair of brown eyes." While this version of Darcy is not a monk, his antics aren't, thankfully, detailed for us. Such attempts only stain the cult of P&P, and from these I abstain in memory of Austen's brave example of NOT cashing in on fallen women as was routine in novels of her time.
As P&P re-tellings go, this is good: more detailed than the similar novel "Darcy's Story;" not as humourous (but much better narrated) than the Pamela Aidan Darcy trilogy; not as smutty as others that go on to imagine the married life of the Darcys.
Also this Darcy hints of the broader world: the Regency, PM Percival, war with France, industrialization, etc. It details a bit more of servant life. Georgina is imagined in more detail, and even Mr Hurst has some character (though not a very good one).
The narrator affects a haughty upper crust tone which might not be to everyone's ear, so listen carefully to the sample.
Face it, if you're reading this review and you've read other Darcy novels, you want to read the present one anyway. If you haven't read any of the others, this is as good as any to start. You don't need to have memorized P&P to enjoy the novel, but it helps.
I'm still waiting for a P&P re-told entirely from the servants' perspective; either that or a self-help book for compulsive P&P readers.
...you might like this bizarre tale of family, community, hierarchy, missionaries, twins separated at birth, and transexual serial murder in India. Unlike Q+A's Vikras Swarup, Irving isn't Indian, but he avoids cultural appropriation (I think--I'm not Indian) by stating upfront in the intro that he doesn't know India well, thanking a host of South East Asian artists for their help, and creating an ex-pat main character who is alientated from his birth country but not assimilated into the West.
I found the novel humourous and tremendously entertaining, but it's not for everyone: Know that there are multiple quirkly characters weaving through several intersecting storylines highly dependent upon coincidence, like a modern day tale from Trollope or Dickens with a twist of PG Wodehouse's mania, all held together by excellent narration.
Irving asks, in a postcolonial global village, "where are you from?" rather than the usual, "who are you?", and the only viable attitude he offers to complexities of human nature is that of a child's wonderment at a circus, despite the probability that the acts are based on cruelty to participants. The opposite of such wonder is fundamentalism. Many characters are shackled by fate, but a few escape predictable ends through human imagination or altruism.
Irving presents an unflattering but loving portrait of Bombay/Mumbai in the late 80s, before the terrorist bombings of 1993 and economic boom of 2000s. I'm not sure how an inhabitant would respond to the outsider's view. Also I'm not sure how a transexual might react to some of the characters. Some also might be put off by the novel's use of "cripple"/"crippled" to describe what we refer to now as disability, but all the charaters are "crippled," if not physically than emotionally or socially.
I would never download or buy a Heyer novel because of the cartoon covers, but thinking that so many Audible listeners can't be wrong, I tried this Heyer when I really needed a diversion. While it's no literary masterpiece, it's a rare find-- a pleasant escape from 21st century life that satisfied my inner teeny-bopper without insulting my ears with the bad prose, poor pacing, violence, sex, or melodramatic bodice ripping of most historical fiction. I have no idea how authentic is the Regency slang Heyer's heroes spout, but the word play is very amusing. I've already downloaded a second Heyer novel to break out during my next life crisis.
I agree with the listener who points out that the narrator's voice is a bit too much of "a certain age" for the main characters, but I think her excellent reading compensated for that - at least to my ears of a certain age.
I'm proud to be a bookaholic...addicted, obsessed, passionate!!! My favorite way to relax & escape reality....
This book continues right were The Secret of Ella and Micha leaves off. Micha goes on tour with his band and Ella back at school in Las Vegas with Lila. They are struggling with being apart from each other. The separation begins to create insecurities, fear, and anxiety for their future happiness. These two have come a long way since the events in the first book, but unfortunately for Ella, she still has deep issues and isn’t sure she worthy enough for Micha. Ella starts seeing a therapist and wants to work out her problems. She's dealing with issues that stem from her mother’s suicide, her alcoholic father and distant older brother who happens to be getting married. Micha is always there for Ella, through it all, he's always been her steady rock. Unfortunately, in this story there's a whole lot of Ella pushing Micha away which is so frustrating! I do understand why Ella felt the way she did but I also firmly believe when you got something good don't ruin it. I get that both Ella and Micha have a lot of baggage, but some of their arguments were tedious and began to really irritate me. I realize sometimes people tend to hurt the ones they love the most. So, Ella tries her best to Micha at arm's length, but Micha refused while trying to prove that he can help her heal. Meanwhile, some situations & outside influences cause unneeded tension within Ella and Micha’s relationship such as jealously, mostly from Alpha Caveman Micha due to some male attention Ella receives at college. On top of the fact that they both have different lifestyles that could develop more walls between them. However Micha doesn't plan to ever give up on Ella, because Ella is Micha's forever. Ella and Micha have been best friends since they were kids, they know each other inside and out, and they make each other whole. Micha was determined to prove to Ella that it’s better for them to be together than apart. Overall, I was envious of the strong connection between this couple. There was many ups & downs but they pulled through it. I found Micha to be respectful and show a lot of patience. He was swoon worthy pure perfection. OTW....the SMEXY scenes in this book are much HOTTER than the first!!! I'm looking forward to the next installment!