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Austen in August 2015 – Wrap-up Post

austeninaugustrbr

Alas, another Austen in August is coming to an end. I read two Austen-related novels and watched two adaptations.

* CONTAINS SPOILERS

zombiePride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

THE STORY
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”

So says this mash-up novel where England has been inflicted by the undead for decades and our beloved Bennet clan has been transformed into a fierce, zombie-fighting family.

THE GOOD
As a fan of zombie movies and TV shows, I was thrilled about this re-imagining of Pride and Prejudice where Elizabeth Bennet can effortlessly take down zombies alongside Jane and her other sisters. In this version, Lizzy is not only courageous and smart, but physically strong and a master of the deadly arts.

THE BAD
In the end, an exact re-telling of Pride and Prejudice with some zombies and fighting thrown in couldn’t hold my interest. I quickly grew bored with the concept and would have preferred reading the original novel.

3/5 Stars

* * *

pridePride & Prejudice (2005) starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen

THE GOOD
An impressive adaptation of Austen’s novel that is well-cast and beautiful to watch. I love this movie!

THE BAD
Although this adaptation makes some changes, the movie still contains all of the wit, charm and heart of the story.

4/5 Stars

* * *

northangerNorthanger Abbey by Jane Austen

THE STORY
The incredibly sweet and inexperienced Catherine Morland visits Bath and becomes acquainted with one family of manipulators and another family Catherine is certain has many juicy secrets she must uncover. It was my first time reading the novel.

THE GOOD
As much as I cringed at Catherine’s naiveté, I empathasized with how confusing it was for her to understand the duplicity of her friends and I was impressed whenever she firmly stood her ground. I also liked that Henry Tilney would in the most kind and amusing manner make Catherine see the folly of her thinking. You just know that this guy is good for her.

THE BAD
I haven’t been a fan of how Austen finishes her novels by quickly summarizing in very practical terms the happy ending. Northanger Abbey was no different and even though I’m pleased everything worked out for Catherine, as usual I was left wanting something more sweeping and romantic.

4/5 Stars

* * *

abbeyNorthanger Abbey (2007) starring Felicity Jones and J.J. Feild

THE GOOD
Felicity Jones is perfectly cast as the wide-eyed and impressionable Catherine Morland. I particularly liked the fantasy sequences Catherine would have as she intensely read The Mysteries of Udolpho. I thought she had very good chemistry with J.J. Feild and I got the romantic ending I craved from the novel.

THE BAD
Again some changes from the original story have been made with this adaptation as well, but I actually thought the changes made the story tighter and were acceptable.

4/5 Stars

Are you sad this month is over? What did you read or watch for Austen in August?

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15 comments on “Austen in August 2015 – Wrap-up Post

  1. janceewright
    August 31, 2015

    Pride and Prejudice is one of my comfort movies. We watch it a lot when we’re sick or stressed. It’s also just great to have in the background!

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      August 31, 2015

      That’s an excellent way of putting it. Pride and Prejudice really is a comfort movie!

      Like

      • janceewright
        August 31, 2015

        It ranks up there with Last Holiday and Leap Year for me.

        Like

        • ebookclassics
          August 31, 2015

          Love those movies too! I smile and sigh a lot when I watch them.

          Like

          • janceewright
            August 31, 2015

            I don’t have to concentrate too hard when I watch them, and they’re so feel-good.

            Like

  2. Naomi
    August 31, 2015

    I’m not a fan of zombies, so I think I’ll stay away from the zombie-fighting Bennets (even though the image of that is pretty funny). I’m also not a fan of Keira Knightley, so I’ve never seen that particular P&P. I’m stuck on the one with Colin Firth.
    Northanger Abbey is the first Austen book I read, and I loved it. I’ve never seen the movie version – now I want to go watch it right now!

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      September 1, 2015

      Keira Knightley does this things with her lips that drives me crazy. Thankfully, she doesn’t do it in P&P. I thought the movie version of Northanger Abbey was short and sweet at around 90 minutes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Naomi
        September 1, 2015

        There’s just something about her… And, I feel like she always looks the same in every movie. I don’t like her in Love Actually, either, even though I love that movie.

        Like

  3. TJ @ MyBookStrings
    September 1, 2015

    I tried reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but gave up quickly. Like you, I got bored with it. I read and watched Sense and Sensibility last week, and both were great and just what I needed. I don’t like the 2005 adaption of P&P (that ending… really?!), but I will look for the Northanger Abbey adaption now.
    (And I see you have Speed Kings upcoming. Me too!)

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      September 1, 2015

      Yes, the zombie novelty wore off quickly. Ha ha, you mean you didn’t like Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen shivering in the sunlight together? Have you started Speed Kings yet? I finished the prologue.

      Like

      • TJ @ MyBookStrings
        September 1, 2015

        Nope, that ending didn’t do it for me. I’m too much of an Austen purist, I guess. And no, I haven’t started Speed Kings yet. I have a few other books I want to finish first.

        Like

  4. Brian Joseph
    September 1, 2015

    I only managed to read one book for the event but I am glad that I participated.

    I have not read Northanger Abbey yet but I hope to within the next year or so.

    I would imagine that the idea behind Pride and Prejudice and Zombies would wear very thin, very quickly.

    Like

  5. ebookclassics
    September 1, 2015

    Northanger Abbey was the last of her big novels that I read and I still think Pride and Prejudice is my favourite of them all. Next year I think I would like to explore some of her short stories. Have you read any of those?

    Like

  6. jessicabookworm
    September 1, 2015

    I read Mansfield Park and re-watched Pride and Prejudice (2005) for this event 🙂

    I seemed to particularly notice how abrupt the ending was to Northanger Abbey. I still enjoyed it though and I loved the gothic parody in it. I also thought the adaptation was good too. JJ Feild I thought made a great Mr Tilney. Plus it was fun to see Carey Mulligan be a nasty character!

    Like

  7. jmillwanders
    September 1, 2015

    Wonderful wrap-up! I’m still not sure I want to read the zombies adaptation, or any of those random adaptations with zombies or sea creatures, etc. Doesn’t make any sense to me to mess with a masterpiece.

    I got through Persuasion and Northanger Abbey, both as rereads, and A Jane Austen Education. I also watched Pride and Prejudice more times than I can count because I love falling asleep to it sometimes.

    Like

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