Saturday, February 1, 2014

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

I read this one for a new book club, that I have yet to get to. This time I failed to make it because my car blew a radiator hose and I was unable to make the drive. But I finished the book!

I don't actively seek out Jane Austen because the romantic goo is not up my alley. I want to say that if you go back and re-read any of my Austen reviews, I'll say the same. Usually something has to prod me to read her books.

Jane Austen? Why I go so far as to say that any library is a good library that does not contain a volume by Jane Austen. Even if it contains no other book. ~Mark Twain
Sorry, I had to :)

Sense and Sensibility focuses on the Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne. I disliked them both. I disliked their brother, his wife, their neighbors and friends. I wanted to actively punch Mrs. Palmer and Lucy Steele. I don't know if this was the desired effect but it was the effect.

Elinor is the steadfast, mature sister while Marianne is the dreamer and self-centered sister. They have moved to Barton Cottage after the elder Mr. Dashwood has passed. The Middletons are their neighbors (re: Sir John "He's as stupid as the weather") and leave little to be desired in the name of entertainment.

The gist, I gather, is the stringent search for a man to marry. Marianne and Elinor both believe they have found their mate only to be disappointed. No one really comes out and says YES HE'S MY MATE, it's all guessed at and hinted at and gossiped about so it's not surprising how jacked up things get.

The ending was a non-surprise and a surprise. In the end though, I have to say the characters, as much as I disliked them and would never want to be near such people in real life, entertained with their audacity and shallowness.

A great audio version of this is available at Librivox.org. Look for version 4 by Karen Savage. It really is excellent.
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