Sunday, 22 September 2013

Pride and Prejudice (And Zombies)

TITLE: Pride and Prejudice
AUTHOR: Jane Austen
PAGES: 432
RATING:  (4/5)


Good afternoon all,

I finally finished Pride and Prejudice and it only took me about three weeks or something equally ridiculous. Jane Austen's novel is a romantic classic and is essential to anyone studying the theme of love. As Meera Syal said, "it is the DNA of all romantic comedy," and I can't think of a better way to sum the book up.

Before I proceed to my review, here's a quick overview of my news. Stephen King's Doctor Sleep comes out on Tuesday, and is the long awaited sequel to The Shining. I've only read one review of it so far, which gave it 3 stars, so I'm not sure what to expect from it. Plus, I've borrowed (stolen) Skulduggery Pleasant and Young Sherlock Holmes from the library which I'm due to be reading shortly. In addition, I visited the new Library of Birmingham last week, and I can sum it up in one word: AMAZING!

Pride and Prejudice. You hear the title everywhere. It's Jane Austen's greatest novel, and for good reason too. Mr Darcy is one of the most famous characters in English Literature, and he has lost none of his influence in contemporary writing. He's the archetype of a "romantic hero". Women across the world are waiting for their Mr Darcy. Of course, perhaps unknown to them, Mr Darcy was extremely arrogant and proud through-out most of the book, but his acts of compassion and love in the closing pages seems to be all that is left of his legacy.

Elizabeth Bennet is intelligent and handsome. She's a steal for any men who can get their hands on her, (if you can pardon the colloquialisms.) Through-out the book she is approached my many suitors, Mr Collins, Mr Wickham, but is only ever intrigued to solve the mystery of Mr Darcy, the arrogant man who said "she wasn't handsome enough" when they first met.

Through-out the novel, love is everywhere we look. All events in the novel come about because of love. Our opinions of characters are molded through the love they give or take. But extraordinarily, the theme of love isn't overpowering. Maybe it's because we open the novel knowing the story that's going to be told to us, or maybe it's because we realise that love is just part of being a human. Once you understand this, it not only becomes a book about love, but a book about humanity.

Of course, I can't get through a book without being critical of some things. I found that the story-line was full of waffle. I felt as though we could have filtered the book down to the main and most important events, which not only would've made it easier to read, but would have improved the pace of the novel. But Pride and Prejudice isn't supposed to give us pace. It's lighthearted, it's at the other end of the spectrum to Wuthering Heights

I conclude by saying that the novel is funny, filled with themes about humanity and love, and it'll probably be perfect for reading on a warm summer's day. But if you're looking for a book filled with heartbreak, emotion, and page turning story-lines, then this isn't going to be a book for you.

The title of this post may be misleading, because although there is a book called Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (which I have read and do not recommend), instead I'm going to be talking to you about an author called Charlie Higson who has written the famous Young Bond Series and also the new Enemy Series which is about a zombie disease affecting children over the age of fifteen. On Tuesday, I had the privilege to actually meet Mr Higson, and he signed six of my books! (It was actually the best day of my life.)

The Enemy series is a must-read for all teens. In fact, it's not just a must-read for teens, it's a must read for anyone who loves this sort of stuff. The zombie apocalypse has struck, however the disease only effects adults, and they're also starting to get smarter. It's a great idea, because not only does it introduce some of the scariest creatures known to man, but it's also a story about children learning to survive on their own.

It's set in London, and the landscape brings a lot to the novel. The characters are distinct and lovable, the villains are the types of people you love to hate. When I first read it I was late for school the next morning because I stayed up late into the night not wanting to put it down. Charlie Higson knows how to scare people, and above all, he knows what his audience want to read. 

At the moment, I am reading Sisters Red which is part of the Fairytale Re-Telling series by Jackson Pearce. I'm also reading Othello in my English class, and I will be going to see it performed by Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear on Thursday! That should be exciting. I'm soon to be reading Rebecca which I'm very exciting about, if I can prize my copy off my Mom first...

Thanks for reading,
Rachel x

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