Friday, January 20, 2012

Book Review

Death Comes to PemberleyDeath Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

One of the girls in my bookclub picked this book because she's an absolute Jane Austen fan and Pride and Prejudice is her all time favourite. This is her pick. Based on the fact that "Pemberley" is in the title.

Admittedly, I read a Sydney Morning Herald book review before starting on it and so may have coloured my judgement on the book. The reviewer was quite scathing on the fact that James' writing style is dark to Austen's light. Also, the reviewer mentioned how the book started off rehashing the whole Pride and Prejudice story.

I tried not to be too annoyed when I read was reading through the retelling of the original P&P and hoped the mystery part would be compelling. If I were PD James, I would just assume the reader will know the original P&P story and if they didn't will give them a reason to go and seek it. I was disappointed because it just wasn't the compelling murder mystery I was expecting. There was nothing overly dark and sinister and the plot seemed to have been written without much excitement.

I listened to PD James' interview on the radio and she said that she tried to write in Austen's voice. I think she failed miserably. The only thing I thought that might Austen would have focused on was the shame a scandal would bring to Pemberly.

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