Quote of the Day

7.12.2008

book review lite: The Jane Austin Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler

I'm really not up to doing full book reviews, replete with literary allusions and knowledgeable analysis. I don't want to go to work every time I read a book. So I am giving myself permission to do book reviewettes: reviews lite.

I just finished The Jane Austin Book Club which I liked, but didn't love. There were several times that I laughed out-loud, and several hearty chuckles, but I won't reread it or force my circle of readers to read it. Here's my favorite line from the whole book:
She’d recently announced that she was, officially, letting herself go. ‘I just don’t look in the mirror anymore’ she’d told us. ‘I wish I’d thought of it years ago . . .
Alas, this line came early in the book and my funny bone spent the rest of the pages wishing for another tickle. The characters and their relationships with one another are indeed well-crafted and enjoyable. There is nothing wrong with the book at all so I ought to have liked it more than I did, but I didn't. When it was over I was pleased that I could move on to the next one. That's not a great sign. If you NEED a book to read, you could do worse, but I wouldn't make a point of reading this one.

That being said, if you ever wished for a brief plot synopses of the Austin novels, Karen Joy Fowler provides some very nice ones at the end of her novel. I may keep the book around just for that.

~Suzanne

4 comments:

ennifer (5 Minutes for Books) said...

I enjoyed this book, but you're right, it didn't bowl me over.

I also like reviewettes. I find that if I hold out for a "perfect" book review, then I don't write anything sometimes.

Girl Detective said...

I followed you from semicolon. I really enjoyed this book, back when I had only read Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Now I've read all her novels, and The Jane Austen Book Club made my head spin--there were layers and layers of meaning and homage.

I think this is a book suited to fans of Austen. If you like Austen, you'll like this book. If you're indifferent or don't like Austen, it's not going to work for you.

But Austen is like Shakespeare--the more you read her, the easier and more enjoyable the reading becomes.

Carrie, Reading to Know said...

I've steered clear of this one so far......I haven't heard from anyone who really, really liked it!

HA! Loved your statements about "reviewettes." I enjoyed yours. Thanks!

Kate said...

Didn't enjoy this book AT ALL. Not funny, not witty, not clever, not Austen-ish in any way.

I would respectfully disagree with girl detective. I think this book is NOT written for those of us who love Austen. I think it's for people who have enjoyed the "and" films.

I love Shakespeare, too. ;>

Kate