Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Cashing in on Jane Austen

A year or two back, (whenever it was that Jane Austen was beginning to be extremely supremely in,) a friend and I tossed around the idea of starting a blog dedicated to reading all the knock-off/spin-off (and otherwise Jane Austen inspired) books that were being published like crazy.

And then I began compiling a list.

I stopped somewhere around number 200 (I kid you not) because regardless of whether the books would be quick to read, the project was quickly growing to a size of not funny.

Humor is a funny thing.  (Well, of course it's funny—after all that's the point, isn't it?)  What is funny to me might not be funny to you. For example, you might think that the cover of the book pictured to the left is not funny, but I think it's hilarious.  (Not saying that the story itself should be ridiculed, just that the cover art cracks me up.)

So I dropped the idea of the project (I've got a gazillion other things to do anyhow) but one book stuck in my mind.  Another book with a cover that made me giggle.  And so I put it on my Paperback Swap wishlist, and before long it came.  It's a slim epistolary exchange between two long-time friends, discussing Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, and Mansfield Park.

I was hoping to be as entertained throughout the book as I was by the cover, but unfortunately that didn't happen.  It was readable and enjoyable, but both of these guys liked Austen way too much for it to be exceedingly amusing.  (If it was a book about my dad reading Jane Austen, the action would be non-stop, I assure you.)

So this wasn't a huge success for me, but it's actually made me [slightly] curious regarding Regency Era bodice rippers...I think Jane might have gotten a kick out of that one.

Oh, and just in case you are interested in the list, click here to check it out!  Which titles did I miss?

8 comments:

  1. I had no idea that Jane was being used in so many ways. I, of course, will read none of those because I am a certifiable book snob.

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    1. This is only the tip of the iceberg! There's been an incredible amount of products/spin-offs etc.

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  2. I LOVE Jane Austen fan-fic - for some reason I just do. Clearly I don't love them as much as the originals, but I just love the ridiculousness of them, especially the modern woman taken back in time. I've actually read the top book and thoroughly enjoyed it, and giggled throughout it. I find myself at used book stores and close out sales buying them for no particular reason and then I get giddy when I read them. They're just so light and fluffy. Most don't have that great of writing, but occasionally I am surprised.

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    1. Now that's an enjoyable tidbit. :) I have read a couple (Austenland and something else) and enjoyed them. Clearly I made the wrong choice between these two! I'd much rather have giggled throughout.

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  3. Oh the wasted opportunity! I'd pick up as well jsut for the title, sounds like a completely fresh approach to JA, with a bit of old-style British humor. Too bad it fell short of expectations!

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    1. That's what I was hoping for. Ended up that one of the guys reads/re-reads Austen all the time and so was already a great fan. That's great and all, but not quite as funny.

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  4. Melody, this is quite a phenomenon! I knew about Pride & Prejudice & Zombies because a co-worker lent it to me (only got a few pages in before returning it) but yikes - there are so many others. Why, do you think? I'm not deep enough in the JA world to even hazard a guess!

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    1. My list of books is only the tip of the iceberg too! I have no idea why the JA 'industry' got so huge...and in America, which seems funny to me, although perhaps that is tied to the reason? Because if Austen was absolutely required reading for every teen in America, perhaps the fascination wouldn't have blossomed like it did? I could continually make conjectures as to the reason why. :)

      My brother bought P&P&Z for me, but I haven't read it. I read the first page and giggled, but any more and I think I'd just rather be reading P&P.

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