Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers: A Change of Fortune

Have you ever felt this way? You’ve gone through all of Austen’s books and want something more to read? There are variations on her stories, but sometimes you don’t want to read the same story. You want Austen-like works, but what to read or watch?

Hmm…

That’s why I started this series Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers. In it I will review books that have things we love about the Austen novels but something fresh than a retelling.

A Change of Fortune (Ladies of Distinction #1) by Jen Turano

So this story doesn’t take place in Regency England but Gilded Age America. However, it does have a few elements we love of the Austen fare.

The main character of the story is Lady Eliza Sumner, an English aristocrat who’s family fortune has been stolen and left her with nothing. To try and recapture her wealth and take revenge on her embezzler, she disguised herself and took a job as a governess as she searches for her quarry.

Being a governess can be a hard living. We all remember how it was an awful fate in Emma.

“With the fortitude of a devoted novitiate, she had resolved at one-and-twenty to complete the sacrifice and retire from all the pleasures of life, of rational intercourse, equal society, peace, and hope, to penance and mortification forever” (p. 156)

Anyways, Lady Eliza is asked to join a dinner party when one of her charges is sick and can no longer attend. There she meets two eligible bachelors who all the women wish to marry, brothers Thomas and Zayne Beckett. The Beckett brothers are after a Eugene Daniels who turns out to be working with the man Lady Eliza is searching for.

Hmm…

Lady Eliza, Agatha Watson (daughter of the family she is governess for) and the Becketts all have a hilarious interaction as they try to break into a house and attempt to escape the police. The women are arrested as they are thought to be “ladies of the night”, and the Becketts go rescue them.

Lady Eliza is fired from her position and stays with Thomas Beckett, his two kids, and his mother-casting off her disguise and revealing who she is. She develops friendships with Agatha and the Becketts, and all team up to try and outsmart the villains.

At first Eliza is intent on not trusting anyone, but when all try to help her and show their care for her; she starts wondering if maybe her plans aren’t the ones she needs to follow after all, maybe God has something better in mind.

So the Austen flavors, what do we have?

Hmm…

So Austen had Mrs. Bennet, always worrying and trying to scheme a way to get her daughters married off. In this we have twice the scheming with Mrs. Watson (Agatha’s mother) trying to throw every eligible man she can at her oldest daughter Agatha in the hope of seeing her settled. She quickly befriends Mrs. Beckett who is trying to set up her sons and daughter (even though her daughter is in another state at the moment.) While Mrs. Bennet was shrill in her cries to get her girls settled, these ladies are hilarious at the ways they scheme to settle their own.

We all know of Mr. Darcy’s famous awful proposal, what was he thinking?

We have an equally bad one on this novel when Thomas Beckett proposes to Lady Eliza stating that he wants to marry Eliza as he is “fond of her” and she will be a “good mother” to her children. Actually he does worse than Mr. Darcy, he doesn’t even really ask her to marry him, but states those things

This book is full of mystery, intrigue, although it is far goofier and sillier than Austen’s work. If you are looking for a fast read that is comedic and easily read through, with a handful of Austen elements, this is for you.

For more on lost fortunes, go to A Family Affair

For more Pride and Prejudice, go toDarcy’s ’80’s Power Song

For more book reviews, go to Book Club Picks: Until the Day Breaks

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Prude & Prejudice

Prude & Prejudice by Francine Carroll

So any of you Kindle, Nook, or other E-Reader?

Yes, I do.

Well there is a fantastic site that you can get ebooks from. They range from being free to being low cost-and have every genre you can think of.

The site is called BookBub and I suggest you check it out today. I mean who doesn’t love free stuff?

But free books can either be good:

And some are horrible.

This is one of the horrible ones.

Our main character is supposed to be based on Elizabeth Bennet but is gifted with the name Prudence Higginbottom.

That is the name the author came up with? Did she put a blindfold on and pull out random Scrabble tiles?

Anyway, Prudence prefers Prue as she hates her full name.  Besides being bullied about that she also had to contend with being overweight growing up.

She has since then lost the weight, gone off to university, and successfully operates a farm to fork organic café with her family. Her family consists of her quiet father, outlandish mother, and three sisters. Of the sisters I’m not entirely who is who as they change the names (Alice, Mary, & Cate), but I’m pretty sure that Cate is Jane. I don’t know why they have to complicate things for us readers.

So Prue and her mother have been fighting over the organic farming for years, (Prue’s mom thought it was a horrible idea) but it looks like Prue’s plan is really going to pay off. An organic food distribution company is moving to the area and will need someone to provide food for the workers during lunch and catered events. Mrs. Higginbottom works hard to become their choice.

Prue ends up getting there later and is stuck with a jacket XXXL jacket. She bemoans this fate as she feels it makes her look fat.

Hmm…

Now I had a problem with that plot point. If someone wears something that is that much bigger than them, as Prue is a medium; it shouldn’t make her look fat but as if she is wearing the wrong size. The author uses it as an important plot device, but it makes no sense.

As she is moving things around and doing her duties as a caterer, she overhears the company owners-the handsome Charles Bradley (Charles Bingley) and William Darling (Mr. Darcy). Charles tell William he should help the caterer girl, Prue, but William says no she looks big enough to handle her tray on her own and makes fun of the name Prudence Higginbottom.

She becomes so upset over what he said that she starts talking smack about him. She also overhears another conversation and thinks he is talking about immigration, continuing her bad-mouthing to everyone.

She also looks up William Darling online and finds a report by a Georgina Wickham (George Wickham) on CheatingDirtyB*******.com and believes it.

Anyone can put anything on the internet. Why would you believe it?

Then the author is against free speech, as when Mrs. Higginbottom shares her beliefs and right to speak her mind:

“What kind of world do we live in where people can’t express their opinions in their own homes? Its political correctness gone mad, that’s what it is.”

Everyone acts like she is crazy and shouldn’t be talking. Like that’s not right. I know this takes place in England and maybe people feel different there, but I’m an American and I believe that people should have the right to whatever their opinion or view is. I may not agree with it, I may not like it, I may think it rude, crude, stupid, etc-but I still think you have the right to express yourself-especially in your own home. I mean I think this book is pretty stupid, boring, and a waste of time-but Carroll had a right to write it, just as I have a right to review and share what I think.

Later Mr. Bennet Mr. Higginbottom says this, which makes no sense:

“My dear,’ cut in Mr Higginbottom, ‘If you read anything besides gossip magazines, you might realize that the history of the human race is the history of immigration. People have always moved around the globe extensively and the kind of national pride you express is a very recent thing, which in my opinion is exploited by politician’s and shock jocks for their own nefarious ends.”

Ugh, haven’t you ever heard of WWI or WWII, both of which involved a lot of national pride. I mean I know England was involved with both of them.

Seriously

So then Prue gets drunk one night at the bar and gets super angry at William Darling, yelling and screaming at him. Cate has to take her home, and then after realizing that she messed up a great contract, Prue has to swallow her pride and go apologize to Darling.

Meh.

Now one of the big reasons why I love Jane Austen is the complexity of the characters, the amazing wit, and the way she can tell an interesting story without having to resort to silly ploys. This book was nothing like that as it was boring and the language dull. No wit, Prue was annoying, and Darling was a shadow of a character.

Anyways they have a party-Mrs. Higginbottom makes a fool of herself, Cate is embarrassed, Prue and Darling talk everything out, Darling was talking about farming not immigration and he aplogizes for his earlier comments,they are married, blah, blah blah.

Blah, blah

Yes, I found this book to be incredibly boring, too easily “sewn” up at the end, and more as a vehicle to discuss Carroll’s views rather than remaking Pride and Prejudice.

Ugh.

In my opinion, I would just pass this one on by.

For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife: Pride and Prejudice Continues

For more Pride & Prejudice variations, go to Book Club Picks: The Darcy Monologues

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to A Visit to Highbury: Another View of Emma

Pride and Prejudice Paper Dolls

Pride and Prejudice Paper Dolls by Brenda Sneathen Mattox

So a few weeks ago I was planning on meeting my friend for lunch, and found myself with a few extra hours. I was downtown, which had recently received a makeover and a ton of vintage and antique shops have moved in. Usually I never get to look at them as they all have the same hours as my job does. But it was my day off so I was finally able to window shop.

Sadly not everything was open, but there were quite a few. I found something to buy my dad for Father’s Day and had a few ideas for another friend. Then one shop I entered had this:

Instantly I was thinking:

So CUTE!

I grew up with paper dolls. I remembered how much fun I had with them. I used to play for hours as a child. The only bad thing was that they tended to rip and tear. And they became harder and harder to find.

Aw.

So at first I was like I NEED this:

But then I thought, what would I do with it? I mean I don’t have any one to play with. My niece who is just the right age doesn’t live near me. Better not…

But then I thought, what a fantastic gift for her. Her birthday is coming up! She could have so much fun with it. I mean look at the clothes!

But then as I was thinking about it, she doesn’t know Pride and Prejudice. She probably wouldn’t even care for it. Most likely it would just be thrown away.

So I decided, better not buy it. I should just live it for someone else to enjoy.

Weeks passed and I just can’t get it out of my mind. Look at them:

I mean Bingley is just so cute, Darcy so stoic, and Elizabeth looks like she is thinking of something witty. Not to mention:

Look at the smugness on Wickham’s face, they captured it perfectly. And look at Lydia’s silly manner.

It is weighing on my mind.

After I thought and thought about it, I came up with the perfect justification. I could give it to my friend who loves Pride and Prejudice as a gag gift. She would think it was cute; although she probably wouldn’t use it (but she wouldn’t throw it away.) Yes, it was perfect. I was going back for it.

But when I went back, I couldn’t remember which store it had been in.

I had just been walking in any stores that were open so I had not even paid attention to the names.

So I know you are thinking, why not buy it on amazon? Well first of all it was half the price in the shop, and secondly it had gotten in me. I needed that particular one. I had to find it.

So I waited (and hoped it would still be there) for my next day off in which I decided I would look through all the shops for it.

Well my next day off fell on a different day of the week: one in which ALL the shops were open.

I combed through every square of every single shop, but I just could not find it. All I could remember was that it was in a basket with a bunch of other books, in a store that had cute Disney stuffed animals and some glassware.

But it wasn’t totally horrible, I did find a cute teacup for my friend’s birthday in her favorite color.

Here it is on my bookshelf until I can give it to her.

But no book of paper dolls.

I was preparing to go, when I decided to go back to one store that was very close in to what I remembered. I started searching, but found no basket full of books.

Aw.

But then just as I was headed out the door I saw a gray tin full of books. I had nothing else to lose, so I decided to take a look through. And guess what, it was there.

I’m great

I bought it and headed for home. But now that I have it, I’m not so sure I want to give it away. I mean I spent a lot of time looking for that, I think I might keep it.

It is pretty cute with having a brief synopsis of the story and has such cute designs for the Bennet’s every day wear, the Assembly Ball, Wickham’s uniform, dinner at Rosings, Elizabeth’s muddy dress, etc.

It is just so cute.

For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to You Put the Jedi in Pride & PreJEDIce

For more Pride & Prejudice variations, go to The Darcy Monologues: Part II, Other Eras

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to The Darcy Monologues: Part I, The Regency

Brought Shame and Scandal to Pemberley: Death Comes to Pemberley, Episode Two (2013)

So it has been a while since I reviewed the first episode for Horrorfest V. I had meant to do it in December, but then wasn’t able to as I was so focused on the 30 Day Challenge: Literature Loves.

I was planning to do it in January, but then I was trying to finish the 30 day challenge as I was behind.

Then February came with Romance is in the Air: Part V and the evacuation; and the next thing you know it is almost April, but here we go.

So I actually enjoyed the first episode, which surprised me as I did not care for the book. In the TV show it looks like they are playing up the supernatural aspect more and trying to make it more mysterious.

I didn’t care for their portrayal of Elizabeth and Colonel Fitzwilliam, but I enjoyed the way Darcy was played.

We last left off with Elizabeth discovering a letter burned by Colonel Fitzwilliam. Will we discover what it held?

Will Wickham be put on trial for the murder of Captain Dennys?

Will the Darcy-Bennet-Bingley family stay strong or be ripped apart?

Now will my views stay the same or change?

So we start off this episode with Darcy having a tender moment with his son ad I like that they included this in the TV show instead of just shutting the children off. I know that most parents in his position and wealth didn’t spend a lot of time with their children, having them occupied with governesses and the like; but I feel like both Darcy and Elizabeth would play a bigger role in their children’s lives. I mean look at the way he treats Georgiana.

Lydia is staying with them for the ordeal and Darcy meets with the doctor who had been looking in on her, and sends him on his way. Elizabeth tries to gather the servants to deal with the situation and calm everyone down. Sadly, Mrs. Bennet is going to cause issues with her dramatics-as always- but luckily the Doctor hadn’t left yet and can deal with her exclamations.

The servants are agog and shocked at when they find out the ball is canceled, but of course they can have no such thing with what Wickham is facing.

So Wickham is being such a

All he does is go on and on about what he wants.

 I mean he is in jail for murder and all he wants is for Darcy to go to his every whim and get him a better room.

But interestingly, Wickham seems to have something on the Colonel as whatever he asks for, Colonel Fitzwilliam supplies.

Hmm…

Colonel Fitzwilliam and Wickham, a secret deal?

One things this TV show does really well, is play around with the setting. They show the grand estate, the opulence, but also how empty it is- creating a beautiful contrast. We have the beauty and decorations, showing how they should be happy for Christmas and the ball but instead faced with such horror-and each filled with loneliness.

Darcy and Elizabeth are having miscommunication issues. Elizabeth keeps trying to talk to him, but Darcy has retreated into himself and is so cold toward her.

You need to communicate with your wife, man.

Seriously

Elizabeth is completely broken hearted about everything that has been going on and thinks back to one of her early days as Mrs. Darcy and how everyone talked about her and her family. Poor Elizabeth. She now wonders if Darcy regrets marrying her, as she has tied him to the very man he cannot stand and wanted to never see again.

Henry Alveston lends them his skills as a solicitor and prepares the family for what will happen and what they should do.

Georgiana also wants to help but Col Fitzwilliam and Mr. Darcy wants to send Georgina far away to distance herself from everything, but Georgiana doesn’t want to go. Poor girl, poor Georgiana. She has gone through so much and has faced such trauma but still remains strong.

Darcy is brooding, Colonel Fitzwilliam is brooding, Henry is brooding, etc. I know I have said I love brooding men, but we have too many.

Sir Selwyn Hardcastle, the one who is investigating as Darcy is related to Wickham, returns to interview everyone about what happened that night.  Nothing seems quite right, and Sir Selwyn is on the case to solve it. He questions Lydia but she isn’t helpful at all.

Ugh!

She is an empty flowerpot-her and her mother.

Elizabeth tries to speak to Darcy about the letter she found, but he won’t even discuss it and refuses to believe that his cousin could have done anything wrong. He is closer to him than any other, of course he would believe the best.

Unfortuantely, Elizabeth did not know that her dad was sitting in the library and he has overheard the whole fight.

So embarressed

He tells her that he called for Jane, and she and Bingley will be arriving soon to aid the family.

The two then go one to laugh at Lydia and her outrageous behavior. I loved this addition as I thought it was a cute image of her and her father’s relationship and shows how much she is his favorite.

Elizabeth questions the maids who saw the “ghost” the other day as she is trying to find out more about the woman. Could it be the same one that hissed at her? Elizabeth tells Sir Selwyn about the woman, hoping it might help bring Selwyn’s view on someone else, but no dice. Sir Selwyn is focused on only one man.

Colonel Fitzwilliam sees Georgiana with Henry and doesn’t like it at all. He wants to marry her and he doesn’t trust Henry at all, even though Henry is trying to help him.

I know, right?

Jane arrives and setss out to comfort all. She tries to support Lydia, but all Lydia does is go on and on about her needs and wants. Ugh, what a jerk. She and Wickham deserve each other. Jerks flock together.

Colonel Fitzwilliam finally tells everyone  where he was when he took off that night. He says that he had a meeting with a lady who needed help with her brother and he was trying to protect her reputation. Is he telling the truth?

Hmm…

I can’t help feeling for Darcy. Poor guy- this is tearing him apart.

When they attend church all  the people can talk about is Wickham’s arrest. Lydia totally loves the drama and plays up her role of the injured wife for all to see and feel sorry for.

Ugh.

Oh come on. I really want to punch her in the face-Sidney from Scream style.

I love the minister of their church. He is hilarious! He knows that the big turnout is because they all want to gossip about the murder and isn’t above getting the little digs and letting people know that he knows what they are up to.

Elizabeth tries to hold Darcy’s hand, and get support but he breaks the hold and instead goes off with their son.

Jane and Mr. Bennet team up to take care of Mrs. Bennet and Lydia to try and shield the Darcys.

Let me just say that I love this version of their father as he is so hilarious and animated.  This Mr. Bennet is much more active and how I believe Jane Austen wrote him.

Henry tries to propose to Georgiana and I have to say I really like him and want them together. In the book he was so bland, boring, and seemed to be a good choice for the villian. He’s much better in the TV show as James Norton was just fantastic.

Elizabeth and Jane decide to visit the butler’s cabin and check on his sick son William. Darcy drives them over but remains in the carriage. As the ladies are walking over to deliver the books for William, Elizabeth spies Louisa with her baby nephew George that she brought back from her sisters. But to Elizabeth’s shock she sees Louisa os nursing the baby!

You know what that means. The baby George is actually her child. But why the pretense? Why won’t the father help her take care of him? Who is the father?

The two cut their visit short as something not right-besides Louisa being the real mother-the air is thick with tension. As they leave, Will creepily stares at them through the window.

He’s creepin’ in your windows. He’s starin’ at your people.

When they get back to the carriage, it turns out that Darcy has now disappeared. Jane goes into the cariage while Elizabeth searches the woods. Where could he be? Maybe the grave of the crazy grandfather?

Hmm…

Yep, he’s there. Of course, he doesn’t tell Elizabeth anything and she has to find out the story from Georgiana. It turns out that their great-grandfather was a gambler and almost lost Pemberely. Darcy is afraid, has been afraid since a boy that he will be the Darcy to lose everything. His proposal makes a lot more sense now doesn’t it?

Elizabeth understands her husband more than ever and why duty is so important to him. And knowing this causes her heart to break even more. She reveals to Jane that she is afraid that Darcy regrets her, regrets everything, that they embarrass him. The cold way he acts, how he is shutting her out-it is killing her.

Stress, shame, scandal- it is all too overpowering.

Darcy goes to visit Wickham in his cell, and this is not fun or pleasant. Darcy thinks back to when he forced Wickham to marry Lydia, that was ot pleasant either. Wickham is so evil! He doesn’t care about anyone or anything other than himself. He didn’t care a twig about Lydia, he already has the price prepared to which he can be bought off. Sock him in the face please, someone.

We need a modern adaption where someone knocks him in the face pleaseProm and Prejudice has a good whack in it but I want more.

I have to say that when I first saw Matthew Goode, I didn’t think he could be Wickham. Prior to this I had only seen him in Chasing Liberty, as undercover British FBI agent that is protecting the President’s daughter. But he completely blew me away in his performance. He is probably the best Wickham I have ever seen as he is just so deplorable! I mean words cannot describe how horrible and hideous this character is.

I mean he is sitting in jail about to be determined whether or not he will be tried for murder and all he can think of is being famous!

Yes, he is trying to use his “experience” to make him money. And then he has the gall to try and get money from Darcy. Slap him please.

Seriously

Darcy agrees to help if Wickham is released. Wickham assures him he will be as he did not kill his friend. But if not him, then who?

Hmm…

Lydia and Mrs. Bennet are just awful to Darcy, so Jane takes them away, hoping that she will be able to isolate the damage they will make. Let me tell you, she and Wickham are a matched set as she created her own memoirs to “cash in” on his arrest.

Ugh.

Back at the Darcy’s Colonel Fitzwilliam asks for Georgiana’s hand. Darcy is a great big brother and wants her to decide, but is very pro-Colonel. Elizabeth is extremely against it, vehemently discouraging about the Colonel’s traits. It is really odd as six years earlier, Elizabeth was thinking about marrying the Colonel herself.

As I said before, I don’t like this version of Colonel Fitzwillam. They make him act like such a jerk and nothing at all like the jovial version in Pride and Prejudice.

Sir Selwyn calls Darcy to look at some carvings he found close to the murder site. Darcy knows nothing about it but Selwyn thinks he is the one who carved the tree, a big FD for Fitwawilliam Darcy.

Louisa comes to Elizabeth and tells her the truth about the baby. She feel in love with a handsome soldier, Freddie Delancy. When she discovered she was pregnant she hid it from her parents and brother, staying with her sister until her son was born. Freddie promised her that he would take care of her, marry her, and take her and their son away from her. However, Elizabeth knows that this probably will not happen. Most likely Mr. Delancy is a fake name and has taken off.

Henry has returned and asks for Georgiana’s hand, but she turns him down. When Elizabeth goes to talk to her, Georgiana admits that she loves Henry, but must do her duty to protect Pemberley and the Darcy name. She choses Colonel Fitzwilliam.

Noooo!

Darcy heads off to the inquest, what will be the outcome?

This TV show is so much more dramatic than that dry dust of a book. I feel like I don’t know what will happen next even though I have read the book! The emotions of the scenery and the actors just sends my pulse running and has completely captured me. Good job all.

Henry goes to Darcy and offers his help again, and all I can say is good thing they know a lawyer. Such a sweet guy even though his love and dreams have been crushed- a real man.

 The inquest such a lively affair, I have never seen anything like that in present times.

Elizabeth decides to head to the inquest to speak to Darcy and take thim lunch, having Louisa accompany her.

The witnesses go on the stand and tell their stories, and it does not look good for Wickham, not at all. When Wickham takes the stand, he claims  he is innocent, but the other quickly twist and destroy his testimony. It doesn’t help that Wickham is a cocky little jerk.

What a jerk

The question comes about why he is banned from Pemberley and Darcy has to take the stand. Darcy goes up there and is a total rock, telling them all that Wickham is an affable man and not violent.

Jury sent out to consider verdict-will he go on trial or be acquitted?

Elizabeth reveals to Elizabeth that she sent off letters trying to discover the regiment that Freddie Delancy is with, but they have no record of him. Freddie does not exist, he is a liar, is missing, and most likely will not come back into Louisa’s life. Louisa is heartbroken and sets out to deliver Darcy’s food when she sees Wickham and recognizes him. He is Freddie!

The episode ends with Wickham to go on trial; shouting by all; Louisa hystrerical; and a fade to black!

THAT WAS FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!

It made me want to watch the next episode immediately!

So I’m still not happy with a couple of things (the way the actors portray Elizabeth and Colonel Fitzwilliam), but everything else in this TV series is just downright AMAZING! You definitely need to check it out.

For more on Death Comes to Pemberley, go to A Murder Has Been Committed on Your Property: Death Comes to Pemberley, Episode One (2013)

For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Suspense & Sensibility (Or First Impressions Revisited)

For more Pride & Prejudice variations, go to Too Pretty

For more films based on Jane Austen, go to Whether Presentable or Not, I Love Spending Time With You: Episode Four, Pride and Prejudice (1995)

For more Jane Austen quotes, go to For Darkness Shows the Stars

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies

Day 26) Z is for Zombie: Choose a Zombie Retelling of a Classic Novel

Zombies

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies #1) by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

When I saw what Z stood for I knew that this was going to be the book I was going to review for it. First of all I have read very little Zombie themed books as that is just not really what I am in to. And secondly, pass up a chance to talk about Jane Austen?

Like that's happen

So I remember when this book was first released. It was right as the teen book world was moving out of wizards (Harry Potter) and Vampires (Twlight, Vampire Diaries, Vampire Academy, etc.), and was searching for a new thing to fill this niche. They settled on Zombies.

ZombiefilmsTheWalkinDead

But not just Zombies. They decided to take it one step further and pair it with Jane Austen.

AA_KnightleyDisapproved

And not just her. After this book, almost every classic was getting some kind of overhaul. We had Little Vampire Women, Sense & Sensibility & Sea Monsters, Jane Eyre: Vampire Slayers, etc.

Bad Sequels psycho-1960-alfred-hitchcock-janet-leigh-pic-21

It was a pretty bad time.

Ew Yuck Gross

Anyways, back to this book. So when it first came out it was a big hit. Everyone was talking about it. Everyone was reading it. The library was backlogged in holds.

ineedthis

I wasn’t really interested until my friend Elise recommended it to me. She really liked it and told me she would let me borrow her book. I was a bit wary as I didn’t understand why Austen needed any “makeover” or “spin” as her books were amazing the way they are. But I’m a sucker for a free book and borrowed it.

blanceTea&Books

I should have remembered:

notwopersonsreadthesamebook

So I read it. And how did I feel afterwards?

Guy you suck!

You suck!

I HATED this book. I thought it was badly done and the parts inserted by Seth Grahame-Smith were horribly written. And a lot of it made no sense.

Whattheheck

But that was seven years ago. Could I still feel the same way?

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

Let’s see!

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13 Days Later

I HATE THIS BOOK!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IT IS HORRIBLE! JUST HORRIBLE? HOW CAN PEOPLE LIKE IT? THEY RUIN AUSTEN. Grahame-Smith IS HORRIBLE! EVERYTHING IS HORRIBLE. HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

wordICan't say Toy Story

I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT….I could go on for hours.

immatureHowIfeelBones

But you don’t want to hear that over and over, instead let’s dissect everything I hated about this book.

DeanSupernaturalLetsGetStarted

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A) So Seth Grahame-Smith takes Jane Austen’s work and doesn’t really write a new story but just swaps out pieces for zombies.

really?

Really?

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B) Mr. Bennet’s Motivation

So the first biggest problem is Mr. Bennet not wanting his daughters married but “engaged in the deadly arts”. But that doesn’t change that the house and money all revert to their cousin because the estate is entailed.

Lady-Mary-DOWNTONABBEYENTAILMENTSUCKS

So if these girls don’t get married how will they live?

Seriously

Seriously

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C) Mr. Bennet Hates His Children

And the way Mr. Bennet hates his daughters? He didn’t hate them in the original book. He thought they were silly and not worth his time, but he didn’t have an outright hatred for them like in here.

That's not how it was in the book!

That’s not how it was in the book!

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D) The “Warrior” Code

In this world “the warrior code demanded she avenge her honor” for the insult that Darcy gave her when he said she wasn’t handsome enough for her. If they can kill for that why didn’t Darcy just kill Wickham?

ooh!

ooh!

I mean it makes no sense. Yeah, he doesn’t want what happened to his sister to taint her or make her an outcast in society, but in this world you can kill someone for an insult. Why didn’t he just kill Wickham and make up that he said an insult. The rules of this world just don’t work.

uh-no-gifuhno

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E) Elizabeth is a Jerk

Lizzie is so freakin’ cruel. She is incredibly mean to her sisters and everyone around her. Just downright cruel.

you're evil

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F) More “Rules” of Society That Don’t Make Sense

It is “unladylike” to bring more serious weapons than daggers and knives to a ball, but is okay for them to kill, flip around, kicking and showing off their lady parts (no underwear like us), etc. Wow Grahame-Smith you aren’t confusing at all.

confused

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G) No Knowledge of Martial Arts

Does Grahame-Smith know anything about martial arts? He has Elizabeth get into a crane position to attack the zombies, but then does a chop on the thigh. That makes no sense at all. Crane positions are for kicking, kicking! Why would you get ready like that and then chop on the leg? It is completely weird and wasteful of energy.

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H) None of the Characters Have a Heart

Mrs Bennet says all Charlotte Lucas deserves is a “crust of bread washed down with a cup of loneliness.” You see? Grahame-Smith is so cruel. None of these people were that mean. They all had faults but they wren’t downright heartless. How does removing the heart and soul of the characters make them better? Huh, Grahame-Smith? How. Well I’ll tell you, it doesn’t. It makes it horrible.

Or an author

Or an author

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I) Mr. Bennet is Abusive

Seriously, the way Mr. Bennet talks to his wife is downright abusive. Thanks Grahame-Smith for ruining a fantastic book.

I don't like it 11

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J) You Need to Reevaluate Your Career Choices

All the girls say that they could make great lives as assassins, bodyguards, or mercenaries. Really? Really? You think with all those in the military eventually coming out of the service that won’t be a problem? And how many people need a bodyguard or assassin? And if they are rich enough to hire assassins, bodyguards or mercenaries, why wouldn’t they just get ninjas from Japan or something? And to top it all off you are really only trained to kill zombies, not people. Slow moving, barely threatening zombies. Not the same thing at all. You don’t have the same training for the others.

Night of the living dead zombie

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K) You Can Pretty Much Kill Anyone for Anything

Mary almost kills Mr. Collins when he insinuates that one of them did the cooking. Now, don’t get me wrong, that is a serious insult. He implies that they are so poor they have to take on the role of a servant putting them on the same level of a domestic. But hey, if that is open for murder why didn’t Darcy just kill Wickham? I mean seriously, I just keep circling back to that.

Why?

Eh?

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L) People Do Not Understand the Levels of Class

I hate how everyone praises that Mr. Bennet says the girls aren’t trained in the kitchen but are trained as warriors. Only one problem, they were never trained for the kitchen. They were too wealthy for that. I blame the Pride & Prejudice (2005), in which they are made to look really dirty,  muddy, with animals running all over the place. They made them look really poor, but the Bennet family wasn’t. They were well-off; the only problem was the estate was entailed and the wealth they had wasn’t theirs to keep, like in Sense & Sensibility. And the reason there is an issue with marrying Mr. Darcy is that his aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, is in line for the throne. I mean a lot of people would have to die, but still hypothetically she could become the next queen of England. That means it would eventually come down to him, so who he marries is a big deal.

Get it right!!!!!

Get it right!!!!!

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M) Why Wasn’t There a Duel?

So we have Wickham’s big pack of lies about Darcy and how he dishonored himself and Wickham by not giving him the legacy that was originally promised. One issue with that, if in this world you can kill someone for insults why didn’t Wickham do a duel with Darcy or kill him? Why doesn’t Elizabeth think of that?

BraveheartVictorySwordinAir

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N) All the Innuendo

The sexual innuendo. Come on Grahame-Smith, is sex all you think about. I feel like the girls in Grease 2, refocus your mind.

And that’s what makes Austen so great. She didn’t need cheap paltry things. She created a fantastic novel full of great wit and amazing work. Every sentience piece of art, delightful storytelling, Grahame-Smith not so much.

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O) Front Lines? You Mean No Lines

Elizabeth writes to her aunt that she is on the front lines of battle and prefers it to marriage, love, and family. Only one issue she’s on the front lines of nothing. She’s just hanging out in the country. Front lines would be the battlefield with the soldiers, but Elizabeth isn’t a soldier! She talks as if hired by crown but why isn’t she paid? And she’s only battling the village zombies she’s not even out there fighting where the hordes are coming from. Get off your high horse.

Seriously

Seriously

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P) Why/Where Did the Zombies Come From?

And that’s another thing that bothers me. Why did this happen? How? Why don;t they ever explain?

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Q) Grahame-Smith is a Child

Grahame-Smith is a ten-year old boy. I mean think about it. His obsession with body fluids (poop, pee, vomit, farts, etc.) and likes saying balls as much as he can. It’s the only explanation.

Seriously

Seriously

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R) Charlotte a Zombie?

I hated how they turned Charlotte into a zombie. I thought that was a dumb decision. How can no one notice but Elizabeth? Really?!

stupidmoranhmm_yes_i_see_youre_a_moron_trollcat

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S) Fifty-Five? Schfifty-Five

Fifty-Five years of zombie attacks? How are there that many zombies in existence to keep living? Why did zombies even start? Explain!!!!

totalrecallmachinedestroyargh

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T) The Battle Scenes are the Worse

Let’s talk about my least favorite part-when Elizabeth fights the ninjas. First the way that Lady Catherine talks about being taught by Ninjas. False, ninjutsu wasn’t something you were taught, but passed through families as they were assassins.

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Second Elizabeth fights at least three of them according to the illustration, but when she takes the time to strangle one with its own intestine why didn’t the other ninjas kill her?

Really?

Really?

The second ninja she blocks the throwing stars, and then grabs the last one midair and throws it back unharmed. You grab something moving that fast that sharp, no way. She would have cut her hand. And hands bleed like crazy.

ouch Hermione

The third ninja she just throws her katana and kills him. That easy?! Really Catherine with all her money and fame, that’s the best she could hire.

I don't think so

Oh, and I forgot. Elizabeth did that all blindfolded. Hmm, maybe she was hit by the same radioactive stuff that Daredevil was hit with because I don’t think she could have done that.

uh-no-gifuhno

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U) Elizabeth is a Cannibal?

She rips the heart out of the ninja and starts eating it. First that is serious zombie signs right there, I would have killed her. And second, eating human parts, i.e. a cannibal, makes you go crazy and get extremely sick. She should be totally insane right now.

I'm crazy

I’m crazy

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V) Grahame-Smith’s Mind

Ball joke after ball joke and now fingering? Austen is rolling over in her grave. If she became a zombie and hunted Grahame-Smith down, I wouldn’t mind at all.

immatureHowIfeelBones

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W) Why Won’t They Explain About the Zombies?

They travel to the Orient multiple times? Is the zombie plague just in Europe? Western Europe? In America as well? It would be nice if Grahame-Smith gave a moment to EXPLAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

fliptablesangrysurprised

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X) Who?

On pg. 169 Jane and Elizabeth punish Catherine? Catherine who? Do they mean Kitty? Why call her Catherine suddenly? Strange.

SayWhat?BuffyVampireSlayernosense

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Y) Grahame-Smith Does Not Understand Women or Sisters

Elizabeth dreams of cutting off Lydia’s head? Really? Grahame-Smith doesn’t really know how to write female characters or sisters. First he has Elizabeth being mean to Jane, then Mary, and then Lydia. So completely cruel. And that is one of my biggest problems with this book. I hate Elizabeth! She is mean, cruel, harsh, rude, judgmental, and just downright nasty. I dislike her and don’t want to read more about her as I just can’t stand her. Yes Grahame-Smith, you actually took a character I lived and made me hate her. Good job.

dialMforMurder Killer Hate

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Z) Not Hatred, Circumstances

In this book Grahame-Smith makes Mr. Bennet hate Mrs. Bennet as he finds her stupid and dumb. That’s not how it was in the real book. Mr. Bennet married Mrs. Bennet and didn’t realize that they werent well suited until much later on. They lived well together, spending all the money as no need to save, they will have sons. When no sons came each went to the opposite extreme. Mrs. Bennet became so worried and crazed over her “failure” that she threw all her efforts into trying to catch husbands. That’s why she puts the girls “out” all at once, she wants them settled as soon as possible or they will be worse off then the Dashwood sisters. Mr. Bennet took the failure of no male heir and money a different way, he isolated himself in his library and books, trying to escape reality. They didn’t hate each other, they just didn’t really suit each other, drawing farther and farther apart.

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

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AA) Elizabeth is a Freak

Elizabeth enjoys listening to the screams of burning zombies. What a sadist and creep.

Gilmore girls creep

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BB) Return of the Bad Fight Scenes

The fight between Lady Catherine and Elizabeth is horrible as well. Leaping all over the place like they are taking part in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or something, The way Lady Catherine attacks, Elizabeth should be dead. Elizabeth stabs Lady Catherine in the stomach but Lady Catherine survives? What, that isn’t even possible. She’s dead, end of story.

stupidestThingeverheard

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CC) Ew, Yuck, and Gross

Words some Catherine’s lips “After I behead her, ninjas you can do what you want with the body”, Grahame-Smith has some serious issues.

Certified Creepo Ribbon

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So yeah I hated it.

Hate YOu

Grahame-Smith just plagiarized someone else’s work changing a few words here and there and making it horrible. Grahame-Smith offends me to my very core. Destroying talented writing with his scribbles.

This is what I would like to do to him

This is what I would like to do to him

Grahame-Smith doesn’t even know how to write. His characters are unlikeable, story underdeveloped, and just all around bad, bad, bad.  Only one thing left to do:

DissedP&P

This is one book you should defintely skip!

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to Why I Still Love My Fair Godmother

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For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Austenland

For more Pride & Prejudice variations, go to Is Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade Really Just Pride & Prejudice?

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to Midnight in Austenland

For more Zombies, go to No Mere Mortal Can Resist the Evil of the Thriller: Thriller (1983)

A Murder Has Been Committed on Your Property: Death Comes to Pemberley, Episode One (2013)

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So I am so excited about Death Comes to Pemberley.

ElvisPresleyDanceDancing

It’s not because I liked the book and wanted to see how it converted to screen, but because this means I will finally have something Jane Austen to review for Horrorfest!

Double double yay

The only thing I’ve been able to do that was Jane Austen in the month of October was a post where I dressed the Austen men up in costumes, but nothing like this! I can finally review something real! Oh, yay!

This is great

This is great

So the book, I didn’t really care for, and you can check out my post on that if you wish, but for now: let’s look at the TV show.

So this is the first time I have reviewed a miniseries for my blog and I thought about it and figured the best thing would be to review it episode by episode, rather than all at once like the Emma (1996) film review.

So I will just review episode one, and will continue to review the episodes every month or every two months. I haven’t decided yet.

Well that’s enough chit chat, am I right?

DeanSupernaturalLetsGetStarted

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So we begin with very serene landscape. Is this supposed to be contrast for what is to come or just the cinematographer showing off?

suspicious Hmm

Two maids are out in the forest, although they are not supposed to be. One is scared while the other, Joan is braver. What looms in the forest?

Stay out of the forest!

Stay out of the forest!

Both take off screaming. What have they seen?

what what'shappeningSupernatural

Were they afraid of the remains of his crazy grandfather?

So we move back to Pemberley

PemberleyPride&Prejudice

There all are getting ready for the Queen Anne’s ball. Elizabeth is doing well with her preparations but is interrupted when the girls return and shout about seeing Mrs. Reilly’s ghost. Who is Mrs. Reilly? I thought it was Mr. Darcy’s ghost that haunted the woods.

GHostFantasia

I’m not sure I like this actress as Elizabeth Bennet-Darcy, she just doesn’t seem right, but of course there is still time to change my mind. I’ll reserve judgement until the end of the episode.

Something about you just doesn't seem right.

Something about you just doesn’t seem right.

Darcy seems so crazy, with his introduction of him yelling at everyone, I don’t like that. He’s not one to loose his temper easily, especially as this is something he does every year.

I don't like it 11

He and Elizabeth seem to be having issues, the way they interact, but then he writes her a love note. I don’t know, that scene seemed off for some reason.

uh-no-gifuhno

Darcy needs to get out of the house so he takes his son hunting with him. In the book I thought they had two sons. Oh well, neither one played a large role in the novel so I guess it doesn’t really matter of they only have one.

dean whinchester shrug smile oh well

When Mr. Darcy is about to get his horse ready, he and the butler have a few words. The butler’s son Will Bidwell, is incredibly ill. His father is heartbroken that he can’t do anything and that his son won’t take up his legacy.

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

Back inside, Elizabeth’s duties are done so she and Georgiana are having a private chat. Georgina has a secret smile which means only one thing.

Cinderella

So this is love…hmm…So this is love…so this is what makes life divine…

She’s in love. But with who?

Hmm...

Hmm…

Colonel Fitzwilliam arrives early as he has something on his mind. He wants to marry Georgina as he cares for her, has just inherited the family fortune (as his brother, the eldest died), and will be returning to war soon. Elizabeth isn’t sure how Georgiana feels about him, but has no objections as long as she cares for him.

Col. Fitzwilliam says he will have to ask Darcy first, and Elizabeth gets all mad saying it is Georgiana’s decision.

Whattheheck

Uh, seriously Elizabeth? You know how the world works. One has to ask the father, of if absent the guardian, and present his interest to them. It’s not like you just ran off to elope unless you wanted to disgrace your family like Lydia Bennet or Julia Bertram from Mansfield Park.

No thank youhowaboutno

So one thing I notice about this show is that it does  A LOT of shots of the beautiful scenary and landscapes. Now this isn’t something I would normally mind, but this is a mystery. You know it needs suspense, a different type of mood.

sensationhorrorshock_VincentPrice

Instead it is very light and pretty.

I don't like it 11

We then see Elizabeth visiting the Bidwells to deliver books to the sickly Will. Will’s sister has just returned from visiting their oldest sister and brought back her baby to visit, George.

They try to lift Will’s spirits, but his death is approaching and there is little that can be done, other than to try and make his last days happy.

And taxes

So all these pretty landscape shots are actually starting to get on my nerves. This is a MYSTERY!!  DEATH IS IN THE NAME.

It should be a certain way!

It should be a certain way!

Elizabeth suddenly comes across a well-dressed women in purple just standing in the forest. That was a bit creepy. She chases after her, but all that remains is her hat.

weirdtwilightzone

Then the music starts taking a creepier twinge and we hear rustling.

Now you are getting it!

Now you are getting it!

And the woman suddenly appears behind!

dethcomestopemberleyelizabethitsbehindsit'sbehind

And hisses?

hisssesangryupset

I don’t remember that in the book.  I’m pretty sure I would have remembered a hissing woman.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

Anyways, it does not bode well for the ball, no it does not at all.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

Mr. Henry Alveston arrives, a lawyer, and Georgina is ecstatic to see him.

Mmhm great gatsby

So this is what she was smiling about.

Then Mr. and Mrs. Bennet arrive.

Pride&PrejudiceMrBennetandElizabethBennet

Back at the local Inn, Denny and Wickham have been talking. Denny and him are fighting over something Wickham wants him to do, a note he would like delivered. Lydia joins them and they stop their arguments, continuing to the carriage.

Mr. Bennet sneaks off to the library for relief from the crowds.

LibraryOK

 They are all in the parlor where Georgiana is looking at the a book which has pictures of Col. Fitzwilliam’s castle. What started as a friendly discussion turns into a measuring contest between Fitzwilliam and  Alveston, as to who is the better man.

Men

Men

Colonel leaves suddenly for an evening ride. Strange….

Why is he leaving?

Why is he leaving?

Night comes and Denny yells for the carriage to stop, getting out. Wickham chases after him, leaving Lydia all alone in the carriage.

I don't like it 11

Mrs. Bennet finds a portrait of Wickham, and Elizabeth tries to get rid of it as it upsets both Darcys, but Mrs. Bennet can’t take the hint.

as always

as always

Luckily music always can change the subject.

MusicMakesaDifference

To stop Mrs. Bennet from going on, Darcy goes to ask Lizzy for a dance. While the two are dancing, Elizabeth lets Darcy know what is going on with Georgiana and how there are two men interested in her. Before they can finish their conversation they are interrupted as a carriage comes barreling through.

what what'shappeningSupernatural

It turns out to be Lydia who is in hysterics. She is so out of it that she has to be slapped to speak. When she finally can talk she tells them Wickham was shot.

OMG gasp

She heard the shot and came rushing back. She relates all that happened between Wickham and Denny being angry, them going off into the woods, etc. Just as they are preparing to go out. Col. Fitzwilliam rides up to the house.

Just at the exact time?

Just at the exact time?

 Lydia stops her freaking out to ask for her trunk as she doesn’t want her dress ruined.

Classic Lydia

Classic Lydia

Darcy just ignores it; calls for the doctor, and gets an expedition ready to head out. As they start, Darcy notices that Col. Fitzwilliam has a gun with him. Just in case he says.

suspicious Hmm

Now we go finally have some spooky shoots.

deathcomestopemberleyforestcreepytrees

FINALLY

 So the men split up as they start searching for Wickham.

Back at Pemberley, the doctor gives both Mrs. Bennet and Lydia a sedative as they are in hysterics. Elizabeth is hoping for the best, and that she can give them a hot meal and send them on their way, not planning for the Wickhams or Denny to stay long. Oh how our plans never quite go as imagined, eh.

The-best-laid-schemes-of-mice-and-men-often-go-awry-erobertFrost

They find Wickham with Dennys, him shouting that it is all his fault. His only friend in the world and he killed him. Fitzwilliam finds a pistol, and it has been recently fired.

Looks like Wickham is the killer.

Looks like Wickham is the killer.

It rains as they move everything back to the carriage to bring to Pemberley.

When they return to Pemberley, Wickham starts yelling that there is a killer out there somewhere, they need to go back and look in the woods.

Do the woods hold a killer or a ghost?

Do the woods hold a killer or a ghost?

Georgina has to face Wickham after years of hoping never to see his face and does quite well. But of course she is in love with Alveston, so it doesn’t affect her as much.

Over You

While Wickham is okay, Darcy has to call in Sir Selwyn Hardcastle the nearest magistrate, and must go get him immediately so as not to look like he is covering anything up. Darcy himself rides out to Hardcastle to inform him of the death.

Harcastle comes in and he doesn’t mess around. He looks at Wickham and is angry the housekeeper for cleaning his face, and tampering with evidence. They then go look at Dennys.

Dennys was bludgeoned to death, first smacked in the front of his head and then pounded in back. The news of this comes as quite a surprise.

What?

What?

But if he was bludgeoned in the head, why did everyone hear gunshots? What were they for?

Something just doesn't seem right.

Something just doesn’t seem right.

Elizabeth is wandering about Pemberley as she just can’t sleep. She then comes upon Col. Fitzwillliam burning a letter, Suspicious.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

Hardcastle stays on to interview Wickham as soon as he wakes. Elizabeth is told of the murder and she an Darcy just hold onto each other as they try to ponder this evil that has come to their home.

The next day Darcy tells Elizabeth the story of the “ghost” in the woods. A young boy Reilly was found poaching and instead of just getting a slap on the wrist they hanged him. His mother was extremely upset and and hanged herself in Pemberley woods. And now superstition is that her ghost appears whenever misfortune is about to strike.

GHostFantasia

Elizabeth thinks maybe the woman that hissed at her is the “ghost” the maids saw in the beginning. But that woman was a real women, and who is she?

dethcomestopemberleyelizabethitsbehindsit'sbehind

They are called back to the house were Lydia is raving and ranting. Darcy’s son is upset and his father goes to comfort him, which gives us another touching scene of Darcy as a family man.

You're so cute

Hardcastle goes to talk to Wickham. Wickham says that he found Dennys dead and saw someone fleeing through the forest. He fired the gun at the guy, and then fired in the air again for help. When they ask about why Dennys was so upset, he left the carriage, Wickham tells him it is because he didn’t approve of Wickham crashing the party.

Classic Lydia

That just screams of a lie. Why would that make Dennys so infuriated that he couldn’t stand being around Wickham for another second. No, there is another reason…

But Wickham continues to proclaim his innocence.

“George Wickham: There is a murderer out there somewhere and you…you are wasting your time.”

Colonel Fitzwilliam, Darcy, and Alveston are sitting waiting to see what will happen next when Alveston gives them some lawyerly advice. The best thing right now would be to think of sharing Wickham’s character. Do you think he could have killed him?

IndianaJonesHmmMaybe

Darcy doesn’t think so as he knows Wickham would do a lot of shifty and immoral things, but murdering his friend is not one of them. Alveston brings up that maybe he was changed by the war, but Col. Fitzwilliam quickly nixes that idea.

But the next question Alveston brings up is very interesting. When Denny got out of the carriage why did he go into the woods? Why didn’t he follow the road back?

Why not ask?

Why, indeed?

So Hardcastle has searched the carriage and found £30 in Wickham’s hat. Hardscastle sees him as the most likely man; money, a confession heard by three men to the death being his fault, only one in the woods, etc.  He going to stop looking and have Wickham arrested.

Not good

Not good

Elizabeth decides to scrounge in the fireplace searching for remnants of the note Fitzwilliam burned.

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She finds a piece that says “thank you for your support” and “meet me”. What does it mean?

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

They take Wickham away, with Lydia in hysterics and Wickham cooly taking it.

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So while this is a review of an episode for Horrorfest V, this is also a review for a Jane Austen item, so we are going to go a little more in depth.

Set Design

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So the set design was really nice. They used the same Pemberley that they had in the 2005 film version. I liked the sets, the lighting, etc. The only thing that bothered me was how much time they spent on showing the beautiful and tranquil landscapes. It felt like they were padding the episode and just didn’t seem to work with a mystery. I mean Midsomer Murders shows the beautiful landscapes, but always lets you know their is something dark simmering, as murder shortly occurs. I think they should have done more of that, rather than having the beginning just a pretty Jane Austen film. I guess they were trying to pull a David Lynch and try and show beauty, then the evil; but it just didn’t feel as good as his work either.

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Costumes

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So I thought the costumes looked great. We’ve mostly been in everyday wear as all are preparing for the ball, traveling, or going out hunting. I especially like how Georgiana always looks pure, sweet, and ethereal in her pastel and light gowns. Lydia on the other hand, just looked perfect in her deep maroon traveling gown. The men also look dashing and I have to say good choices were made for all, so far, in this production.

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So let’s talk about characters, and I’m only going over the ones I felt we spent a lot of time with. How did everyone do?

Colonel Fitzwilliam

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Colonel Fitzwilliam is played by Tom Ward (who funnily had a bit part in P&P (1995) miniseries) and I hate his portrayal. Granted it probably isn’t him as I’m sure he is only doing what the script and director say. But he is just so cold, cruel, rude, and unlikable. It is totally weird from how he was in the book, which this is supposed to be a “sequel” or continuation of. In the book, Col. Fitzwilliam was the opposite of Darcy; fun, full of laughter, able to converse with anyone, liked to dance, etc. As a second son, he never grew up with the same responsibilities as Darcy did, so his character is lighter rather than burdened down with all he must take care of. Also as the second son, he has never had to deal with the throngs of daughters and mothers trying to ensnare him, and allowed him to be more open. Yes, I know this takes place years later and he has been through war; but his whole demeanor and the way he talked to everyone, even Georgiana, was so foreign from the original character. And I know they are trying to set him up as “the possible suspect”, but it would have been better if he wasn’t so harsh and rough all the times. I didn’t like him at all.

Elizabeth Bennet

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Elizabeth is played by Anna Maxwell Martin, but I didn’t like her performance. She always looks tired and out of it. I don’t know if she was trying to play overworked or stressed, but she just comes off really bland and boring. I didn’t like her at all.  Plus she keeps getting mad at the idea of Georgiana and Col. Fitzwilliam getting married. Why? Its not like he is a bad guy, I mean you even thought about the idea of him, until he said it wasn’t possible for a second son to marry whomever.

The sad thing is that Elizabeth is such a cornerstone character that she has to be spot on, or else everything is going to fall flat.

Mr. Darcy

What?

What?

At first I didn’t really like this Darcy. He wasn’t physically what I was imagining, but hey its hard when this was what came before.

Laurence Olivier Mr. Darcy mr darcy

You expect every Darcy to be as good looking. I also didn’t like his outburst in the beginning, and thought this guy isn’t Darcy. But as time went on, I began to enjoy Matthew Rhys’ portrayl of the character and thought that he captured who the Austen charater is better than any of the other actors in this production. He was kind, jovial, stern, serious, commanding; the perfect combination of married, fatherly, but still in charge of others Darcy. Good job Rhys.

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So what did I think? I liked it a lot better than the book. The book was a bit dull in places and at times felt it would bring something up and then never come back to it. With its transference to film, things can be shown instead of just talked about; they tie the ghost into the mystery deeper with the maids in the beginning, and I think they are trying to make the ending more mysterious and less a straight telling account of what occurred. Yes I didn’t like how some of the characters were, but BBC you have intrigued me and actually made me want to see what happens next.

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To start Horrorfest V from the beginning, go to Who You Gonna Call?: Ghostbusters (1984)

For the previous post, go to I’ll Be Watching You: Cat’s Eye (1987)

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To read the review of the book this is based on, go to Death Comes to Pemberley

For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Meet Cute: Darcy & Elizabeth Style

For more Pride & Prejudice adaptations, go to Baby Jane Austen

For more Jane Austen films, go to Emma (1996) AKA the Kate Beckinsale Version

For more Jane Austen adaptations, go to Captain Wentworth’s Diary

For more TV series based on books, go to A Haunting We Will Go: The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977)

Death Comes to Pemberley

DeathComestoPemberley

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

*Contains Spoilers*

While I am a huge mystery fan, I had never really read anything by P.D. James. I had heard of this book when it came out,  but I wasn’t sure if it would be a good read.

I felt whatever about it.

I felt whatever about it.

However, as I have heard people raving about it and the TV series; and I found it at the library book sale for 25¢, I decided to buy it and read it.

bjksale

I didn’t really care for the book

Something is not right!

Why you may ask, well let’s just read and you will see.

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So the book begins with a quick summary of Pride and Prejudice, most likely for those who have not read the books. Although I’m not quite sure why they would be reading this if they haven’t read Pride & Prejudice to begin with.

suspicious Hmm

Since the end of the novel Mary has married a vicar and is now Mrs. Theodore Hopkins; while Kitty remains unmarried.

Years have passed since Austen’s novel ended and now Elizabeth is the mother of two adorable boys and has found her place as lady of the manor.

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It is the day before the Lady Anne’s ball and Elizabeth has been busy preparing the plans and making sure that everything is being done right.

MeanGirls I know right!

Meanwhile Colonel Fitzwilliam has gone through many changes since  P&P. His older brother died, leaving him the heir and gaining the title of Viscount Hartlep. He is looking to marry and looking at Georgiana as his future bride. Only one problem, she wants to marry lawyer Henry Alveston.

Love triangle Boy Meets World

I actually never liked Henry. I thought he would have made a great villain as he seemed off to me…

Suspicious

Suspicious

But I guess James didn’t want to do that.

Fine, do it your way

Fine, do it your way

The Bingleys have left Netherfield as they don’t care to be that close to Mrs. Bennet. Instead they moved to Highmarten which is much closer to the Darcys. They have just arrived for the ball as well.

janecharles

Everything seems to be going as planned, but a storm is brewing outside. This brings unease that cannot be explained to the guests and hosts.

I'm scared!

I’m scared!

We then pause from the house to the view of the butler, Bidwell Thomas. He gives us reader a background of the woods surrounding the house and cottage where he resides. The cottage Bidwell resides in was built by Mr. Darcy’s grandfather who lived there with his dog. When his dog became too old and sick, he shot him and himself.

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That was a weird, dark twisted branch in the Darcy tree.

weird

Why would James include something like that? What is it’s purpose? We see Darcy has some mental illness in his background, I guess.

I don't think this really added to the story.

I don’t think this really added to the story.

Darcy’s father restored the cottage and gave it to the butler’s family. Besides the death of that Darcy, the wood is claimed to be haunted when a poacher was hanged, even though Mr. Darcy tried to give him leniency, and the mother of the accused cursed the entire Darcy line and then hanged herself. Now there is a superstition of a ghost living in the woods.

Scooby Doo and the ghoul school phantom ghost

What I don’t understand is why go through all that trouble of giving this big complicated and supernatural history but then have no follow through. I thought maybe there would be something about a ghost or someone using it in the murder; but there was nothing. So why waste our times James? Why?

IT MAKES NO SENSE

IT MAKES NO SENSE

So the butler lives there with his wife, sick son Will, and daughter Louisa. Louisa recently traveled to help her older sister Sarah with their newewst baby, and brought him back so that Will could see it. The newest baby’s name is Georgie. Hmm…what character in this story shares that same name? *Hint, hint* *Wink, wink*

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While everyone is relaxing after dinner, Colonel Fitzwilliam takes off for his evening ride. Half an hour later the party is breaking up with everyone going to bed when Darcy sees a coach coming up crazily. He goes outside to find out what is happening, when Lydia comes running out. She scream that Wickham is dead and that Denny killed him.

OMG gasp

Now in the previews for Death Comes to Pemberley miniseries, they implied that Darcy was thought to possibly have murdered Wickham. But then when you read the book, Darcy is never implicated as he wasn’t in any situation and Wickham isn’t even dead. False advertising!

rebeccaitwasallalie

Lydia is taken with the women while Darcy interrogates the coachman. Coachman Pratt tells him that he was to drop Lydia at the house, the men off at King’s Arms in Lambton, and then return the coach. When halfway through the woodland Captain Denny stopped the coach, jumped out and shouted that he was done with Wickham. Mr. Wickham ran after him to come back, Lydia yelling at both of them to return. Then the coachman and Lydia heard shots. Lydia started screaming murder and ordered the coach to go straight to Pemberley.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

They start making arrangements and arming the search party. As they head out they meet a returning Colonel Fitzwilliam.

Suspicious

Suspicious

As they head up, Colonel takes control of the situation and splits the group up.

splitupScoobyDoo

Darcy looks around and starts talking about him and nature being one. Really? I can’t see Darcy waxing so romantically and poetically in a situation like this.

Really?

Really?

We also get the tidbit that his grandfather (who sounds crazy to me and makes me think those Darcy’s shouldn’t have been so proud) asked to be buried with his dog in the woods; but the family refused. His spirit supposedly is roaming the woods.

So once again we get a hint at the supernatural or something, with no follow through. Why even bother to set something like that up?

Stop it now if it isn't going to be anything more.

Stop it now if it isn’t going to be anything more.

They reach the cottage and the colonel is the only one to enter it. Odd. Why wouldn’t he allow others to go inside, what is he trying to hide or keep from the others?

Suspicious

Suspicious

As they continue in the woods they discover the body of Denny. He is lying on his back, face caked in blood. Wickham is kneeling over him; bloody and screaming that Denny is dead and it was his fault, he killed him.

I guess that's all

I guess that’s all

They carry the two back to Pemberly.

Darcy travels to Sir Selwyn Hardcastle who reviews cases such as this and makes the final judgement. He and Darcy don’t see eye to eye, but everything must be done by the book. As Wickham is his brother-in-law, Darcy can’t oversee the investigation.

The next day finds Lydia furious, not at her husband, but at Elizabeth, If only the Darcys had received them then they would have arrived the next day, not with Lydia trying to coax her way in.

Favorite Lydia Bennet

Georgina and Elizabeth have a heart to heart as Elizabeth is worried about Georgina with the close proximity to Wickham. Georgina reveals that she is fine, and that she has told Henry about her past.

See here is where I thought that the book would have been more interesting if it turned out Henry was the murderer as he lied about his past to try and get to Georgina’s inheritance. With him attacking Wickham as he knows too much and accidentally killing Denny.  Or Colonel Fitzwilliam being the murderer. But no, James decided to not go down that path.

Fine, do it your way

Fine, do it your way

There is an inquest and Wickham is to go on trial, although there is quite a few holes in the case.

Hmm...

Hmm…

Meanwhile the Darcy’s visit sick Will and bring the family things to help them. They try and convince them  to move to the manor where they can recieve better care; but the family refuses.

The Darcys and Bingleys have been aiding the Wickhams; providing Wickham with items he requests to help his time in jail and the Bingleys opening their home to Lydia. Darcy is very unhappy about he situation and also with the fact that he will have to support the two until Wickham can find a job, having been fired by Sir Walter Elliot (characters from Jane Austen’s Persuasion).

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The day of the inquest arrives. All the Darcys and Bingleys have been cleared as they all alibi each other. A stone was found that is believed to be the murder weapon, but no incriminating marks were found on it so there is no definite proof. After all statements are given, the coachman’s being the weightiest, they decide to hold Wickham and put him on trial.

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Christmas is approaching, and Darcy declares that the trial is not to be talked of, instead having everyone focus on the upcoming holiday.

regency christmas 4

They give food to the poorer parishioners, have a few dinner parties; and Wickham is transferred to London. Meanwhile the Butler’s Georgie gets sent home to his mother and Louisa and Will are happier; but the trial looms closer and closer.

Now as they keep mentioning the Butler’s family, you just know they are connected somehow to this murder. Otherwise why would James focus on them when the house is full of potential suspects? And of course Wickham well set up as the killer.

Should've done better James

Should’ve done better James

The day of the trial arrives. At the trial Darcy spots a familiar face, Mrs. Younge, Wickham’s partner in crime and Georgian’s old companion. The same Mrs. Younge that aided in the elopement.

ThewomenBadnameBitch

Everyone shares their testimony, including Mr. Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam. Things look pretty grim.

But then it is time for Wickham to give his testimony and be questioned. As we know, Wickham is charming and manipulative. He says that he said he killed him, as he feels it is his fault Denny is dead, as his life was his responsibility since he was traveling with Wickham. He says that he drank too much and was chasing the real murderer when he passed put. He points out that the weapon is missing, and there is no motive for Wickham to kill him; therefore he could not have done it.

So there! tongue sticking out pug

The jury leave to discuss.

When the trial reconvenes they declare Wickham as guilty. Wickham scream that he didn’t do it, but it’s too late for him. Mrs. Younge runs out of the courtroom after the verdict, with Darcy following to speak to her, but she gets run over by a coach and dies. Did she kill herself? Or was it an accident?

escalatedquickly

But then to everyone’s shock a confession is asked to be added to evidence. It was brought by the country doctor and is the confession of the sickly Will, the Darcys’ butler’s son.

I knew it!

I knew it!

Will killed Denny. You see Louisa had been with her sister taking care of her children, when she was assaulted by Wickham. She became pregnant and Georgie was hers, named after Wickham. When it was revealed that Wickham could not marry Louisa, as he was already married, she came home with the baby; pretending it was her nephew. When Will saw the officer in the woods, he thought he was Wickham and killed him to protect his family. Unfortunately he killed the wrong person and could not allow him to go to prison for something he did not do.

sorry

Wickham is discharged as witnesses prove that Will did write the confession and that he meant it.

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The reason why Colonel Fitzwilliam left to go on his ride was that he was approached by Mrs. Younge to try and help her adopt the boy as she loved Wickham and wanted a piece of him near.

Well that was a red herring.

Well that was a red herring.

Mr. Wickham gets approached by a minister he met while in prison who offers him  job on a horse farm in the United States. He and Lydia travel there. Louisa marries her old beau and everything turns out well.

I guess that's all

I guess that’s all

Well I thought it was kind of boring.

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

It was nowhere as great as the critics claimed it to be, and I’m sorry for those who love P.D. James and thinks she is fantastic but I just found it to be an all-around dud.

There was no mystery, no challenge, no nothing! I hated it! And why did she keep bringing up the supernatural when it had nothing to do with it in the end!

It was awful!

It was awful!

If you really like the idea of a Darcy and Elizabeth mystery, you should check out Pride & Prescience (Or a Truth Universally Acknowledged).

Pride&Prescience

Now will the miniseries be as horrible? We shall see.

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For more Jane Austen mysteries, you should check out Pride & Prescience (Or a Truth Universally Acknowledged)

For more books based on Jane Austen’s work, go to The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy

For more Pride & Prejudice, go to Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose: Superbowl 50

For more Pride & Prejudice variations, go to Happy Birthday Pride & Prejudice