Holiday Reading

What do you do with a husband who gives you Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters for Christmas?? I didn’t like to ask if he thought it was a recently-discovered Jane Austen … so I just started reading it. A medley — or maybe a melee  — of S&S and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and The Castle of Otranto … but quite fun if one suspends judgment, and quite well-written …. although the characters are blocked in with a heavier hand,  just in case you didn’t realise that Mrs Jennings is vulgar, Lucy Steele on the make, Colonel Brandon the epitome of good breeding, despite being under the curse of a sea-witch and so having a fringe of writhing tentacles — much worse than a flannel waistcoat! But rather good holiday reading.

I also acquired Reginald Hill’s take on Sanditon: A Cure for All Diseases. I like Dalziel and Pascoe on the small screen but find them rather tiresome between the pages, and this was even worse. The two friends who had it before me read it at a sitting (or so they said) but I gave up after Lady Denham was murdered … she certainly deserved that! The friends are  much younger than I so I suspect it is a generation gap thing.

Much more to my taste is A Truth Universally Acknowledged, which I happened on most fortuitously in Dymocks as I sought to spend my JASA prize voucher. Anna reviews it in today’s Panorama and is rewarded with a double -page spread on George Clooney! Alas, I thought I was going to get in first by reading up on what the contributors say about Mansfield Park … but now I will have some competition. Anyway, I endorse Anna’s recommendation. I had even copied down the same quote about the reality of the characters. But I wonder what others will think about another quote: Jane Austen has difficulty in making her characters both good and interesting. That one is very appropriate  to Mansfield Park.

As for the husband, he is such a good dancer I decided to keep him. Can’t have everything in a man!


6 Responses to Holiday Reading

  1. Good one Julia … I was given a book voucher for Christmas too but from Electric Shadows. I decided I would use it on this book so now I know it is out I will hie me thither (or at least let my fingers do the walking and see if they have it first!). And then I will have to find that voucher!

    I don’t think I could cope with reading S&S and Sea Monsters. I did see it in the shops but …

  2. juliae1 says:

    Dymocks at Belconnen had two more copies when I was there. If you are really desperate you can borrow my copy of Monsters, but it is really only fit for research purposes! But it is good to think that JA can survive even this.

  3. Sarah says:

    Does “Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters” use much of the original novel? I’ve not been able to get through more than a third of “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” because it’s just not really that interesting – it’s the original novel with zombies thrown in, but they don’t really impact the plot. But then I think Charlotte Lucas may be about to “cross over”, so perhaps I need to give it a little longer 🙂

  4. juliae1 says:

    Monsters is the original novel interspersed with the assorted fish and octopuses, but with some surmising about why the monsters have taken over. They do impact the plot. It’s really very ingenious! I had to look up the original text a couple of times to see if JA had really said that … it does give an interesting take on the characters and happenings. The author writes well and i have to hope he goes on to better things.

  5. Mary says:

    You were lucky Julia, you only received Sea Monsters for Christmas. I found both Sea Monsters and Zombies among my presents. At first I thought it was a bad joke, but turned out the boys thought I would really, really like them. After intial misgivings, like Julia, I enjoyed reading Sea Monsters – witty and inventive. I also thought I detected a subversive ‘time to save the world’ message lurking there. On the other hand, Zombies is a complete waste of time. I only read a little way through and then flipped through some other chapters. What happens to Charlotte is rather grim. My copy is destined for the recycling bin very soon, unless others would like to read it. (I really don’t want that cover in my house!)

  6. juliae1 says:

    Mary, you can pass Zombies on to me. It will be a useful teaching tool and can also go into the JASACT library. And now I really want to know what happened to Charlotte Lucas!
    I also appreciated the ‘save the world’ message in Monsters.
    Now … anyone for Mr Darcy, Vampyre??

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: