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Pride and Prejudice


Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice
average rating is 5 out of 5

Classics, Romance

R. Alex Jenkins

My first Jane Austen novel and still the best.

The dialogue remains as complicated, pompous and incongruous no matter how many times you read it, but the plot becomes more cohesive with further visits.

The great thing about Pride and Prejudice is how the plot converges into a tense and satisfying ending while never being fully sure of the conclusion. In other Jane Austen works there is a predictable sense of convenience and summary, even in Persuasion - her second-best novel - and especially in the almost excellent but very flawed Sense and Sensibility.

Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy are moralistic to the point of potentially destroying their happiness because of their principles. They are likeable, loveable and laughable people at the same time, absurd almost, determined to stick to their ideals no matter what.

I can’t really recommend any other Jane Austen books as even close to this, but I do recommend reading them for literary enjoyment, excellent prose and character development. Emma is a nice book, but not thrilling, and Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey are very readable.

This book had a profound effect on me when I was younger. Sometimes literary classics can be a trawl - Moby Dick, Ulysses, etc. - but this one is worth it in hearts, diamonds and spades. More complex than Jane Eyre, more satisfying than Tess of The D'urbervilles, more exciting than Madame Bovary and less verbose than Les Miserables. All of them great books, with Pride and Prejudice reigning as the classic queen.

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