Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mr. Darcy's Diary by Amanda Grange

Oh, know. Oh, know. Oh, know.
After reading this book, I've discovered a little known fact that I never wanted to know, gasp: Mr. Darcy was one boring dude.

Kill me now.

Unfortunately, this harsh reality makes perfect sense, I mean, look how Austen portrays him in Pride and Prejudice? He rarely speaks unless spoken too, he's horribly shy amongst strangers, and nobody interesting, except Bingley of course, can stand to be around him he's so haughty and full of himself.

I thought the concept of Mr. Darcy having a diary had great potential. What little tidbits would we find out about, I wondered. Like, what was he doing before he met Elizabeth, how exactly did he fall in love with her, what were his experiences with his sister and Bingley, etc. Exciting stuff, right? Well, no. In truth, I found him completely uninteresting and dull for about the first half of the book, and then when he drove Bingley from Jane Bennet, I thought him just plain mean. When he does begin to see Elizabeth in a different light I of course, liked it better. A few more details here and there helped it become interesting enough by the end, but by then I was almost mad.

Is that the author's fault? Is it even possible to make the true Mr. Darcy of Austen's novel the dashing romantic hero of almost every females dreams? Do we have the mini-series to thank for our obsession? Many,many years ago, long before 1995, I did my senior thesis on Jane Austen, and more specifically, Pride and Prejudice and Emma. I read both books and remember thinking them okay, not my favorite novels at the time - I was very young, but I don't remember thinking one way or the other about Darcy. In fact, I probably thought very little about him at all. Because that's how he's written. Elizabeth is the hero of Pride and Prejudice. It is she we come to love and admire first and foremost.

And then along came the mini-series and Colin Firth. Ah....sigh. That changed everything didn't it. Now we've come to expect more from the man than what was really there. We invent truth were none exists. We invent, feelings and emotion expressed. We invent the feelings we saw on Colin Firth's face when he looked at Elizabeth, the dimple in her chin, the curve of her shape. In essence, we brought the book to life perfectly. But real life is never perfect. Expectations are never met, there is always let down. Rarely are men capable of jumping on the same romantic plane as women, because seriously we as a sex always expect too much, don't we?

That was my main problem with this book. Like all my relationships I probably expected too much. I'm afraid Mr. Darcy I might have to break up with you after all these years.

Just kidding.
3 stars.


Amanda said...

You'd think, since Mr. Darcy almost never spoke but wrote really long letters, that his written life would be more interesting than his spoken one...having said that, this is another one of those spinoffs that I'm just not interested in reading. I prefer to keep my own ideas about those characters, I guess.

margaret said...

NO!!!! When I saw the cover I thought it would be good too!! I mean how could it not? Surely Mr. Darcy had an adventurous life before he met Lizzie!

I'm sorry that the book was rather unpleasant. Maybe if they make a "THE DIARY OF MR BINGLEY" it'll be better ;)

L said...

Oh no, I shan't have Mr. Bingley ruined!! Like Amanda I must keep my own ideas about him. He probably cheated on Jane or something hideous like that.

Ceri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ceri said...

Hehe that doesn't surprise me - I always preferred Bingley's nerdiness and sweetness. :-D

Serena said...

I liked this book. I liked looking inside Darcy's written life.

L said...

Bingley is yummy, isn't he. And I thought the book was well-written too, it just didn't light my fire until it was too late. I was too mad at him for being so mean to Jane. Probably good Austen left that part out, or most of it anyway.