08 FebBack to the Classics 5/52

I’m really not behind on reading, honest! I’m actually up to 7 books, but I admit I’m falling behind on the reviews. Funny how that “life” thing can get in the way sometimes.

At any rate, this latest review was just about six months in the making. When most people think Jane Austen their thoughts go to Pride & Prejudice. It’s definitely one of my favourite books, and it’s definitely the original chicklit novel. But for every five people who buy P&P, maybe one person will pick up one of Jane Austen’s other books – if that!

Anyway, last summer I had been watching the BBC versions of Jane Austen’s books. Then I realized… I’ve only ever read Pride & Prejudice! That was kind of a huge bummer, especially since I call myself a book worm. So I decided I should fix that…

So I picked up Emma by Jane Austen and jumped right in.

Emma by Jane AustenExcept it wasn’t so much as jumping in; it was more of a trudging through incredibly heavy, sticky mud. While language doesn’t typically bother me, the mood I was in at the time made it so I just couldn’t face the English. I got maybe 40 pages in before I was starting to force myself to read two pages a night. Eventually I just gave up on trying. I wanted to read “candy books”, which are books you could read in a day or two, but don’t really take much effort on the reader’s part to finish.

And that surprised me a little, because out of the film and BBC versions of Austen’s books, Emma is my favourite!! So why wouldn’t I want to read something that I already knew I would like?

With the start of the new year, I was filled with renewed determination. I would finish Emma!

I managed to fly through it this time. It’s something we talk about at work a fair amount, is that you definitely need to be in the mood for certain books. And if you’re not in the mood to read it, you’re best to put it down and try something else.

Emma turned out to be better than I had been expecting!

The problem with film versions is that so many of the nuances and character development need to be cut out to keep the films to a reasonable length. Reading Emma gives you much more development between Emma and Mr. Knightley that it surprised me. There are nuances in the story that simply get lost when it’s put on the screen, but that are definitely needed to help give the story that added kick in the bum!

I will say, though, that the latest BBC version does a fabulous job translating the book to the screen. Much better than the film version.

Emma gets three and a half stars, and only loses half a star because I couldn’t get into it the first time. But since there are no half stars here, it gets four! :-)

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