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The Jane Austen Book Club

The Jane Austen Book Club

Written by Karen Joy Fowler

Narrated by Kimberly Schraf


The Jane Austen Book Club

Written by Karen Joy Fowler

Narrated by Kimberly Schraf

ratings:
3/5 (124 ratings)
Length:
8 hours
Released:
Jan 1, 2004
ISBN:
9781593163068
Format:
Audiobook

Description

A sublime comedy of contemporary manners, this is the novel Jane Austen might well have written had she lived in twenty-first- century California.

Nothing ever moves in a straight line in Karen Joy Fowler's fiction, and in her latest, the complex dance of modern love has never been so devious or so much fun. Six Californians join to discuss Jane Austen's novels. Over the six months they meet, marriages are tested, affairs begin, unsuitable arrangements become suitable, and love happens. With her finely sighted eye for the frailties of human behavior and her finely tuned ear for the absurdities of social intercourse, Fowler has never been wittier nor her characters more appealing.

The result is a delicious dissection of modern relationships. Dedicated Austenites will delight in unearthing the echoes of Austen that run through the novel, but most readers will simply enjoy the vision and voice that, despite two centuries of separation, unite two great writers of brilliant social comedy.
Released:
Jan 1, 2004
ISBN:
9781593163068
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

KAREN JOY FOWLER is the author of six novels and four short story collections, including We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves and Black Glass. She is the winner of the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award, a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, and has won numerous Nebula and World Fantasy Awards.



Reviews

What people think about The Jane Austen Book Club

3.0
124 ratings / 98 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (2/5)
    Well, this book surely had a really cool idea, but it was kinda boring, and I found myself not caring about any of the characters.
  • (2/5)
    The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler... not utterly terrible, but not very good, either, in my opinion. The main thing that stuck out to me, throughout, was that the narrator was weird and the narrative jumped about in the most irritating way. It wasn't just that there were flashbacks -- I don't mind those, deployed correctly -- but there were flashbacks and then there were chapters in the present. And the narrator seemed to be a member of the book club, but an unnamed, invisible one. And for all that she closes it at the end with a neat little Austen quote, I didn't feel much closure. Not much happened with Prudie. Allegra and Corinne don't seem exactly suited. Bernadette has another husband, another happily ever after. Daniel and Sylvia are apparently back together with virtually no fuss. Jocelyn and Grigg, the same.

    I also didn't really buy into the magic of Jane Austen. Or the theme of Jane Austen's books binding everything together. The members of the club didn't all really know each other, or meet up outside of the group, it seemed.

    I did like the way Ursula Le Guin sneaked in there. I'd believe in the magic of her books, any day.

    It wasn't really terribly interesting, really. Women being married, or in the process of divorce, or getting boyfriends. Yawn.
  • (3/5)
    I liked the idea behind this book -- 6 individuals form a book club where they read/reread all 6 of Jane Austen's novels -- but it was only an okay read. I liked the parts where they actually discussed her novels, but most of the book focused on the 6 characters lives and backstories rather than Austen's novels. I also felt that the character of Prudie was unresolved and was confused about the attraction of 2 of the book club participants. At the end of the novel, the author includes summaries of Austen's book and reviews of Austen's novels through the ages.
  • (3/5)
    A brilliant marketing idea, but pretty forgettable as an actual book.
  • (2/5)
    There are a lot of other books I'd recommend before this one. It wasn't horrid, exactly, but I didn't find it a worthwhile read. I didn't believe any of the characters, and there wasn't much of a story there. However, it's gotten me interested in reading and re-reading some Jane Austen, so the book's got that going for it.
  • (3/5)
    Mini-Me and The Book Accumulator recommended the film of this and I borrowed the book from Mini-Me - and really didn't know what to make of it. On the one hand, there are 5 women and a man of unknown provenance sitting around monthly in California discussing their beloved Miss Austen. On the other hand, we delve into the back stories of the characters and they are très dark. Daaaaaark dark. Sexual assault, emotional betrayal, divorce - these ladies really can't catch a break. Totally at odds with their fluffy discussion. Maybe that's the point - but it was too disconnected for me.