Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
For a thorough summary of this classic, you only have to grab a copy of SparkNotes, Cliff Notes or go to shmoop.com and check it out. However, these summaries tell you nothing about what a truly wonderful book it is.
I thought about this recently as I listened to an audio version of Pride and Prejudice. My sons always rib me about listening to audio books when I’ve already read the print version. (At Christmastime–“But, Mom, why are you listening to A Christmas Carol when I know you’ve read it before?” I answer, “It’s true that I’ve read it–but I haven’t heard Tim Curry read it–and he is wonderful!”)
If you are reading Pride and Prejudice for a class or as part of an assignment on literary analysis; if you are having any trouble understanding it or liking it because you feel that people don’t ‘talk like that anymore,’ I encourage you to get an audio version and add it to your reading. The professional readers are so good–their tone, inflection, and their pauses all help you to understand exactly what is happening. You’ll catch the nasty little social put downs, the snotty manners of the monied class, the idiocy of the teens who are fashion-obsessed and boy (soldier) crazy, the very pride and prejudice which must be overcome in order for young lovers to strike a good match.
And Pride and Prejudice has what students often ask for when looking for a book in our library. Lots of young adults on the lookout for romance and a mate; parents both cynical and silly; the trials of misunderstandings and the hurdles to overcome in learning who will make a suitable partner. There are a couple of good, happy marriages–and a couple of really lousy ones, too. Pride and Prejudice has it all. Enjoy listening.