|Photo from Amanda Grange's website.|
So...I am fully aware that because of the title of the book, I will probably get very little pity from any of my readers when I tell you that "this book is a waste of time." And yes...I do understand...it's kind of an iffy title.
I know, I know. Now, just hear me out.
Here's at least part of what I was thinking as I was browsing around in the audiobook section of the central branch* of the IMCPL. I thought at least three things.
1. Mr. Darcy. Wow. Well...I love him! The classic "not-actually-so-bad-bad-boy." Pride and Prejudice is one of my all time favorite books, thanks to the recommendation from my dear friend Annette.
2. It is not a secret to really anyone who knows me that I'm obsessed with one of the best TV shows ever created, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So this could quite possible be an amazing book.
3. Vampyre. What a fancy way to spell vampire. I wonder where on earth that spelling comes from (I researched it for this post [WIKIPEDIA! WOOT WOOT!] of course, and it turns out that it is French). The author must be really learned and creative.
So I grabbed the audiobook after very little deliberation (which is strange for me) as I thought that I had nothing to lose and went speedily to the check-out station, not wanting to be charged extra for accidentally staying in the garage for 1 hour and 1 minute.
I begrudgingly paid my dollar to leave and put the first disc into my car's CD player. Initially, it was simply beautiful writing. Loved it to begin with. It begins with a prologue, in which Lizzie is writing Jane, fearful for her life, due to some unknown circumstances (though with the title of the book, one can surmise what those circumstances are). Very interesting. Chilling. Got me all excited to hear what was happening, but then chapter one begins right after the double wedding of Jane and Bingley and Elizabeth and Darcy. Sorry if I just ruined Pride and Prejudice for anyone. Um...yeah, never mind. That doesn't happen at all. Okay yes it does, there's no hiding that I've messed the book up for anyone who hasn't read it.
I'll go put a spoiler disclaimer at the top of the page right now.
Okay it's up there. With special punctuation for Kristen.
Now...onward and upward.
The writing is at times fantastic, very lyrical. But when the words are beautiful...nothing much is happening. Then, way way way way way way way way into the book, when things actually start happening, the writing begins to lack simultaneously. If I remember this correctly, The Ancient says to Lizzie at one time, "You're so...bloody." Seriously. I laughed out loud when I heard that. Part of that was probably because of the awkward way that the woman reading the book, Elizabeth Jasicki, said the line.
Anyway...when it was just beautiful writing, it was beautiful, but when the supernatural got introduced, it became clear that there was really not a single solitary original thought within the pages of this book (or the CDs, in my case). Now I'm not going to tell you how all of these things tie in, just incase anyone still wants to read the book after all of the high praise that I've given it, but here's pretty much the ingredients to Mr. Darcy, Vampyre.
1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
2. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer created by the incomparable Joss Whedon
4. Harry Potter by J.K Rowling
5. Indiana Jones created by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg
All of these things, save the second one in the list (which is at least very catchy and enjoyable, I will give you that), are friggin amazing pieces of art/literature that rock my world. But the way that Grange has combined them is somewhat akin to a preschooler cutting the faces out of old antique pictures in your family album and then making them into a messy collage. It's kind of sweet...you want to tell her "Good job, Honey. That's beautiful. You've put everyone we love into one big picture." But at the same time...she totally ruined all of the original pictures. Know what I mean? If you're going to make a collage, you either need to be reallllllly good with scissors and glue, or know Photoshop like the back of your hand.
Grange is unfortunately a preschooler with safety scissors and Elmer's glue.
Now, that's not to say that there weren't good parts to the book. There were some really good parts. But it was not put together well and had enough bad parts that, in the end, it just wasn't an enjoyable experience. I listened to the entire thing, not wanting my maiden voyage (kinda) into the world of audiobooks to begin with a shipwreck that never made it back to shore. I am now listening to another book. Which I will probably write about when I'm finished. I can already tell the mood of that blog post will be a lot more positive.
Please keep in mind, that these are just my opinions. If you have the spare time and want to read the book, by all means, do it! I salute you. This is just what I think about it. And also, Ms. Grange, if you are reading this (though surely you are not), I'm sure you are a lovely person and maybe your book just wasn't my cup of tea. Keep on keepin' on, Girlfriend.
Stay Classy Guys!
* Incidentally, the rules of the parking garage for the central branch have changed. No more can I, a poor college student, park in the garage for free so long as I am in and out in under thirty minutes. Oh no. Now, if I enter the garage and that yellow and black automated gate lowers itself behind me in my trusty Honda CRV (lovingly referred to by most as Clark), I cannot leave the garage without paying at least $1.00, no matter how quickly I check my items out and leave. They of course informed me of this, by way of a new sign, after I had already entered and unwittingly kissed one of my hard-earned dollar bills good-bye. Now surely, this change is due to governmental cut-backs or something devastating like that. I could be understanding of this, and support my library, which I love so much, but that costs money now. I support them with my smiling face, do I not? Suffice it to say that I have changed my routine and now go to the Nora branch which, as it is not downtown, has no need for a parking garage. Just a free and friendly parking lot. Now...aesthetically, it's not the same as the central branch. I don't feel like I'm walking into some fantastic hybrid of the awesomest airport and the coolest children's museum...but...I guess that is just the price that I have to pay to not pay the price to park. (Oh, I slay myself! Ha-Ha! Good Lord...how apropos considering the book that I just finished. I didn't even plan that. I swear!)