"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."
So begins Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen's witty comedy of manners--one of the most popular novels of all time--that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues. (summary and book cover courtesy of goodreads.com)
I will admit: I put off reading Pride & Prejudice for a long time. Being the pseudo-hipster I can be, my assumption was that with so many people liking Austen’s books I probably would not. Fortunately my desire to avoid ignorance was greater than (ironically) my pride and I decided to tackle all of the Jane Austen books in a series. Thank. God.
I read this book the first time three years ago and to date I have read it 4 times since. (Yes, really.) Every time I go through it I find myself laughing out loud, squirming in the awkward moments and rooting for the spunky Jane. The humor certainly can be subtle, but I find this a perk as re-reading simply reveals additional layers to laugh at. (Though I am not implying that you have to read the book more than once to enjoy it.) To me, Austen’s work is like eavesdropping on a group of close friends who happen to be chatting in the Victorian era. I don't know about your college friends, but mine certainly do not hold back! If you are going to read only one of the Jane Austen books: This is it.
Side-note: This was a rare occasion where seeing the movie actually made me enjoy re-reading the book even more. I am partial to the iteration with Keira Knightley (though less historically accurate compared to other versions) because she infused the character with the humor and joy I envisioned Elizabeth having while reading. Also, for Austen fans, I would highly recommend seeing “Austenland” as well!
Rating: 5 stars!
Who Should Read It? Being biased, I think everyone should read it once. More realistically, people who adore dry wit, unconventional humor and a trip back in time to the Victorian era.