Jane Austen Made Me Do It – ed Laurel Ann Nattress – 3/10

“‘You made us too perfect’ said Elinor”

This is a collection of short stories inspired by Jane Austen, all never-before-published. Unfortunately, for many of them, that is for a good reason. The start to the blurb rather gives away why:

“My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” If you just heaved a contented sigh at Mr. Darcy’s heartfelt words, then you, dear reader, are in good company.

I thought I could keep an open mind about fan fiction. It lasted as far as the second story; I rather liked the first, a nightmare of Jane’s in which she finds herself in Bath, meeting all of her characters – Marianne is incensed that she was portrayed as so emotionally useless, Elinor and Fanny that they were too perfect, Lizzy and Jane are delighted with the husbands she gave them. Another very clever episode was an exchange of letters between Lydia Bennet and Maria Lucas (Charlotte’s younger sister) – two very minor characters in the novel and the retelling from their perspective was amusing, if somewhat predictable.

After that, there were rather too many re-imaginings; I wasn’t that happy with the idea of pursuing the characters of P&P after their wedding in Death Comes To Pemberley (review to come soon), but most of these stories reinforced all of my snobby ideas about fan fiction – one-dimensional,  far too many dared to set themselves from Jane’s perspective, and everyone wants to get with Darcy (WHY??? He may have £10,000 a year, but not even Colin Firth made him attractive!).

I know that there are fan fiction fans out there, and to them I heartily recommend this volume. It is a diverse and yet entirely Austen-focussed collection.

I just don’t get the point.

Other links: a guest blog by Laurel Ann Nattress and Nattress answers 8 out of 20 questions

Read for Advent with Austen.

Additional info:
This was a personal copy, recently bought with much excitement!.
Publisher: Ballantine Books, 432 pages (paperback)
Order Jane Austen Made Me Do It: Original Stories Inspired by Literature’s Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart from Amazon*
* this is an affiliate link – I will be paid a small percentage of your purchase price if you use this link, which goes towards giveaways.

6 thoughts on “Jane Austen Made Me Do It – ed Laurel Ann Nattress – 3/10

  1. [...] Reading Fuelled By Tea Physicist turned accountant wades through classic and modern literature Skip to content HomeBooks I have readBooks Read 2009-10Books read 2011Books to be readCompletist Author readingClassic Authors A-GClassic Authors H-SClassic Authors T-ZModern Authors A-KModern Authors L-ZMan Booker Prize1969 Man Booker Prize1970 Man Booker Prize1971 Man Booker Prize1972 Man Booker Prize1973 Man Booker Prize1974 Man Booker Prize1975 Man Booker Prize1976 Man Booker Prize1977 Man Booker Prize1978 Man Booker Prize1979 Man Booker Prize1980 Man Booker Prize1981 Man Booker Prize1982 Man Booker Prize1983 Man Booker Prize1984 Man Booker Prize1985 Man Booker Prize1986 Man Booker Prize1987 Man Booker Prize1988 Man Booker Prize1989 Man Booker Prize1990 Man Booker Prize1991 Man Booker Prize1992 Man Booker Prize1993 Man Booker Prize1994 Man Booker Prize1995 Man Booker Prize1996 Man Booker Prize1997 Man Booker Prize1998 Man Booker Prize1999 Man Booker Prize2000 Man Booker Prize2001 Man Booker Prize2002 Man Booker Prize2003 Man Booker Prize2004 Man Booker Prize2005 Man Booker Prize2006 Man Booker Prize2007 Man Booker Prize2008 Man Booker Prize2009 Man Booker Prize2010 Man Booker PrizeMan Booker Best of BerylThe Lost Booker PrizeOrange Award for New WritersOrange Prize for Fiction1996 Orange Prize1997 Orange Prize1998 Orange Prize1999 Orange Prize2000 Orange Prize2001 Orange Prize2002 Orange Prize2003 Orange Prize2004 Orange Prize2005 Orange Prize2006 Orange Prize2007 Orange Prize2008 Orange Prize2009 Orange Prize2010 Orange Prize2011 Orange PrizeDramatis PersonaeReview PolicyWho’s Drinking All The Tea? ← Jane Austen Made Me Do It – ed Laurel Ann Nattress – 3/10 [...]

  2. Iris 21 December 2011 at 12:17 pm Reply

    Now I remember the first story, yes, I enjoyed that one.

    I actually thought that in the Jane Austen “fan fiction” genre, most of the stories published here were weak compared to the longer novels. Though I recently tried 3 that weren’t good either.

    • readingwithtea 21 December 2011 at 2:04 pm Reply

      Which I think is partly the fault of the shorter format. In novels e.g. Darcy’s Story, there is much more time for character development and an author can show off how they have cleverly extended Austen’s work.

  3. christina 21 December 2011 at 4:17 pm Reply

    This was a DNF for me after the first story….*bleh*

    • readingwithtea 21 December 2011 at 4:44 pm Reply

      Yeah, I was really disappointed after I’d been so excited to get it for my birthday!

  4. [...] contacted in turn so that they can pick their prize of choice, which now also includes my copy of Jane Austen Made Me Do It, which I did not enjoy but you [...]

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