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The Jane Austen Book Club

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

In California’s central valley, five women and one man join to discuss Jane Austen’s novels. Over the six months they get together, marriages are tested, affairs begin,
unsuitable arrangements become suitable, and love happens. With her eye for the frailties of human behavior and her ear for the absurdities of social intercourse, Karen Joy 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.

From Publishers Weekly

Mar 22, 2004 – Fowler's fifth novel (after PEN/Faulkner award finalist Sister Noon) features her trademark sly wit, quirky characters and digressive storytelling, but with a difference: this one is book club ready, complete with mock-serious "questions for discussion" posed by the characters themselves. The plot here is deceptively slim: five women and one enigmatic man meet on a monthly basis to discuss the novels of Jane Austen, one at a time. As they debate Marianne's marriage to Brandon and whether or not Charlotte Lucas is gay, they reveal nothing so much as their own "private Austen(s)": to Jocelyn, an unmarried "control freak," the author is the consummate matchmaker; to solitary Prudie, she's the supreme ironist; to the lesbian Allegra, she's the disingenuous defender of the social caste system, etc. The book club's conversation is variously astute, petty, obvious and funny, but no one stays with it: the characters nibble high-calorie desserts, sip margaritas and drift off into personal reveries. Like Austen, Fowler is a subversive wit and a wise observer of human interaction of all stripes ("All parents wanted an impossible life for their children happy beginning, happy middle, happy ending. No plot of any kind"). She's also an enthusiastic consumer of popular culture, offsetting the heady literary chat with references to Sex and the City, Linux and "a rug that many of us recognized from the Sundance catalog." Though the 21 pages of quotations from Austen's family, friends and critics seems excessive, the novelty of Fowler's package should attract significant numbers of book club members, not to mention the legions of Janeites craving good company and happy endings.

Customer Reviews

Better than the film

I remember some of Jane's most memorable characters and picked up the film as "the perfect anecdote to life." on a trip to DC I wanted something to read on the flight home. I picked up the book and could not put it down. Joceyln and Allegra's stories are far more developed in the book especially roots of sexual assault and a mistrust if love. If you love Jane Austen and how she advocated the strength and resourcefulness of women... Read the book club. You would have wished Jane had been able to write 6 more.

The Jane Austen Book Club

Quelle roman a clef! This author builds her characters in layers; revealing bit by bit, fascinatingly important facts. Time holds still while you read, yet time passes too quickly and you find yourself bereft after finishing. Sip slowly and enjoy this novel like a good wine! Ms. Fowler's wit and steady recounting of this tale of relationships is not unlike Ms. Austen's steady, modest pace. "I can't wait for the movie," said she sardonically.

The Jane Austen Book Club
View in iTunes
  • $6.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Apr 26, 2004
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings