Friday, October 22, 2010

Bedside, Bathtub and Armchair Companion to Jane Austen

Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Jane Austen by Carol J. Adams, Kelly Gesch, and Douglas Buchanan

This little book is packed with facts on Jane Austen, her writings, her life and times and the various movie adaptations and homages. The book also contains some literary criticism, interviews with Austenesque authors, essays by Austen's characters. "Why I Married Her" by Mr. Bennet is particularly amusing and enlightening though it makes Mr. Bennet seem foolish. A crossword puzzle and lengthy quiz provide some lighthearted fun. Both games had many questions which had little to do with Jane Austen and some of the quiz questions are extremely difficult, even for a dedicated Janeite. Perhaps the answers can be found within the book, but I didn't take the time to look. I especially liked the chart documenting the number of times each book has been made into a movie or an homage to Austen. I've missed a few so I'll have to check into seeing them. What I didn't like about this book is how it is organized. It's all over the place with serious criticism followed by quirky essays about some random topic. The literary criticism topics were too critical in my opinion and didn't really belong in a book that seems to be aimed at the casual Austen fan. I wouldn't recommend buying it to add to your Austen library but some parts are worth looking at if you can find the book at a library.

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