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Monthly Archives: January 2014

Death Comes to Pemberley by PD James

I’d heard of Death Comes to Pemberley several years ago, but I’d not paid it much mind. It did not focus on the romance of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth, and for years, that’s what I wanted. However, after noticing the BBC planned to make a mini-series of it, and after watching the mini-series as it aired, I was enamored with the plot. It was brilliant.

I’m not much of a mystery reader, so I did not know who PD James was before the show aired. She’s a master mystery-maker. After watching the show, I immediately hopped and skipped to B&N to purchase the book. I started reading it the same day – this event is rare, so it’s worth mentioning.

The beginning of the book was exactly like the show. I found this both wonderful (because I really loved the show) and really boring (because it is a mystery – I knew what was coming). The prose was somewhere between Jane Austen and contemporary writing. This I found difficult to get into. As I hit the middle of the book, I couldn’t quit reading, I just wanted to gobble it up.

 

Although the book was wonderful, the show was better. I like the ending a lot more, and it was slightly more dramatic and intriguing thanks to the tension between Darcy and Elizabeth, the strange woman in the woods, and *spoiler alert* Wickham being saved moments before the trapdoor dropped.

I would recommend this book to other Jane Austen lovers, but I’m not sure if it would pose much interest to someone who didn’t know the characters of Pride and Prejudice intimately.

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The King of Torts by John Grisham

At the request of one of my students, I sat down to read John Grisham’s The King of Torts. I might mention here, as I did to the student, that I do not like John Grisham. I might also mention that I still don’t like John Grisham. Although The King of Torts was not the worst book I’ve ever read, nor was it very bad in general, John Grisham just doesn’t write my type of books. If I’m in the mood for a John Grisham-like story, I usually turn the TV on for an hour to watch some law/lawyer/cop show.

I do have to admit, however, that I really liked Grisham’s characterization of the main character, Clay Carter III. He starts out as a lowly public defender, whose girlfriend keeps fighting with him because he won’t let her parents control his life and get him more money. He loses some, he wins some. In the end, he loses everything that didn’t matter and wins what he needs most. Awh…

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