(Not quite a) Review: Sense and Sensibility — Jane Austen

Read: 8
To Go: 92

Book List:
1. Best Friends Forever — Jennifer Weiner
2. The Very Picture of You — Isabel Wolff
3. First Impressions — Nora Roberts
4. Blithe Images — Nora Roberts
5. Beauty Plus Pity — Kevin Chong
6. The Drop — Michael Connelly
7. The Great Gatsby — F. Scott Fitzgerald
8. Sense and Sensibility — Jane Austen

“Top 50 38 Romantic Lines” read: 2/38

For Elinor Dashwood, sensible and sensitive, and her romantic, impetuous younger sister Marianne, the prospect of marrying the men they love appears remote. In a world ruled by money and self-interest, the Dashwood sisters have neither fortune nor connections. Concerned for others and for social proprieties, Elinor is ill-equipped to compete with self-centred fortune-hunters like Lucy Steele, whilst Marianne’s unswerving belief in the truth of her own feelings makes her more dangerously susceptible to the designs of unscrupulous men.

Romantic quote: “It is not time or opportunity that is to determine intimacy; – it is disposition alone. Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other, and seven days are more than enough for others” (Austen).

I’ll be straight with you guys. I didn’t finish this. In fact, I didn’t even come close. But here’s the reality: I spent 2 hours of my night trying to get past the first twenty pages of Sense and Sensibility, to no avail. When it takes you two hours to get 20 pages in, and not because you’re distracting yourself with Facebook and Twitter, but because it’s just that bad, it’s time to throw in the towel.

I feel pretty bad about doing this, seriously, because it goes against everything I stand for — commitment, reading things to the end, et cetera — but Jane Austen, you have bested me with the sheer awfulness of your literature. I did look up the plot summary, just to see if maybe I could persuade myself to read on until it got better, but after scanning over what was to come I decided it wasn’t that big of a loss.

I guess I’m going to make this up somehow by the end of the year by reading a picture book or something. (Or, you know, just another book if I have the extra time.)

Anyway, I think it’s becoming clear to me why I don’t read classics: the only two I’ve dived into this year have been really not that good. In regards to Sense and Sensibility I think that it’s a mix of me not understanding half of the sentences, because the language is so old, and me wanting to smack Elinor and Marianne across the face every time they speak. Elinor is so boring, and Marianne is way too alive. She needs to calm down. Like, immediately.

Also, ease up on the verbosity there, Jane Austen. It’s okay to write with short, concise sentences. (Of course, you might risk making sense, but that’s the chance you take…)

I’m so glad I have two more Jane Austen books on my list to read. I’m really looking forward to them. No, really. Don’t let this face fool you.

Next book: Jane Eyre — Charlotte Bronte (Please let it be good please let it be good please please please please…)

– Kelsey


9 thoughts on “(Not quite a) Review: Sense and Sensibility — Jane Austen

  1. I had to write a 35 page paper on Feminism in “Sense and Sensibility”…i bought a cheap paperback copy. By the time the paper was over the book had been heaved countless times across my apartment while I screamed obscenities. Now, of course, me and Jane are homies so it’s all good. I prefer Austen to the Bronte sisters, but I know many who will ferociously disagree with me. But hey, its ok to not love love love Victorian lit…it’s not everyone’s cup of tea (pun not intended)

    • Holy Moses, that’s a big paper! How did you even survive?

      I’ve got to be honest, I’m one of those people who would disagree with you. 😛 At this point I’ve started Jane Eyre and it’s really not too bad at all, and I loved Wuthering Heights, so the Bronte sisters are alright with me; Austen, on the other hand, not so much…

      Excellent pun, even if it was unintended.

      • Lol 35 was a struggle esp as an undergrad, but that’s really nothing compared to the 70 pager I turned in during my graduate program. When I’m a professor, I’ll be steering clear when it comes to assigning these crazy things. Did they honestly WANT to devote ALL of their already limited free time to reading them all? I sure wouldn’t!

        Anyhow, I love love love Wuthering Heights…makes me cry every time. I read a little Jane Eyre but not enough. Friends of mine, however, are obsessed. It’s insane. Keep me updated on how it goes!! I’m already following your blog! And you inspired me to keep my own reading blog…haven’t titled it yet but i’ll let you know when it’s up and running!

    • (I’m replying to both your comments with this one.)

      That is absolutely unbelievable! I’m in undergraduate now but our biggest papers are maybe 10-12 pages. I cannot imagine having the time/will power to finish off 35 pages! And 70 as a graduate student? That’s enough to warrant forgoing the PhD! :p

      Wuthering Heights is actually, fun fact, one of the very few books I’ve cried at while reading. Cathy & Heathcliff just get me every time. If you’re interested on following my reading of the “classics,” definitely peruse the “‘Romantic Lines from Lit’ Books” category. (It only has two reviews now, but it’ll get more throughout the year.)

      Also, good for you! I’m looking forward to reading some of your book reviews. 🙂 If you’d like any recommendations, let me know!

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