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Death Comes to Pemberley by P D James

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annis
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Death Comes to Pemberley by P D James

Post by annis » Wed November 23rd, 2011, 7:52 am

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In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed...

It was with great anticipation that I opened my copy of Death Comes to Pemberley, PD James' new historical mystery/Jane Austen pastiche, set six years after the conclusion of Pride and Prejudice. I fully expected to love it, I really wanted to love it, but by the time I was half way through, I realised to my dismay that not only had I lost any interest whatsoever in whodunit and why, but for two pins I could have happily murdered most of the characters myself for being so unforgivably tiresome.

What can I say? I love the work of both Austen and PD James, and thought this would be a marriage made in heaven, but while Death Comes to Pemberley is a worthy stylistic achievement and psychological study, oh dear, it's dull, dull, dull!

Although James captures Austen's gently ironical tone beautifully, it lacks animation; unfortunately she fails to emulate Austen's lively banter and sparkling, incisive wit or her graceful sense of comedic timing. It would be unreasonable to expect a frenetic pace in a story set at a Georgian country estate and based around leisurely day-to-day domestic arrangements. However, the pace of James' stolid narrative could at best be called stately, at worst glacial. Sheer tedium is all too soon exposed as the real killer of this murder mystery, and quite possibly, rendering both Darcy and Elizabeth boring its true crime.

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Chatsworth House, Jane Austen's inspiration for Pemberley.
Last edited by annis on Sat November 26th, 2011, 11:41 pm, edited 31 times in total.

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Alisha Marie Klapheke
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Post by Alisha Marie Klapheke » Sun March 4th, 2012, 3:58 am

I'm with you, Annis. I just cannot continue. It is too dull. I only want true Austen and this is not it.

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