Sunday, November 4, 2012

Book Review - Pride & Prejudice With a Side of Grits


Pride & Prejudice With a Side of Grits

By: Jane Austen & Mary Calhoun Brown
Publisher: Wentworth & Collins Publishers
Publication Date: September 2012
ISBN: 978-0-6156-7583-1
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: November 5, 2012

One of the most loved books of all time is Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. This amazing novel has lasted through a century and will last a century more, because of the incredible romance of Lizzy and Mr. Darcy that maintains its fascination, humor and elegance for readers of all genres. Pride & Prejudice was so incredible and so well-loved that it has spawned an abundance of novels that imitate Austen’s memorable characters, with the latest parody being Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. However, there has been no ‘re-telling’ that has ever been as funny as this!

Is the story the same? Basically. But instead of beginning with Mrs. Bennet screaming at Mr. Bennet about how he must go to greet the new gentleman who just came into town by the name of Mr. Bingley, so they can marry off one of their daughters to him, we begin with Flo screaming at her husband Benny, (in the same frantic tone), that the double-wide on the other side of the Park N’ Shop has been rented by a Nashville ‘feller’ named Buford, who is most definitely rich considering he tricked the government into giving him both welfare AND disability checks. Yup, that’s right! Buford is just right for their little Janie.

The girls are still the same: Janie is the pretty one; Lizzy is pretty too, but compared to Janie she’s “uglier ‘n home-made soap.” Lydie is the girl about town. In fact, she likes to wear jeans so tight that if she had a nickel in her back pocket people could see whether it was heads or tails. And, well…you get the point.

Buford is the new buck in town and Benny will have to fold and go meet him. Sending over a free coupon for an oil change just isn’t going to cut it. Soon a party is thrown (by the way, these scenes are so hysterical there isn’t enough room to write about every single one in a review). But, yes, soon Mr. Darcy…oops, I mean Dutch, enters the story, and he turns Flo off in about a second and a half. He’s wearing his Sunday best yet he has the sourest expression on his face. He has a very big farm called Pembrook, has money up to his knees, but Dutch is definitely not an easy guy to get to know. And when he starts romancing Lizzy with his put-downs and insults against her kin, he finally meets the one woman who will not treat him like he’s ‘snot on silver,’ whether he likes it or not.

Yes, Mr. Wickham, the bad guy, is here. His name is Joe and he takes poor Lydie off to Dollywood, embarrassing the family forever. But Dutch jumps in to help Lizzy’s family and figures out that deep down inside Lizzy is the girl for him. Cooter (Mr. Collins) as well as Charlotte, Lizzy’s best friend, are also here to enlighten the reader.

In the end, there will be two factions of readers out there: The die-hard Austen lovers who will find this to be a sin against nature as much as the ‘Zombies’ were; and others who will laugh all night long, share the scenes with their friends, and put this one on their ‘Top Ten’ lists for 2012. Ms. Calhoun Brown deserves an A+!

Quill Says: If Ms. Austen were alive today, she’d sit on the porch with this book in her hand and laugh until she cried! Excellent job!