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Compulsively Mr. Darcy by Nina Benneton

Compulsively Mr. Darcy (edition 2012)

by Nina Benneton

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4210273,462 (3.33)1
Title:Compulsively Mr. Darcy
Authors:Nina Benneton
Info:Sourcebooks Landmark (2012), Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library

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Compulsively Mr. Darcy by Nina Benneton



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I was disappointed. I was so excited to find a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice...but as I worked my way through the book, I was a bit sad and disturbed. The characters were shallow, and unexplored. The author tried to make them new and interesting by adding OCD as modern dimension to Mr. Darcy...unfortunately, she failed to follow through until she would remember halfway through whatever scene and mash in a sentence where he's neatening something or cleaning. Elizabeth is an infectious disease doctor...that leaped to conclusions at a drop of the hat and had only the bare minimum of intelligence. Instead, she would misunderstand and misunderstand and misunderstand again. Both Darcy and Elizabeth were insecure blobs. The one redeeming quality of this book were the minor characters. Fitzwilliam gained more character than Darcy, and Mary Bennet completely stole the scene when she arrived. Jane and Bingley were supposed to how Darcy and Elizabeth meet...but they barely make an appearance until the ending, and then became an afterthought.

Overall, a disappointing read, but the minor characters save the book from being dumped in the "skip it" bin. ( )
  justreign | May 22, 2017 |

The best way to begin this review is to tell you that upon finishing this book, the best comparison I could find for it was the iceberg lettuce of the book world. If you know me well, you know that I despise iceberg lettuce. It's bland, completely tasteless, and lacks much in the way of nutrition. You may as well just drink water, which tastes better.

For me to compare a book to the hated iceberg lettuce, well, you know I hated the book. Hated as in despised in all possible ways and wanted to stab it.

You may be asking yourself why I bothered finishing. One reason: I HAD to see if it could possibly get worse.

It did.

And then it did again.

And again:

And yet again:

There were times when I wanted to run away screaming:

But it was such a train wreck. I couldn't NOT look.

Half the time, I had to take a moment to wonder what the heck just happened:

When I finally figured it out, I was left with kind of a stinky feeling.

There was almost NO continuity to the story. Plot lines were all over the place and then the ending deused the heck out the machina. Maybe the worst one I've ever seen.

The characters were unrelatable, insipid, and generally VERY dislikable. Elizabeth's whole purpose in life, nevermind that she volunteers at a hospital in Vietnam, is to lose her virginity. She's completely ready to give it up to a guy who was extremely rude upon their first meeting and whom she's known for all of a couple days. Also, their sex scenes? Holy HORRIBLE. At one point, the author actually says that Darcy spills his broth into Elizabeth.

What. The. Holy. Hell. Are you freaking kidding me?! Apparently, the whole purpose of this book was to get Elizabeth and Darcy in bed. Jane Austen would be turning in her grave. What a complete travesty.

(Because being uncomfortable once just wasn't enough)

Instead of being aloof, proud, and unapproachable, Mr. Darcy is the douchebag of America (although he's British). Also, maybe the neediest male lead EVER. What a complete loser. In Pride and Prejudice, we see enough of his humanity to forgive him his sins. Here? Nah. I just wanted to get all stabby on his poor excuse for an arse. He has basically nothing to recommend him. We're supposed to believe that he and Elizabeth are a perfect match, when in fact, they're probably the worst possible match on the planet. Then again, they're both so completely odious that maybe they ARE perfect for each other. At least that way, they spare the rest of us.

Jane and Charles were completely stupid, the rest of the Bennets don't hold true to character AT ALL, and Wickham ends up being a kiddie porn pusher (along with the de Bourghs). You have GOT to be kidding me. When did it become a great idea to include child pornography in a romance novel?! I'm all for artistic license, but seriously?! For. The. LOVE.

Oh, and the best part? It ends up being a Pride and Prejudice/Sense and Sensibility mash-up, because despoiling one Austen classic wasn't enough, we have to have two. You guessed it: Darcy's head of security is Colonel Brandon and the FBI investigator is Eleanor Dashwood.

Again, For. The. LOVE.

Now I know that there are those out there who'll love the book. That's fantastic and totally their right/privilege. My right and privilege is to hate it with a burning passion usually reserved for those who chew with their mouths open.

So in the end, this book is SO not invited to our next garden party. .5 Eiffel Towers and that's being very generous.

Content Advisory:
Language: Heavy
Sexuality: Heavy
Violence: Moderate ( )
  emmyson | Oct 9, 2013 |
As is perhaps unsurprising, I find Jane Austen inspired fiction to be largely disappointing. I mean, what could ever hope to compare to her original work? Still, I do not give up hope and continue to add every single book written about her characters or her to my reading list.

Compulsively Mr. Darcy is, overall, pretty fun and takes a fairly unique view of the characters and the plot. The opening scenes really captivated me, although, I must admit, that that had more to do with the setting (Da Nang in Vietnam) than anything else. I went to Vietnam during college, so I've actually been to Da Nang. I recognize the descriptions of the traffic, the spiny fruit Bingley eats in the first chapter, and some of the social rules herein described. That part was awesome.

I also thought it was pretty cool how Darcy's perfection was reenvisioned as a sever compulsive disorder. That fits so well with our overly diagnosed and medicated modern lifestyle. Charles Bingley, too, suffers from a modern problem: ADHD.

While I was initially impressed by Elizabeth's career as a doctor, I quickly became disheartened. Despite the author's constant assertions that Elizabeth is highly intelligent and respected in her field, it's hard to see her as anything but a ditz. She is such a bonehead, both in her assumptions about people and situations, and in her way of speaking. What doctor would forget to wear a condom before being tested (and what OCD person for that matter)?

All of the characters of the novel are here, in one form or another, but they are all quite different, and there are some new folks as well. I would argue that Darcy is perhaps the least changed. The Jane of this book is much more Lizzy than Lizzy, which was actually kind of interesting to see. Wickham is here, but he doesn't get to be the big bad of the story, a change I found to be rather refreshing, especially since Lydia got to be slightly different for once. Oh, and, for some strange reason, there's a crossover, because a couple of characters from Sense and Sensibility make cameo appearances.

What I liked least was all the romance novel type sex going on. Normally, this wouldn't bother me. I mean, who doesn't want to live vicariously through fictional characters? However, these scenes were not doing it for me at all. I also didn't especially like that Elizabeth was a virgin at 28, while Darcy got to be a crazy party animal in the past. What the heck, double standard?!?! The one cool thing about their relationship was that Benneton (I'm guessing this is a pen name) completely changed up the timeline. However, their romance is definitely as cheesily romantic as this song.

One more awkward thing about this novel was that it did that confusing thing where it couldn't decide whether to retell a story or just happen to have characters of the same names as those in a book do the same things. That wasn't clear. In the book, there are numerous references to the BBC productions of P&P. This is highly odd, as it seems to imply that these people just happen to have the same names as the characters but not to have noticed. This is a bad thing to do in fiction; I would also like the writers for the recent Get Smart movie to make note of this.

So yeah, if you're a romance fan, you'll probably like this, and as Austen-inspired books go, it's not too bad. There are some clever, amusing things here and it is a quick read. ( )
  A_Reader_of_Fictions | Apr 1, 2013 |
As a stand alone romance novel this is not bad at all having a hero with compulsive tendencies and a strong minded and intelligent heroine. Where it failed, I think, was in trying to immerse that story in the framework of Jane Austen's classic.

I love Jane Austen and I like different versions of her books (I am particularly fond of Juliet Archer and Melissa Nathan's updating of the stories) but I thought that this really didn't work. The author seemed to be trying to jam a completely different story into plot of P&P. The result was that there are a lot of occasions where the modern story is miles away from the original and there seemed to be too many characters for the new plot to sustain. I seriously wonder if it might not have been better for the author to write her own story as it may have benefitted significantly from being freed from the straitjacket that this exercise imposed on it.

I did like the characters very much and I did think that Mr Darcy as someone with compulsive disorder was very clever (and might have explained some of his behaviour in P&P which we tend to attribute to snobbery). Elizabeth was a strong woman character with her own mind and a delightful understanding of our hero's problems. I also thought that the misunderstanding about sexuality at the start of the book was very funny.

I sort of enjoyed this book but I was continually comparing it with P&P rather than enjoying it in its own right. It didn't quite succeed in my opinion. ( )
  AnneHudson | Dec 8, 2012 |
A thoroughly modern, magnificent re-rendering of a classic that would send Miss Austen into fits of laughter! This book sets Caroline

Bingley as a sort of Kardashianish bitch from NYC tabloid hell, and puts another spin entirely on the ever finicky Mr. Collins, for


Rife with social comedy and commentary in our age with all the famous Austen characters, but not all in predictable venues. There are

some surprises there. Great fun!There's sooo much to this book!

Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy are so well conceived you'll be beside yourself...perfectly set with chronic behaviors in modern

times. Loving that OCD on Darcy! LOL

I promise you, this is THE book to read right now!

You'll be wanting to read passages of it aloud to your friends.

From all I know about her, Jane Austen would absolutely approve.

Book groups should be making bee lines for this one...the discussions and good laughter will make for a fabulous meeting! Forget the tea and crumpets and bring on the martinis and sushi.

God only knows what you'll find happening to the familiar characters of Pride and Prejudice fame in this delightful Austen-inspired novel.

This is a wonderful book. A secret: The author says her secret ambition as a child was to become a priest. You'd never know it from
steamy Darcy and Lizzy scenes! Wonder if Miss Austen would blush or hide her face in a pillow laughing. :]

I'm giving it a solid 5 stars. ( )
  BookishDame | Apr 30, 2012 |
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To my Mr. Darcy and our children -- without them everything would be meaningless.
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"Damn Hollywood," William Darcy swore.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
For anyone obsessed with Pride & Prejudice, it's Darcy and Elizabeth like you've never see them before!

This modern take introduces us to the wealthy philanthropist Fitzwilliam Darcy, a handsome and brooding bachelor who yearns for love but doubts any woman could handle his obsessive tendencies. Meanwhile, Dr. Elizabeth Bennet has her own intimacy issues that ensure her terrible luck with men.

When the two meet up in the emergency room after Darcy's best friend, Charles Bingley, gets into an accident, Elizabeth thinks the two men are a couple. As Darcy and Elizabeth unravel their misconceptions about each other, they have to decide just how far they're willing to go to accept each other's quirky ways...
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This modern Mr. Darcy yearns for a normal life but doubts any woman could handle his obsessive compulsive disorder--he's frantic to keep everyone he loves safe. Meanwhile, infectious disease specialist Dr. Elizabeth Bennet's intimacy issues ensure that she has terrible luck with men. When the two meet up in a Vietnamese hospital after Darcy's best friend Charles Bingley gets into a cyclo accident, Elizabeth thinks the two men are a gay couple. As Darcy and Elizabeth unravel their misconceptions about each other, they have to confront how far they're willing to go to accept each other's quirky w.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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