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The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy…

The Jane Austen Book Club (original 2004; edition 2005)

by Karen Joy Fowler

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5,357177819 (2.96)261
Title:The Jane Austen Book Club
Authors:Karen Joy Fowler
Info:Plume (2005), Edition: 1St Edition, Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Tags:Read, Read in 2012

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The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler (2004)


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English (169)  German (2)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  All (176)
Showing 1-5 of 169 (next | show all)
I'm honestly not sure what to say about this book...I think that I just didn't get it? The characters were introduced by a narrator who used the words "us" and "we" yet never made it clear if they were even one of the members or some weird omniscient being who also felt like they were part of the book club. Honestly, this confused me greatly and I thought about it during the entire read. I just wanted to know who the fuck was speaking!

Narration aside, I didn't connect to or feel for any of the characters. They all felt a little flat and I often wondered why they were "friends" or even in a book club together, as they didn't seem to like each other very much. There was very little discussion about Jane's books (which of course, would be totally boring if it was just other people gabbing on about each one of her books for hundreds of pages) and I failed to pick up on any parallels between the character's lives and those of Jane's characters. Perhaps I missed them? Or maybe there weren't any and I was looking for all the wrong things in this book.

Sadly there was nothing satisfying about this book and the romance at the end came out of left field and just had me going ????

I will still try to watch the movie in hopes that it gives me a little more insight or at least some feelings for the characters. I just feel like this book is too sophisticated for me or something. ( )
  MillieHennessy | Feb 21, 2017 |
I love Jane Austen so I wanted to love this book. Instead I nearly quit reading it. It was just sort of empty. Of all of the stories I found Bernadette's the most interesting. I can't put my finger on what was lacking that made me so bored with this book, but the sad truth is that the best part to me was the section of quotes at the end (in chronological order, so you could get an idea as to how Miss Austen's works have been perceived over time). ( )
1 vote aurelas | Dec 23, 2016 |
The Jane Austen Book Club focuses on a group of women, and one man, who come together to read the works of Austen. They all have different personalities, but all are cut off from the world in some way. It's an interesting progression as they explore Austen's themes and each open up to the outer world a bit. ( )
  gildaclone | Dec 18, 2016 |
Eh. Not enough Austen, too much modern-day fake angst. I know Fowler can write; I want to read her new one. I did not like this one, though. ( )
  jjaylynny | Nov 12, 2016 |
supposedly this is an extraordinary NY Times bestseller, which makes me wonder what the hell happened because I thought this book was a giant snoozefest. Jane Austen is probably rolling over in her grave after this, as she should be. There was nothing compelling or otherwise engaging about this book for me. ( )
  ChrisWay | Jul 5, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 169 (next | show all)
The real problem, though, is that the book club remains a convenience for gathering the novel's capsule stories. Fowler does not contrive any pleasing symmetries between her stories and Austen's, and the characters' discussions of Austen's novels are thin and uninteresting. They manage little more than "I think Catherine Moreland's a charming character", versus "She's very, very silly. Implausibly gullible." Fowler may have faith in Austen, but she does not trust her characters to make you interested in their particular readings. And she is certainly not prepared to make these characters as foolish or parti pris as some of the readers whose judgments Austen so mercilessly recorded.
added by KayCliff | editThe Guardian, John Mulland (Oct 30, 2004)

» Add other authors (24 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Karen Joy Fowlerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Schraf, KimberlyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised, or a little mistaken. - Jane Austen, Emma.
For Sean Patrick Jmes Tyrrell,
Missing and forever missed.
First words
We sat in a circle on Jocelyn's screened porch at dusk, drinking cold sun tea, surrounded by the smell of her twelve acres of fresh-mowed California grass.
Above Daniel's head, one leaf, and only one leaf, ticked about on the walnut tree. How exacting, how precise the breeze! It smelled of the river, a green smell in a brown month. She took a deep breath. (p.243)
In general, librarians enjoyed special requests. A reference librarian is someone who enjoys the chase. When librarians read for pleasure, they often pick a good mystery. They tend to be cat people as well, for reasons more obscure. (p.213)
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Jane Austen as a
Plot device, badly written
Drivel: not worth it.

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0452286530, Paperback)

In California’s central valley, five women and one man join to discuss Jane Austen’s novels. Over the six months they get together, marriages are tested, affairs begin,
unsuitable arrangements become suitable, and love happens. With her eye for the frailties of human behavior and her ear for the absurdities of social intercourse, Karen Joy
Fowler has never been wittier nor her characters more appealing. The result is a delicious dissection of modern relationships.

Dedicated Austenites will delight in unearthing the echoes of Austen that run through the novel, but most readers will simply enjoy the vision and voice that, despite two centuries of separation, unite two great writers of brilliant social comedy.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:23 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

As six Californians get together to form a book club to discuss the novels of Jane Austen, their lives are turned upside down by troubled marriages, illicit affairs, changing relationships, and love.

(summary from another edition)

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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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