Rating: 3 out of 5
I’m over halfway done with Frankenstein, and I’m looking forward to reviewing it soon, but in the meantime, I have a fun book to share with you all! I recently received a graphic novel adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and even though I don’t officially count comics toward my reading quota, I figured that you would be intrigued to hear about it!
Given to me as a souvenir from India, the book is published by Kalyani Navyug Media Pty. Ltd., adapted by Laurence Sach, and illustrated by Rajesh Nagulakonda. It’s part of a series commonly known as Campfire Graphic Novels, and the publisher has adapted other classics, such as Oliver Twist, The Jungle Book, and Alice in Wonderland.
Those who know me have heard me admit that Pride and Prejudice is one of the few books that I did not finish. I read about fifty pages before I became so frustrated with how superficial the characters were about wealth and marriage that I gave the novel back to the library without completing it.
Granted, I realize that Austen was making valid points about the cultural norms of the time, but I believe that other writers addressed them without creating vapid characters who are no better than ‘clucking hens’ in my mind. I preferred the stories of Edith Wharton, Kate Chopin, and the Bronte sisters for their superior writing and better developed characters.
So did this graphic novel change my mind at all? Despite my resolution of keeping an open mind, this adaptation only solidified my negative first impression. By condensing the story to about 100 illustrated pages, the plot and characters become even more watered down. People’s opinions are more trite and their decisions take longer leaps of faith to comprehend.
I felt that Mr. Darcy was an absolute jerk most of the time, and I often wanted to slap Elizabeth’s mother across her shallow face. The only character that I felt sympathy for was Mr. Bennet, because I respect a person who can stay witty surrounded by all that nonsense.
Ultimately, I rated this higher for its impressive illustrations and unique medium, but I am hesitant about its ability to encourage me to give Austen a second chance. I think that I have decided to try reading other novels of hers, since I need to learn to appreciate her style before returning to a book that turned me off so badly.
Would you be interested in reading a graphic novel adaptation, and if so, which one? Let me know your thoughts about comics, Austen, and everything in between in the comments!