Saturday, May 24, 2014

Movie vs. Book - Austenland

I'm a little bit embarrassed about this one. A few of my friends on Goodreads had rated Austenland with 5 stars, so I added it to my list.  Then when I was driving to Minnesota in April, I searched my to-read list for some shorter books, aiming for a 5 hour audiobook.  This one made the cut.

The premise is a 30-something woman (Jane) who is so obsessed with the romance in Jane Austen novels (and Mr. Darcy from Pride & Prejudice, in particular), that she can't have a healthy relationship in the real world.  She ends up going on vacation to a living history resort, where everyone acts like they are in an Austen novel.  It was light and funny and ridiculous.

Then I saw that there was a movie, starring Keri Russell.  So I had to watch it.  Adding to the awesomeness of this film is that it also features Gaius BaltarDr Quinn, Medicine Woman, and the bend and snap lady from Legally Blonde!  How can it not be good, right?  Well, it was even sillier than the book, but I think that's appropriate, given the subject matter.

There were quite a few small changes, like how Jane ends up going to the resort, and the details around her various love interests.  Overall, I think the integrity of the book was pretty much intact.  But then again, I wasn't in love with the book, so perhaps I cared less than I would about a book I really liked.      

If you are a big fan of Jane Austen, you might enjoy the book and/or the movie.  I have a fairly neutral opinion about Austen.  I've only read Pride & Prejudice, but I've seen the movies for Emma and Sense & Sensibility.   I'm sure I missed some of the references in the book to the other novels.   And for what it's worth, I enjoyed Pride & Prejudice, but kind of thought Mr. Darcy was a jerk.  Why does everyone love him so much??

Anyway, if you are looking for a quick and light read, this just might be the book for you.  Have you read it, or seen the movie?  Any big Austen fans out there?  


  1. I've seen the movie at redbox and was curious how it was. It seems pretty silly and lighthearted. Maybe I'll give it a shot (but it will probably have to be when Matt is out of town)! ;)

  2. I was interested in this movie, not realizing there was a book. I feel the same way about Austen as you probably do. Would you say this is a good light summer read? I've found I've been flying through books lately and have been looking for more to add to my to-read list.