Six Degrees of Separation – August 2017 – Pride and Prejudice

I spotted this meme on the outstanding blogs of Susan at A Life in Books and Marina at Finding Time to Write. If you haven’t visited their blogs I’d recommend you do for insightful reviews, bookish observations and original poetry. The meme was created by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best.

From what I can gather each month starts from a different book and the aim is to move from the inital book to the sixth book with one link from the previous title. I may have got the gist of it completely wrong but seeing as this month’s starter book is Pride and Prejudice I thought I had to give it a go.

Subject to countless adaptations, with rumours of another in the pipeline, Pride and Prejudice has been imprinted on many a mind. The book is of course infintely superior to any adaptation. The insight and wit of Jane Austen, her comments on society and women’s position in it are dampened down somewhat.

My favourite Austen novel has to be Persuasion. Having read it many times, three times this year and counting, I have to date never attempted to review it for I feel my words would fail to express the brilliance of the novel. Dripping with sarcasm, biting in it’s wit towards the role of class in society and women’s subjugation it also contains perhaps the greatest ever love letter. Copied brazenley from Marina’s choice whilst she mentions the adaptation to feature Rupert Penry-Jones I would refer to that to feature Ciaran Hinds as Captain Wentworth.

Ciaran Hinds is also known for his portrayal of Edward Fairfax Rochester in Jane Eyre. Another book I have re-read countless times, there is something endlessly fascinating and entertaining about the quiet and retiring governess and her development as a strong, principled, independent woman, determined to take control of her life and not be confined by conventions.

Jane Eyre features heavily in The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. This bitingly funny novel is the start of a series to feature literary detective Thursday Next. When Jane Eyre is kidnapped, Thursday has a race against time to find her before readers discover Jane is missing from the book. Having to contend with a time travelling father, an arch villian who refuses to play ball and dealing with her pet Dodo this book is a riotous ode to the literary world. It is the book I wish I could have written. It also happens to have one the funniest and memorable opening lines I’ve ever read. A book about books for book lovers.

Another book with a memorable opening line is Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent. Starting with the words ‘My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.’ Such words draw the reader in to a dark tale of obsession, maniupalation and mania. The reader needs to know who Annie Doyle is, and why the narrator’s husband killed her. A book where the narrator is not all they seem, as soon becomes apparent, this is a dark and engaging read.

Someone else adept at using the narrator to power a story, to misdirect and to deceive was Agatha Christie. One more famous example is The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. Perhaps remembered more by many people through the adapation featuring David Suchet as the eponymous Hercule Poirot, the novel itself is a shining example of how an author can manipulate a reader through the character guiding the narrative. It is one I have not read for many, many years, but one I want to read again soon.

So there we have it from Pride and Prejudice to The Murder of Roger Ackroyd in six simple steps. Where would your choices take you?

 

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14 Comments Add yours

  1. MarinaSofia says:

    Excellent chain, my dear Janet (and thank you for the kind mention of my blog). I see I’ll have to catch up with both adaptations of Persuasion – I’ve always avoided it, because I had such clear images of how they look and behave in my head, and couldn’t bear to be disappointed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. janetemson says:

      I know what you mean, I’m always aware of the risk that my memory of the book will be altered by an adaptation. The Ciaran Hind’s version is much closer to the book than the Rupert Penry-Jones version but I enjoy them both. Plus I find myself noticing which parts of the books are missed.

      Like

  2. Thanks for the mention, Janet. Delighted that you’ve joined in! I loved The Eyre Affair – absolutely hilarious.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. janetemson says:

      You’re welcome. Thanks for highlighting the meme to me. It was fun. And it’s been years since I read The Eyre Affair. I really need to remedy that! You are right – it is hilarious.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this! What a fantastic chain, & I completely agree with what you’ve said about Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

    Liked by 1 person

    1. janetemson says:

      Thank you, I did have fun giving it a go. And I really do need to read Roger Ackroyd again soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. BiblioManiac says:

    What a great idea for a post!! Clever linking! Really enjoyed this Janet!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. janetemson says:

      Thanks Katherine. It was fun to do, though I got stuck for a while after The Eyre Affair until inspiration struck 🙂

      Like

  5. Great chain Janet. Excellent idea. I was intrigued to see how each link 🙂

    Like

    1. janetemson says:

      I wish I could claim credit but I can’t. I didn’t think I could get a feasible chain but it was fun to do. I’ll have to see what next month’s book is 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Was connected…. (sorry hit send too soon !!)

    Like

  7. Kate W says:

    Thanks for joining in! I almost started my chain with a book with a memorable opening line (the book that I was going to use was Canada by Richard Ford, which begins with “First I’ll tell you about the robbery our parents committed. Then about the murders, which happened later.”) but ended up in a different direction entirely.

    Like

    1. janetemson says:

      It was so much fun. I’d never even thought of P&P as a famous opening line – I immediately thought Persuasion! I’ve not read Canada but I do like that opening line. I love how everyone ends up in a different direction, with completely different books 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Kate W says:

        Maybe not famous but at least recognisable!

        Like

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