Monday, June 15, 2009
Review: The Private Diary of Mr. Darcy, by Maya Slater
Well, here we go again. Another “sequel,” or Jane Austen spinoff. The Private Diary of Mr. Darcy is just that—Mr. Darcy’s story as told through his own eyes.
The story covers pretty much the same time period as Pride and Prejudice, and is essentially a retelling of the famous novel—with none of Pride and Prejudice’s wit or humor. She even steals lines directly from Austen! Slater creates nothing truly new with this novel, but at the same time she doesn’t even stick with what we know of the characters from Jane Austen’s novel (it’s often overlooked, but in Austen’s book, Mr. Bingley has about four sisters). It was hard for me to believe, too, that Darcy would be friends with Byron.
Nor is there any kind of historical accuracy (in many places in the book, for example, Darcy refers to Caroline Bingley and Mr. and Mrs. Hurst by their first names, where in reality they would have been known as Miss Bingley, Mrs. Hurst, and Hurst). All the characters in this book are one-dimensional, and in the end you don’t really know much about Mr. Darcy, except for what he does all day long. There’s no emotion or feeling, and I finished this book with a kind of flat feeling. Slater’s Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet have none of the chemistry that made Austen’s characters so appealing. The constant mentions of sex were pretty bad, too. This book is just another Pride and Prejudice spinoff. It reminds me of why I shouldn't be reading these kinds of books.