24 August 2009

Pamela Aidan is da bomb...

...if you like Jane Austen fanfiction, that is. Her peerless Mr.Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman trilogy, which tells the story of Pride and Prejudice from Darcy's point of view, is the best Austen fanfic I've ever read. And believe you me, I've read a ton of it since I've been back at the Odyssey.

Admittedly, the middle tome, Duty and Desire is skippable, as there's very little Lizzy/Darcy interaction. Aidan has basically created an entire Ann Radcliffesque gothic tale of mystery and madness that takes place during that time between Darcy's taking leave of Netherfield and his arrival at Rosings Park. Besides a few touching interludes with Miss Georgiana and a breakout role for Darcy's valet, Fletcher, there's not enough of the P&P story to make one linger over it for very long. (Not that it's bad. It's just not the story I was longing to read.)

Not so for the first and third books in the trilogy, however. In An Assembly Such as This and These Three Remain, Aidan manages the balance between a modern writer's sensibilities and the original Regency setting marvelously. It's all appropriate and right and fitting and after completing the trilogy the reader is left with the feeling that she knows Mr. Darcy quite intimately.

Not too intimately, of course. Aidan is never coarse as so many fanfic writers are, throwing Darcy & Lizzy into bed every 5 pages or so. I actually read one sequel to P&P that was pretty much all sex, all the time. No, really. The author said she set out to write about the year following their wedding but ended up only writing about the first three months because Lizzy and Darcy were heading for the boudoir a few times every chapter. And it wasn't even the good kind of smut. More of the "his loins were on fire for her" and "she yearned to be as one with him" nonsense. I mean honestly...Either make with the sexy talk or delicately allude to their newly awakened physical awareness of each other. But don't do it halfway and expect either type of reader to be satisfied. I'm just sayin'.

So I digressed a little bit. But for all of you out there who love P&P and want just a little bit more of the story, Aidan's books are the way to go. They're the most satisfying of the 100 or so various sequels and novels inspired by Austen's works that I've read. 

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