Book #29: Emma

Ugh, Jane Austen.

That’s my reaction every time I have to read a friggin’ Jane Austen book. A lot of people LOVE Jane Austen. I don’t understand why. Granted, I’ve only read Northanger Abbey and (most of) Pride and Prejudice, but I just DON’T like her work.

I’ve tried to read Pride and Prejudice three times. I think maybe I finally finished it on the last attempt. I’m not sure why, but for some reason I just can’t deal with Austen’s writing style. Or maybe it’s her plots.

But whatever the reason, I just can’t like Jane Austen, no matter how badly I (sometimes) want to. Sometimes I read quotes of things she’s said and I love her snark. I also really enjoyed how sarcastic and snarky Northanger was, though, so maybe I’ll like Emma more than I’m expecting to.

Austen said that Emma is a heroine that “No one but [her]self will much like.” For some reason this makes me certain that I’ll like Emma. I don’t know why. But from what I’ve read and how it seems like she’s like “Oh, I’m never going to marry, it’s not my style.” I quite agree with Emma on that front, so maybe I’ll like her.
~ page 160
Nope. Nope. I don’t like Emma. She is the worst.

I also don’t really like this book. It drives me insane. I am reading it very slowly because I cannot bring myself to read it. Like, I was sitting on a bus for five hours and I was BORED OUT OF MY MIND, but I could NOT make myself read because I knew that I would have to read Emma. Jane Austen makes me read LESS.

I feel really bad hating on Jane Austen so much.  I know her writing is good. I know that she was kind of groundbreaking. I know all that. I know the social context of her novels, too. I understand why she’s such a big deal.

I just don’t like it. And that’s okay. I’m giving Emma a chance, still.

I mean, I have a transatlantic flight tomorrow. I get to spend eighteen hours with Emma and Ms. Austen (or until I FINALLY finish this book).



2 responses to this post.

  1. Yeah, Emma’s one of the ones I didn’t read. I really liked both Northanger Abbey and Pride & Prejudice, though. Emma (the girl) is supposed to be kind of obnoxious and nosy, I guess. I remember from the BBC miniseries she just kept ruining everything.


  2. I’m thinking I’m in trouble as I’m teaching Emma to 16 year olds. I must admit Emma was my least favourite but as I love Austen that is still way ahead of most books on the planet! But just think that Emma is you at 18 – making mistakes, knowing everything, keen to organise everyone else and feeling a trifle special as a human being. Now I know nothing about you but I know that this was me at that age and Emma has to basically grow up and learn some basic truths.


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