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?