Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Adult Novel Witty Erotic Satire of Well-Known British Story...

"Elizabeth did not know which was more unpleasant--the sight of her mother or that of her sister Mary, whose moustache had now been joined by a beard..."

"One Morning Mr. Bennet announced
to his family that a guest would be arriving
at Longbourn. "I have received a letter from
my cousin, William Collins, who, when I am dead,
may turn you all out of this house as soon
as he pleases,.."
Pride and Prejudice:

Hidden Lusts

By Mitzi Szereto

I admit I decided to read and review this book out of curiosity because I had never read the original Pride and Prejudice given my business education and background. After reading the book, I did a little research and confirmed that this book does faithfully follow the original story line. Check out an excellent overview plus an interesting relationship diagram of the characters. Let me quickly say that any potential reader should understand that the book primarily consists of that specified in the subtitle. Indeed, I would say that it probably should have been the main title, as that is the predominant theme...

What I am saying is that nearly every character in this novel will be sharing their hidden lusts...with you... If you don't want to read these erotic thoughts and actions, please don't buy the book.

The most fascinating thing about the book I found was the seamless way in which Szereto has merged her contributions. While I didn't compare the actual wording, I believe the tone and majority of the concepts are true to the original story that spotlights on a family by the name of Bennet who has five unmarried daughters. As the father contemplates their future, he realizes that, should he die, they will be homeless since even their home would be inherited by the next male in the family.

Mr. Collins, in fact, has also been thinking about this, but for his own reasons. Through support from a wealthy woman in his small town, he has been named rectory of Hunsford parish. But stories have started to circulate about his involvement with the young boys of the congregation and his benefactor Lady Catherine de Bourgh has demanded he get married and settle into proper married life.

Having some sense of familial responsibility, Mr. Collins decides that one of the daughters of the Bennet family would undoubtedly fit his needs. He chooses the second oldest daughter, Elizabeth, after being told that Jane, the oldest was already involved. And thus it began...

Pictures of high society women's fashion during those days has always amused me, given the propensity for the decolletage and the willingness to place a woman's breast out for view. When I saw this caricature, it so fit with the Hidden Lusts that run rampant in this adaptation that I had to include it. For surely even other women sometimes doddled:

"Elizabeth, finding herself rather annoyed at her sister, rejoined her friend Miss Lucas... Charlotte's fingers once more sought out Elizabeth's arm, stroking the exposed flesh above her glove in a manner that was not at all displeasing, particularly when they quite by accident brushed against her bosom, seeming to remain at that vicinity far longer than was prudent...

In fact, Elizabeth was quite distraught that Mr. Darcy, about whom she could not decided whether she hated or loved him,  was being pursued by a woman of his own class, who wore this type of gown, offended Elizabeth:

"That she had chosen again so inappropriate a gown to wear in mixed company was a source of amazement to Elizabeth, who considered it most impolitic for a lady to place on display the areolae. Unless she was very much mistaken, Miss Bingley appeared to have applied some form of rouge to them..." 

Readers, don't even attempt to get seriously involved in the trials and tribulations of young girls who face the possibility of being homeless unless they find suitable husbands, and, preferably, someone with whom they would fall in love. This is a racy romp that is funny--perhaps just because it is a satire of a much-loved novel?

The outrageous humor kept my interest throughout most of the novel, although toward the end it was getting a bit much for me. Still, for the appropriate adult audience, I must add my agreement that Ms. Szereto has, while honoring the original manuscript, done an excellent job in inserting those hidden lusts that could very well have been in in the minds of each and every character from the original novel. Readers--you know who you are...

Book Received
From Publisher



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