I am not sure why, of all the recent books I’ve read, this one made me so angry. Especially that by all account it is not the worst book I’ve read recently, just possibly the laziest!
Just a quick background, to those who are not familiar with the book, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries was a 2012 transmedia project which was a modernize version of Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice. It was (at least in my opinion) one of the better (if not the best) recent interpretation of the book, and overall a very good modernization of the tale.
The book, which came out a few years after the project ended, is a fictional account of the video’s narrative (which is a modernize version of P&P, it is all very meta), as well as some parts which were not mentioned on the videos or the other forms of media the project used. It sort of acts as a Lizzie blog entries between episodes, adding some extra information as well as expended on Lizzie’s felling or reactions to specific events.
Nothing about this book is particularly bad, or offensive. The writing is fine, the base story is always good, but everything about this book was just lazy.
Here are some things that pissed me off in no particular order:
- This version of Lizzie Bennet is an awful person! I have to give all the credit to Ashely Clements whose charm managed to make web video Lizzie a loveable character (to give credit, when credit is due, they did a pretty good job in making Lizzie realize that she was awful)
- Unlike, in the book, where both Lizzie and Darcy understand the error of their ways and become better people. In the Lizzie Bennet Dairies, the only one who goes through any realization is Lizzie! Now in the videos Darcy doesn’t actually appear in many episodes and so the lack of character development can be attribute to it, but the book expends on Darcy and his character and yet, he never goes to through the process that book Darcy goes thorough
- STOP NAME DROPPING YOUR PRODUCER AS AWAY TO APPEAR META, IT DOESN’T WORK
- One of the thing that didn’t work in the show was the reason why Bing Li left Jane, the show expends on it a bit more and it is even worse reason. And I won’t spoil too much (meaning I will spoil everything), but Bing Li ghosted Jane because he saw her being kissed by another guy- which makes him a total asshole, and Jane should have kicked him out of her life the moment she heard why. This is the internet age, people can chat about thing in social media!!!
- With everything that the book expends on, for some absurd reason, in the two more-pivotal story moment (Darcy’s confession, Lizzie/Darcy love declaration), the writers opt to just add the video transcript instead of possibly expending on the scene and/or Lizzie feelings in it. The thing is, if I wanted the transcript of the video, I just would have watched the video
- like a lot of book versions of P&P, this one also directly lifts quote from the book (something that the video was pretty good about avoiding).
- Some parts that the book expends on, kinda revels the weakness of the modernization, some thing just don’t work that well in a modern setting. Where that web series was smart, the book wasn’t
The book is not without merits (we have more Mary stuff in it, and I would like just a video series about Mary now), but it felt unnecessary and kind of a cash grab. If you like P&P and you are interested in a good modern version of it, watch the web series!