Austenland, as you can imagine from the title, deals with Jane Austen. It reminds me a lot of Bridget Jones's Diary, but cleaner, and more fantastical. I don't remember anything especially R-rated about BJD, but the movie was R-rated, so maybe there was something in the book and I've just forgotten. It's basically the same story as any modern day Jane Austen connected book, a thirty-something girl is obsessed with Jane Austen, more specifically Mr. Darcy (Colin Firth included). She compares all the men she meets and dates to Darcy and therefore, has been rather unsuccessful in the love department. She ends up with a two week trip to a sort of Austen resort where she dresses and plays apart along with other guests and actors. There's a Mr. Darcy of sorts, love, misunderstandings, etc.
I liked this book. It was fun and quick and entertaining. I'm also not a huge Austen or Colin Firth fan. I've read that devoted Austen fans hate the book (I'm not sure about devoted Colin Firth fans). I read Pride and Prejudice in high school and absolutely hated it. I read it again for a Literature of Women class in college and loved it. And I've read it again, for fun, since then. Once I discovered that I actually like Jane Austen, I've read Persuasion and Emma, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed. But that's all I've read so far. And I didn't see the Colin Firth, BBC version of Pride and Prejudice until sometime last year. [And due to the library I checked it out from having lost one of the two dvds in one of their sets, I watched it backwards. Starting with disc two, then realizing I needed to check out the second half, then realizing that "the second half" was in fact the first half. I just thought the people who made the movie had decided to tell the story in a different order, with flash forwards and flashbacks, etc.]
Back to the book. It wasn't highly intellectual, but that isn't often something I require of a novel. I like books for entertainments sake. It's like watching a movie for escapism or fantasy. That's what a book is to me. So I enjoyed this story. Although I didn't thoroughly enjoy the ending. It seemed abrupt and weird and still sort of left you hanging. That aside, it was a fun read.
But now I'm curious, Jamie, and others, what did you think? I'm worried that Jamie has read it and thought this was the worst book written and is right this minute forming a new opinion of me. Have you read it Jamie, or were you just picking my brain to see if you should waste your time?
As for picking of brains, has anyone read Eat, Pray, Love? What did you think? I keep checking it out from the library and having to return it before I get around to reading it because there's a waiting list. Is it a must read?