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Saturday, August 7, 2010


The first book I finished since starting this blog is the Jane Austen classic, Emma. True to much of the fine English literature written at the time, Emma features a lot of irrelevant material about nothing in particular- thus adding length without substance. Most of the characters are engaging, and the storyline itself is quite good, but it's kind of a drag to read.

Jane Austen herself once commented that she didn't think many people would like the title character. I can only assume that this is because Emma is a spoiled, self-important twit who thinks she knows everything... If you took the vapid, self-absorbed hotness of your least favorite high school cheerleader/model/actress, multiplied it by the know-it-all behavior of Hermione Granger from Harry Potter (minus the magic and scholarly pursuits) and divided THAT by the matchmaking prowess of Patti from T.V's Millionaire Matchmaker, you would have the character of Emma.

To make a really long story short: Emma is a meddling twit who credits herself for her sister getting married. This inspires her to try to set up a girl she befriends, Harriet, with a guy who is totally out of her league (Mr. Elton) while discouraging Harriet from marrying the guy who is in love with her and is totally perfect for her- all because he doesn't have enough money for Emma to think he's important. A good family friend who is also Emma's brother-in-law tries to tell Emma that her notions are totally whack, but she's too much of a dumb bitch to believe him. Mr. Elton turns out to be a total dick who wants to marry Emma for her money, thus Harriet's stupid little heart (nice girl, but kind of a moron) gets broken. Mr. Elton instead marries an even bigger twit than Emma, and everyone with half an ounce of sense wants to punch her face in; but no one does because it's England and they all have exceptional manners and sexy accents. A whole bunch of people who have no bearing on the body of the story weave in and out of the picture doing random B.S. and it turns out that two of them were secretly engaged the whole time (oh, snap!) and it creates a scandal and a lot of embarrassment because everyone has too good of manners and too much free time. Harriet decides she has the hots for Emma's brother-in-law because he was nice to her, and that makes Emma realize that she's totally in love with him. Turns out he's been in love with her since she was 13 (eeeeew, CREEEEPY!!!!) and poor Harriet gets screwed over again. Then the guy who wasn't 'good enough' for Harriet comes back into the picture, and she decides that she loves him no matter what Emma thinks- which is super convenient because Emma eventually realizes that she is a spoiled, self-important twit and has a major change of heart. Everyone gets married and lives happily ever after, and by the end of the book you no longer want to beat Emma's head in.


  1. Amusing depiction of the story. :) I've thought about doing something similar to this a lot recently, what with my never ending supply of crap I read. LOL. Look forward to your next post.

  2. I actually like Emma, although it can be a bit tedious and she is a bit of a twit. What I really like is Pride and Prejudice, but that is partly because Colin Firth (from the 1995 BBC production) is my secret boyfriend, meaning it's secret from him. What I love about Austen is that she's really funny and, in many ways, her satire still rings true.

  3. We all need at least one secret boyfriend. Mine is Johnny Depp, and I've had a thing for him since I was about 3 or 4. My first 'funny feeling' was for Johnny, but he's way too cool to care. Typical! I'll get to Pride and Prejudice soon- I'm going in a kind of random order and trying not to do authors back to back so I don't get burned out on a certain style of writing. Right now I'm reading King Lear. I love Shakespeare, but reading Old English often requires me to Google some words...

  4. Have you seen the movie, Clueless; it's the modern (well, late 20th century) version of Emma?

  5. I have! I love that movie! It's a fairly good adaptation in a lot of ways, and a bit off in others. It keeps the feel of the book while adding enough new/different material to make it more original.