I didn't enjoy this book. The scenes, you can tell, were forced, while some didn't even fit in with the original works. I don't believe one could even begin to believe that these excerpts could have been true.
This weeks review is Pride and Promiscuity, The Lost Sex Scenes of Jane Austen by David Auburn (pen name of Dennis Ashton) and Arielle Eckstut.
The book is set up as a conglomeration of papers found by the author and verified by an Austen scholar. Complete with introduction, the scholar lets us know her feelings on Austen addicts. Something the book makes an effort at poking fun of.
These people who made them were usually non-professional, and sometimes rather deranged, Austen fanatics who after spending years rereading Pride and Prejudice (or more likely watching the BBC miniseries version) had decided the novel was, in fact, a disguised allegory of the Life of Christ or that Jane Austen was actually a homosexual man writing under a pseudonym, or some other outré interpretation.
When you pick this book up, realize that you are not going to be coddled with love-making and courtship. Auburn and Eckstut wanted to have fun with the idea that Austen was writing sex scenes. As ludicrous as that sounds, it does get a few chuckles in a few places, falls completely flat in some and in others, the read becomes horrifically uncomfortable.
An interesting aspect of the book is the fact that it takes on a few of Austens issues head on. Mansfield Park is sometimes criticized for being incestuous. (Did I write sometimes? I meant to write all the time.) The author seems to take the bull by the horns by creating a love scene between the Crawfords while having them discourse over Fanny and Edmund. By no means is the author drawing any great literary comparisons. It is simply fairly amusing she chose this approach.
Her treatment of Mr. and Mrs. Collins is perhaps the books saving grace. This would be a favorite, if forced to choose. Charlotte is given a riding crop and works out some frustrations on Mr. Collins. The icing on the cake is who gave her the crop. Oh raptures!
The author does a well enough job tying Austens voice into the newly found pages. I found it humorous that a riddle was used in Mr. Churchills scene with Mr. Knightley. Riddles being such a favorite pastime in Austens Emma. However that was the only thing I found amusing about the scene.
Part of the books failing is the authors attempt at trying every sexual proclivity in each of Austens novels. Variety is the spice of life, but perhaps using it to overshadow a subpar writing style is not the way to go. I found myself wondering what form of sexual deviancy I would find when I next turned the page, but was not looking forward to whether or not any witty or inventive writing would get me there. This was a failing.
The book is not believable, but the author does not even make the merest attempt at this endeavor. It is truly a lark, a silly one in some places and naughty one in almost all of it. Jane Austen would definitely NOT approve. This is NOT for purists.
I give it a 2 out of 5 stars.
You can read more of my reviews and interviews with authors here: http://www.examiner.com/x-45045-Jane-Austen-Sequel-Examiner
The critics have commented that Jane Austen doesn't have any real love scenes (much less sex scenes). The author of this parody seems to feel it necessary to make up the lack. Some readers may greatly enjoy this, although to this reviewer the whole is quite tasteless and adds nothing to our enjoyment of Austen's wonderful works.