Book Reviews of The Jane Austen Book Club

The Jane Austen Book Club
The Jane Austen Book Club
Author: Karen Joy Fowler
ISBN-13: 9780399151613
ISBN-10: 0399151613
Publication Date: 4/26/2004
Pages: 304
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.

3 stars, based on 169 ratings
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

22 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Jane Austen Book Club on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Just finished reading this book this weekend and would have to say this book gets a "skip it" review by me. I had checked it out of the library (prior to joining paperbackswap) as I had seen it on a shelf at B&N store. Please note I have not read through any Jane Austen books myself, I have skipped around P&P, but didn't read all of it.

The Jane Austen Book Club story itself is sweet, even though it was hard to keep the characters names straight. Had the title been "A tribute to Jane Austen and EVERYTHING you ever wanted to know about her books and references to her books" then I would have been warned. There were just too many instances where I felt like I was left out on the story because of the continual references to Austen's work itself and there was an implied importance to the story that was lost on me.

The author is creative and talented, just didn't work for me given my NON Austen background. It appears to me if you are a Jane Austen fan having READ all of her books and know all of her characters you would love this book, as it would give you the opportunity to vicariously be in a modern day book club with her books as the centerpiece.

The book did bring up some names of some science fiction authors that I will check out.

This is a book I would not recommend to my friends who have limited leisure time to read, nor would I recommend it to anyone who isn't familiar with Austen's works, UNLESS you want to dig in and start learning all of it.
reviewed The Jane Austen Book Club on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
I was surprised at how much I liked this book. I hate to say it but anything with 'book club' in the title makes me think the book might be a bit trite; but I was pleasantly surprised. I loved the characters, and the way the author tied in Austen but didn't overdo it and make the book inaccessible. It really is a great story as well as a contemporary tribute to the essence of Jane Austen's writing. Highly recommended.
reviewed The Jane Austen Book Club on + 69 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I had been avoiding this book because I've managed to live this long and never read a Jane Austen novel...and I was an English major! I was worried that the book was going to be more about the books than the characters. While there were a few parts that would have been more fun if I had read Austen's works, this is not a novel about Jane Austen, but the six people who are reading her.

I loved how each chapter was a window into a different character's life and really enjoyed getting to know them individually and seeing how they worked in the group's dynamics.

A satisfying read that has, of course, made me want to read Austen, which I think will make the book club happy.
reviewed The Jane Austen Book Club on + 55 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This is a dry, witty, satirical, slender little story that made me pause and re-read certain sentences again, asking myself, "Did Fowler really go there?" Indeed, she did. The book focuses on a group of middle-class Californians, mostly women, who meet every month in an "All Jane Austen, All the Time" book club. The characters' reflections on Jane Austen's books offer insights into the choices they've made about their own lives. (The book is related in the plural first-person viewpoint, as "we," a brilliant strategy.) The book contains many stories nestled within stories, which makes it a little digressive, but hang on, it's worth following any of Fowler's side-roads. The post-modern twists are wonderfully funny, rather than annoying. (For example, the book club members in the book pose some book club questions about the book in which they have appeared at the very end. So don't stop when you think the narrative's done, keep reading.) While I think the book has got so many strands going every which way that there are still some sticking out at the end, I really enjoyed myself while reading it. This isn't a hilarious, knee-slapping comedy, it's more a comedy of manners (yes, I suppose I'll have to allude to Austen). And like Austen, it doesn't just skim the surface; it leaves little cuts after it delivers its sharp little observations.
reviewed The Jane Austen Book Club on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
It was OK...I would have preferred more character development and less dissertation on the works of Jane Austen.
reviewed The Jane Austen Book Club on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Not quite enough evolvement of characters; really helps to be a Jane Austen reader
reviewed The Jane Austen Book Club on + 34 more book reviews
A peep into the lives of 6 people (5 women and 1 man) who meet to discuss Jane Austen novels. A light and enjoyable read.
reviewed The Jane Austen Book Club on + 37 more book reviews
"The Jane Austen Book Club" is the story of a group of five women (and one man) who decide to read all of Jane Austen's novels and discuss them. Their purpose is partially to take Sylvia's mind off her divorce. "The Jane Austen Book Club" is more about the lives of the characters though than discussing Austen's novels. The story tells us much about the current situation of the characters and also a lot about their past.

It is the stories of the past that kept me interested in "The Jane Austen Book Club". The challenge though is that nothing is every resolved. Not even really in the end. And the writing style did not entice me to feel anything for the characters - no sympathy, no hope, no joy, no excitement. Nothing.

I think I was expecting more from it. I love Jane Austen, so I was convinced that "The Jane Austen Book Club" would be a good read. It wasn't. Let's hope the movie (released on DVD on February 5th) will be better than the book.
reviewed The Jane Austen Book Club on + 84 more book reviews
Wow, what a great book. I loved it! The characters are really well written, you can picture them and all their quirks so easily. Their inter-relationships are complex and fascinating. The chapters follow Jane Austen's novels and each reflects its theme, but builds on it. Just a wonderful read. A must for any Austen fan.
reviewed The Jane Austen Book Club on + 79 more book reviews
A small group of people start gathering regularly to share thoughts on the books they read. Over time, they also share the changes they experience in life.
reviewed The Jane Austen Book Club on + 52 more book reviews
The way it was written threw me off a little, and I never quite settled into the narration, though I suspect it was an homage to Austen's work itself. Even if you're not the biggest Jane Austen fan in the world, this is still pretty enjoyable.
reviewed The Jane Austen Book Club on + 17 more book reviews
Fun book to read for a book club / discussion group
reviewed The Jane Austen Book Club on + 9 more book reviews
A bit light, but enjoyable.
reviewed The Jane Austen Book Club on + 58 more book reviews
This book was just OK. I'm a Jane Austen lover, so the title drew me in. I found the story disjointed b/c each chapter is from a different character's perspective. I never felt invested or interested in any of them. The movie was actually much better than the book (and I NEVER say that!) Skip the book and rent the movie.
reviewed The Jane Austen Book Club on + 65 more book reviews
No particular plot line to the book. The characters were all pretty bland. And NOTHING happened in the book.
reviewed The Jane Austen Book Club on + 208 more book reviews
Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors, so why wouldn't I enjoy a book in which the characters find themselves loving, reading, and trying to live up to Ms. Austen's ideals. A bit slow at the beginning, but once you get into the characters lives I was finding myself routing for them to find love, find friendship and take some risks! Live a bit!
reviewed The Jane Austen Book Club on + 76 more book reviews
Couldn't finish it... I tried but just found it slow. I am a huge Jane Austen fan but couldn't get into the characters here. Hate to say it but saw the movie instead to see what I missed (and that wasn't one of my must haves either).
reviewed The Jane Austen Book Club on + 21 more book reviews
Smart, funny, easy read. One reviewer says, "If I could eat this novel, I would." She demonstrates that follies of human nature are as prevalent today as they were two hundred years ago.
reviewed The Jane Austen Book Club on + 36 more book reviews
Couldn't get into this one. I'm sure somebody liked it though.
reviewed The Jane Austen Book Club on + 6 more book reviews
A fictional account of a book club in central California. As its members meet to discuss Jane Austen's novels, marriages are tested, affairs begin, unsuitable arrangements become suitable, and love happens.
reviewed The Jane Austen Book Club on + 174 more book reviews
Terrible with a capitol T
reviewed The Jane Austen Book Club on + 128 more book reviews
Brand New! But it's hard back is that ok??