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Tillabooks: Will's Book Blog

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Mr Darcy Takes a Wife by Linda Berdoll

Mr Darcy Takes a Wife: Pride and Prejudice Continues by Linda Berdoll. Naperville, Illinois: Sourcebooks Landmark, 2004. ISBN: 1-4022-0273-3

I find the very idea of a sequel to Pride and Prejudice an absolutely fascinating one. I almost can't imagine a book I'd rather read, if it were done well. Pride and Prejudice remains my all-time favorite Jane Austen novel, and one of the those books I love to reread every so often.

So it was with a great deal of anticipation that I launched into Mr Darcy takes a Wife. Alas, my expectations remain unfulfilled, my hopes having been brutally and concupiscently dashed.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not a prude. Far from it. I enjoy a good sex scene as much as the next person. But this book's obsession with sexual activity is quite literally over the top, and frankly, disgusting. It is one thing to depict the Darcy's nuptial happiness, even extended to graphic descriptions of their first night in the bedroom. But to obsess on the subject to the exclusion of practically anything else, to make a point of continually dwelling on Mr Darcy's extreme virility and even on the excessive size of his sexual equipment, is to go too far. And I haven't even mentioned MRS Darcy! Maybe it's meant to be humorous, but if so, the joke pales after the first few pages.

I slogged through 75+ pages of this carnality, constantly hoping for a sensible story line to emerge, but no, just more of the same. The Darcy's do it in the stagecoach; the Darcy's do it in the woods; the Darcy's do it in the bathtub, the Darcy's do it all night long, night after night, keeping the household servants in a state of—I'm not sure what, but awed stupification seems apt.

What little subplot does emerge, based on various lowdown servant types, seems aimed at a sadistic consummation, albeit I refused to stick around long enough to find out. I suggest that the author switch the two middle consonants in her name: Bedroll seems a more appropriate moniker for someone who keeps her protagonists rolling in bed like she does. Definitely NOT recommended.

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