Monday, September 5, 2016

Cherished Memories

It's that time again - time that I shuffle from expensive Manhattan apartment to expensive Manhattan apartment offering me a new a lease. This means, for me, getting rid of a lot of books. I know that sounds like heresy, but it's actually quite hard to shlep around 800+ books from apartment to apartment if you move every 2-3 years.

This time around, a lot of the old Pride and Prejudice sequels and prequels and rewrites and AUs and "variations" and general fanfic published in book form are going. I'll save my absolute favorites, but the rest I'm definitely never going to reread, and space is money.

I have a general policy not to review or comment on other people's JAFF books. The reason is I don't like giving false reviews, but I don't want to give other others bad reviews, especially if I might know them. If I only reviewed the books I like, then one could infer which ones I didn't like from their absence on my Goodreads. There was a time - around 2006 to 2010 - when I tried to collect every single one, including all of the out-of-print PODs that were published around 1997 or 1998, inspired by the 1995 miniseries. Some were quite costly and I had to wait for them to be picked up and reprinted by Sourcebooks. I bought a few when I was in England. Oh, those were the days.

Largely, I remember them being pretty boring. Published authors are - or were - more conservative than fanfic authors, and Pride and Prejudice fandom has to be the most conservative fandom I've ever been in, so people don't skew far from Austen's work in tone, style, or content. There were a lot of Darcy's version of the story, which followed the plot pretty exactly and even used most of Austen's dialogue. There were sequels were Darcy and Lizzy love each other soooooo much and mostly just ... hang out and host dinner parties. And then there were the ones where there was so much sex I was concerned about chaffing. Man, the Regency was a boring time period for rich people.

But there were the magic ones - the ones I really loved, but also the ones I really hated, but loved because they were at least original, or downright bizarre, or missed the mark by so much that you just had to wonder. Without naming names (of authors), here are some of my favorites:
- The one where Darcy's first name is spelled wrong.
- The one where Elizabeth's first name is spelled wrong.
- The one that outright implies that Darcy finds his sister hot, on like, the first page
- The one where Darcy is married to someone who isn't Elizabeth and then has an affair with someone who also isn't Elizabeth. As far as I can tell, the Bennets are never involved.
- The one where Darcy cuts out of a dinner party to avoid an orgy with Byron, Bingley, and the male servants.
- The one where there is real life magic, for real, and you can't possible get around it but this shakes no one's worldview when they find out and it's pretty much never mentioned again
- The one from the POV of Darcy's dog
- The one where Darcy is molested in boarding school by his drama teacher
- The one where Darcy and Elizabeth go to France and visit "the Effiel" because the author wanted them to visit the Effiel Tower but wasn't sure if it existed yet and didn't want to commit to it existing but also didn't want to look up when it was built (1889) - I mean I know it's a minor point, but come on, it took me right out of the book
- The one where everyone's gay/bisexual
- The one where Jane gets molested by Bingley's sisters
- The one where Wickham has a purple spaceship
- The one where the plot could have been cleared up in five minutes IF YOU HAD JUST TALKED TO EACH OTHER YOU IDIOTS. (actually that just describes Pride and Prejudice, too, so I have to give her a pass on that)

And that doesn't include all the fanfic that wasn't published, thank G-d, but that's another story.

So if you're in Manhattan in the next 10 days (before September 15th) and you want a lot of JAFF books, send me an email.

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