The Jane Austen Book Club
Karen Joy Fowler

JA Book Club
Hardcover - 288 pages (April 22, 2004)
Marion Wood Book; ISBN: 0399151613

        Written by Mary Eliza (June 23, 2004 )
I liked it very much. Cleverly done and a well-written book in its own right -- that is, nothing about the plot or characters seem forced for the sake of sticking to a plan. In fact, I've persuaded my book club to read it. It's not long.

        Written by Elizabeth Cretaro -- June 24, 2004
In process of reading....good read so far!

        Written by alexl (June 24, 2004 )
I enjoyed it with some reservations. I am glad i borrowed it from the library. In my mind it seemed a woman's book rather than one that would appeal to a man. If not for the JA references I would not have read it.

        Written by Laraine (June 24, 2004 )
  It's a very fast read. I enjoyed it. I won't be winning any Nobel prizes, but I recommend it for a relatively light bit of contemporary fiction.

        Written by Clare (June 24, 2004 )
 I never finished it. Kept starting and stopping, finally walked away for good after about 100 pages.

I just was not interested in the characters, not even with the obvious Austen tie-ins. :-(

        Written by Charlotte R. (June 25, 2004 )
I confess I bought it with more hope than expectaion and couldn't finish it. In today's New York Times Caryn James writes what I think better than I could. "--- [it] uses conversations about Austen's work as an excuse for its characters' wailing about families and feelings; this middle- brow chick-lit owes more to Dr. Phil than to "Pride and Prejudice."

I'd be glad to send my copy to anyone who wants it.

         Written by Laraine  (1/28/2005 8:34 p.m.)

It isn't awful, but overall, I'd say most peole here didn't like it. I'd only buy it if it were really cheap and I needed something to read on a trip. :)

          Written by Meg in Calif. (1/29/2005 11:56 a.m.)

I tried to read it and couldn't. It does that thing, unfortunately common in modern novels, of telling apparently random anecdotes from characters' pasts with a great specificity of detail ("too much of right hand and left" as JA would say), from which we are apparently supposed to infer deep meaning and profound insights into the inner psychology of these characters years later.

Very unlike JA.

      Written by Alyssa (2/15/2005 12:33 a.m.)Honestly, I wasn't all that taken with the story. I couldn't make myself care about any of the characters unless they were discussing JA. I almost returned it, but the appendices were so lovely that I deemed it worth keeping. They are a list of responses by Austen's family to her books (as recorded by Jane herself) and pages and pages of quotes by other authors about Austen.

      Written by Lorna (3/16/2005 12:50 p.m.)I finished reading it a few
days ago and- just what is it all about? I know the characters are
meant to have a connection with a JA heroine, but I couldn't figure
that out.

It seemed to be a very thin storyline and frankly went nowhere.

      Written by Faith R (3/16/2005)
Found it disappointing as well. Really didn't care for it and about half way through just started paging through hoping things would get better. It seemed like such a good idea for a book but very poorly executed.

      Review by Linda Waldemar, 25 November 2005
This book was okay. At the beginning, I looked for similarities of the characters to Jane Austen's characters. However, after a while I gave that up because it did not appear to me that any of Karen Fowler's characters were based on JA's. I found the characters and situations somewhat interesting and mildly amusing. I think that the purpose of the JA Book Club was to read each novel together and discuss it, much like our Group Reads, but little of that discussion was described. Each chapter really just chronicled a portion of the life of one of Fowler's characters. There was one thing that I found a bit disconcerting. The book was told in first person, but that person was not one of the characters and only tells the story as if she/he is there. I found it quite confusing and difficult to describe. Do I recommend this book? Well, I feel that each person should judge for themselves. That said, if you decide to read it, I do recommend that your expections not be set too high.