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Lost in Austen: Create Your Own Jane Austen Adventure Paperback – August 7, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Trade (August 7, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594482586
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594482588
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #807,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Emma Campbell Webster graduated from Oxford University in 2003, where she specialized in Austen. She currently lives and works as an actress in London. This is Emma’s first book.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

YOUR MISSION

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a young Austen heroine must be in want of a husband, and you are no exception. Christened Elizabeth Bennet, you are tolerably beautiful and moderately accomplished, with a sharp wit and quick mind. You are the daughter of misguided but well-meaning parents and live with them and your four sisters—Jane, Mary, Kitty and Lydia—in the village of Longbourn, near the town of Meryton. You are of a happy disposition and have hitherto whiled away your years reading, walking and enjoying what limited society Meryton has to offer. A recent event, however, threatens to disturb your tranquility: a man of large fortune has let a nearby manor house. Inconsequential though this change of circumstance appears, it is the first in a long chain of events that will require you to face difficult decisions and impolite dance partners. Equipped with only your wit and natural good sense, your mission is to marry both prudently and for love, eluding undesirable suitors and avoiding family scandals which would almost certainly ruin any hope of a financially advantageous marriage for you or any of your sisters.

HOW TO PLAY

This book is no ordinary book, and should not be read through from beginning to end. It contains many different adventures, and the path you take will depend on the choices you make along the way. The success (or failure!) of your mission will depend on the decisions you make, so think carefully before choosing....

While your choices will determine your journey, your success will also depend on how well you do in the following five categories: your Accomplishments, Intelligence, Confidence, Connections and Fortune (which could mean either luck or money). On separate pieces of paper, draw up lists for the five different categories. You begin with high scores for your Intelligence and Confidence (200 points each) but with a regrettably low Fortune score (only 50 points), and absolutely no Accomplishments or Connections. In order to increase your chances of marrying well you must try to improve your scores and gain more Connections and Accomplishments. At intervals during your adventure you will be given bonus opportunities to increase your scores by taking tests or answering questions. But take care! While you can gain points, you can also lose them, which could harm your chances of marrying happily and affect the outcome of your adventure.

If the mere suggestion of scorekeeping gives you palpitations, fear not; you can choose not to keep track of your scores if you so wish. When asked to check them, simply choose whichever score you fancy from one of the two options you are offered.

You may now begin your adventure. Good luck!


More About the Author

After I graduated from Oxford University I moved to London to act and write. I currently live in Los Angeles, but my heart belongs to England.

Customer Reviews

This is a fun book to read for those who love Jane Austen.
Kara Abe
The choices you get to make are often trivial and have very little to do with the outcome of the story.
M. Ryan
I was really excited when I found this book but after reading it...I'm altogether disappointed.
Lavender Brown

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Carla Lilie VINE VOICE on October 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
Being a Jane Austen fan, I thought this book would be a lot of fun, especially as my daughter and I read it together and conferred on all the choices. Unfortunately, I ultimately found it irritating. The majority of the book is merely a retelling of "Pride and Prejudice" and other Austen novels, with much of the original wording kept intact. The originality of the book comes in the endings created by Webster when the reader makes Elizabeth's matrimonial decisions. Webster definitely went for the sensational here. In some scenarios, Elizabeth is murdered; in another, she causes her husband's death. In yet another, she has an affair, ends up in poverty, and, if I'm remembering correctly, takes her own life. None of these seemed the slightest bit plausible or true to Austen's world.

One aspect of the book I was looking forward to was the interaction between Elizabeth and characters from other Austen novels. However, the introduction of Mr. Knightly and other characters from "Emma" proved to be a disappointment. It would have been one thing if Elizabeth had met Mr. Knightly in the course of traveling, but instead the author portrays Mr. Knightly as a close family friend. Apparently, Donwell Abbey and Longbourn are practically next door to each other. Who knew?! Elizabeth appears to have taken the role of Emma in terms of her relationships with Mr. Knightly, the Bateses, and Frank Churchill, but Emma herself appears as a character. What a mess! Badly done, indeed.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By M. Ryan on November 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
I enjoy Jane Austen and am a fan of the medium of choose-your-own-adventure books, so I thought that this combination might be interesting, hoping that it could lift the CYOA genre out of the jeuvenalia category. Sadly, it doesn't do a very good job.

The text is a poor retelling of the events of Pride and Prejudice (and other Austen novels, to a lesser extent) without the pleasure of Austen's prose. It's like listening to someone give you a precis of the events of the novel - with a running commentary along the lines of "You are really astoundingly nosy."

And it's the commentary that really spoils it for me. It could possibly have been humorous if it were directed at the reader's choices, but by and large it concerns actions you have no control over. In fact, most of the really interesting decisions made by your character are spelled out for you without offering you any agency. The choices you get to make are often trivial and have very little to do with the outcome of the story.

On the whole, I found this book to be disappointing; more of an out-pouring of the author's desire to editorialise on Elizabeth Bennet's character, than an opportunity to creatively explore the alluring "what-ifs" of fiction.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By SKnip on January 17, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
thought this would be more of a choose your own adventure book, but it was set up more like a game with points... and most choices led you to the same page, no matter which choice you made.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Elvin Ortiz on December 13, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I find the book more a curiosity, but falls short from being interesting. It's more like a game. Maybe the author should make a board game based on Austen's book. I was expecting analyses on her work. It is entertaining though, and I've been reading it for pleasure on my leisure time. But I'm not really enthralled by it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By 19th century brit lit fan on July 6, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You are Elizabeth Bennet and you get to make choices in your storyline of Pride and Prejudice. As long as you choose what happened in Pride and Prejudice (multiple choice answers) you end up with Darcy. Otherwise you end up a disgraced spinster, or murdered by Caroline Bingley, or married to Mr. Collins, or married to Henry Crawford,or married to Mr. Knightley, or married to Captain Wentworth- and many many other scenarios.

I had fun picking the wrong answer to see what would happen.

Cute but not really for the serious Janeite.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marcella on July 20, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is FUN. I read it in a day. It's a create your own adventure, Austen style. You are Elizabeth Bennet and you're out to find love. This book gives you the option of making your own decisions, some of which lead you into other Austen stories. There are also regency era questions to test your knowledge. You can keep score or not. I really enjoyed this book. If you are an Austen fan I would recommend this to you. If you know an Austen lover, this would be a great gift. You can read this book over and over with a different outcome every time.

Shall I let you know my fate?

I got run over.........by a carriage.........driven by Caroline Bingley. Oh well! Maybe next time I will end up with Mr. Darcy.

[...].
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on May 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
LOST IN AUSTEN is basically PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, the beloved novel by Jane Austen, written in modern English. Oh, and you can choose how the book ends.

At the end of every chapter you, Elizabeth Bennet, must make a decision. After making that decision you go to the specified page and read on until you come to the next two choices. Choice after choice, you must decide what Elizabeth should do in order to achieve her goal: to get married to a fine gentleman.

But the mission isn't as easy as it sounds. Not only do you have to make a choice between two objects at the end of each chapter, there is a point system that you must go through. Points fall under categories such as fortune, intelligence, accomplishments, and more.

Emma Campbell Webster writes a very fun and interactive book that all Austen fans will love. Even for those who aren't fans, this book gives a unique and entertaining twist to the classic that anyone can enjoy.

Reviewed by: Steph
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