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Bespelling Jane Austen: Almost Persuaded\Northanger Castle\Blood and Prejudice\Little to Hex Her Paperback – September 28, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
In BESPELLING JANE AUSTEN, one gets two novellas of each era...with the twist of paranormal activity enthreaded in each tale. Mary Balogh, a Regency romance writer of great repute, returns PERSUASION's Anne Elliot to her time period, but renames her Jane (!) Everett. Captain Wentworth has also been renamed (Captain Mitford). Using reincarnation as her "supernatural" device, Jane and Captain Mitford have loved but lost one another again and again in past lives, but determine not to do so this time around. Jane is "Almost Persuaded" (the name of Balogh's novella), but...
Colleen Gleason (whose Gardella series has made me a devoted fan) upgrades NORTHANGER ABBEY to NORTHANGER CASTLE. I think revisioning one of the Thorpes into a vampire is perfect casting--I just wish she had chosen a different Thorpe. But then, both are innate bloodsuckers, so it works brilliantly. I won't say what profession Thaddeus Blanchard (ne Henry Tilney) has now taken up, but he is related to Victoria Gardella. Catherine Morland is now Caroline Merrill, and while they both have a penchant for reading Gothic novels and possess wild imaginations, Caroline is braver and more observant in many ways. She deserves her mate!Read more ›
I've always been fond of Jane Austen, and I've enjoyed the paranormal Jane Austen novels that have been coming out of the woodwork; I felt that zombies was precisely what "Pride and Prejudice" was lacking the first time around, and I absolutely adored "Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters". And while "Bespelling Jane Austen" looks at first glance to be capitalizing on all the hype, this collection of novellas is really quite solid, and I enjoyed very much the chance to read the Advance Review Copy that was sent to me from the publisher.
This collection of novellas is not, unlike "PPZ" and "SSSM", a direct port of Austen novels, with new text woven in and around the original Austen text. Instead, these shorter renditions of Austen's novels are more like modern `adaptations' of her stories, not unlike the Shakespeare adaptations that maintain the underlying themes but with new settings, characters, and dialogue. Austen "purists" will likely not enjoy these adaptations, if only because of the more modern emphasis on physical passion and sensuality, but Austen lovers who enjoy seeing her delightful themes in new situations and experiences will find much here to enjoy.
"Almost Persuaded" by Mary Balogh, takes a serious and surprisingly deep look at the theme of reincarnation, applied against Austen's backdrop of marriages impeded by social distance. Two soulmates come together in the persons of Jane Everett and Captain Robert Mitford.Read more ›
Almost Persuaded by Mary Balogh
Setting: Regency England
This was a sweet reincarnation story that just begged to be a bit more exciting. I hate to say that it wasn't just right because it was a good read, but I truly wanted more. It is too bad Ms Balogh, who is a favorite of mine, did not make this into a full book. Although I wanted more it was still a lovely story and worth your time. (79 pages) My rating- 3.5
Northanger Castle by Colleen Gleason
Setting: 1845 England
Ms Gleason has created a flibberdigibbet of a heroine in this story. Caroline can't seem to people watch without making up dramatic tales about their lives which are often very funny. But she is aware of a strange man watching her and who seems to be wherever she might find herself. She is convinced that he is a vampire and that she must in turn protect her friends and eliminate him so she carries a stake, a silver cross and garlic in her reticule. This was a fun, engaging story and left us wondering until the end who is the vampire. (75 pages)My Rating-4
Blood and Prejudice by Susan Krinard
Setting: Modern times
This story followed very close to the plot of Pride and Prejuidice as if it had been in modern times. Krinard kept all the names the same as Austen's characters and it was a fun to see how well it could all translate to the present; down to the silly, gossipy Mrs. Bennett. Of course there were changes. Lizzy was a bookstore owner, Jane worked in the family pharmaceutical labs, Bingley was a weathy business man as was Darcy. And there were vampires.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love Jane Austin and Mary Balough but these short stories were too outside the eclectic realm that I usually read. The first one or two were good but then....Published 6 months ago by Carolyn A. Brown
Cute and quick except for the second story, hence the four stars. It bored me to tears practically. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
I should have known better. None of these writers are Jane Austen. A really dumb book. If you love Austen and her indelible characters in their timeless stories, do not buy this... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Sheila
I finished reading these books mostly due to curiosity than interest. Meh, the stories were an interesting mix of historical romance with an paranormal element. Read morePublished on May 28, 2014 by Avid Reader
I got the book because I love Jane Austen and have found many of the take-offs on Austen to be pretty good, and because Mary Balogh's name is the lead name of authors and I almost... Read morePublished on January 10, 2014 by ginnyk
The first two short stories were delightful and fanciful, but the third was so filthy and corrupt I didn't even finish it.Published on January 10, 2014 by Debbie Sanders
Perfect blend of romance and paranormal mystery while staying true to the Austen origins. I have already read it twice and am sure it will be re-read many more times.Published on August 1, 2013 by LLK