- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (October 1, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312319754
- ISBN-13: 978-0312319755
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 51 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,046,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Jane Austen in Boca: A Novel Paperback – October 9, 2003
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“Utterly charming...think Pride and Prejudice, but with better weather.” ―Vanity Fair
“Page-turner of the week.... In this witty romp, widowed Jewish women and their extended kin fill in for the country families in Pride and Prejudice.... What's not to like?” ―People
“Clever, warm-hearted...Cohen's wit is sharp, smart, and satirical, and her characterizations are vividly on target.” ―San Francisco Chronicle
“I can't imagine a more perfect afternoon than sitting by a pool reading Jane Austen in Boca...Whether you're from Boca, Brooklyn, or Beverly Hills, be sure to make time to read this very funny book.” ―Joan Rivers
About the Author
Paula Marantz Cohen is Distinguished Professor of English at Drexel University in Philadelphia. She lives in Moorestown, New Jersey, and her in-laws live in Boca Raton, Florida. Her previous non-fiction books include Silent Film and the Triumph of the American Myth and The Daughter as Reader: Encounters Between Literature and Life. Jane Austen in Boca is her first novel.
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I LOVE Jane Austen. You know and relate to and feel for the characters. You meet people in her books you know you've met before in real life and you laugh at the comparisons. You're drawn in.
Jane Austen in Boca on the other hand was filled with the most unlikeable and most cardboard-like characters I've ever "met" in one book. There wasn't even one that I remotely liked or cared what happened to. Carol was unsufferable (not delightfully ditzy like Mrs. Bennett); Flo was obnoxious and rude (not clever and insightful like Elizabeth); May was a completely boring little mouse (not gentle and loveable like Jane); Hy was supposed to be annoying because we're told he was (as opposed to the delightful absurdities we witnessed and enjoyed with Mr. Collins), Stan was absolutely flat and uninteresting even after the "change" (so totally unlike Mr. Darcy), etc., etc., etc.
And then the ending. Was there a page limit imposed by the publisher?
Silly book. The only reason I gave it two stars was because I managed to finish it. It won't get a place on my bookshelf though. I'll donate it to the local library because it's harmless and there seems to be plenty of people who apparently enjoy this kind of book.
is my second purchase; the first went on loan and never returned.
Flo Kliman is just what one would expect and wish Elizabeth Bennet to be in her new setting: wise-cracking, clear-headed, opinionated, and fiercely loyal to her two best friends, May Newman/Jane Bennet and Lila Katz/Charlotte Lucas. With an able assist from Carol Newman, May's daughter-in-law and a worthy successor to the harassed Mrs. Bennet, the novel charts the course of May's romance with Norman Grafstein, who plays Mr. Bingley to cranky Stan Jacobs' Mr. Darcy. Add to this mix the buffoon Hy Marcus as Mr. Collins and the smarmy Mel Shrimer as Mr. Wickham and you get one the most amusing novels I've read in awhile.
And like her predecessor, Miss Austen, Dr. Cohen provides an abundance of social commentary, both incisive and insightful. Very little escapes her discerning eye, from shopping mores to methods of parenting, anti-semitism to anglophilia, culinary tastes to gay rights, interior to landscape design, and senior hair styles to retirement couture. All this is served with such a mix of affection and acuity that it proves to be a very tasty dish indeed!
According to the dust jacket, Paula Marantz Cohen is Distinguished Professor of English at Drexel University, a background I suspect gave rise to the ultimate chapter of the book, the raucous and unruly opening session of Stan Jacobs' senior enrichment course on "Jane Austen and Her Adaptors." Many in the class hasn't read the book, but were happy to plunge into a vehemently digressive discussion, thereby providing some astute alternate readings of Pride and Prejudice. Thoroughly familiar with male-dominated family businesses, these elderly burghers had no trouble accepting the entail on the Bennet estate. Coming from cultures where marriages were often based on familial considerations, they approved of Mr. Collins' generous proposal to Elizabeth, but thought Mary Bennet might have been a better choice for him. But most of all, they thought Mrs. Bennet was the real heroine of the novel and were impressed by her Herculean efforts at marrying off five daughters, especially that Elizabeth, who was just a little "too sarcastic" for their taste.
These are people for whom one wishes nothing but the best and who deserve all happiness. But you know they'll all make it in the end, because as Flo Kliman puts it: "Take it from me. A nice widower with a comfortable living can be nudged into settling down by a not-so-young woman who plays her cards right."
Most recent customer reviews
This book made me laugh and shed a few tears.Read more