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Pride and Prejudice: The Jewess and the Gentile (Mash-up) by [Raphael, Lev]
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Pride and Prejudice: The Jewess and the Gentile (Mash-up) Kindle Edition

3.2 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • File Size: 1371 KB
  • Print Length: 363 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: August 2, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005FQ1FMG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #875,078 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

A cottage industry has developed around the "what iffing" of "Pride and Prejudice". What if Darcy and Elizabeth met earlier or later or had prior attachments or were vampires or amateur sleuths? Some of them are diverting, several are well written, but "The Jewess and the Gentile" offers a unique and provocative "what if" - What if the Bennets were Jews who had settled in the country in an attempt to avoid the prejudices against Jews that were more rampant in London? What if a component of Darcy's prejudice was anti-Semitism? What effect would that have on Mr. Collins's proposal and his ultimate relief that he had been turned down? On Elizabeth's dialogue with Lady Catherine? On the scandal of Lydia's elopement?
This was my first read with a Kindle and I found it to be a "page turner" (is that what you call it?) It was particularly interesting to re-view the marriage of Mr and Mrs Bennet, and put a thought-provoking spin on his philosophical attitude (and Elizabeth's) and Mrs Bennet's coarseness; it made me wish for a prequel that would follow the courtship and marriage of the pair as young Jews in a predominantly Christian, Regency London. Lev?
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For years, Lev Raphael has been one of my favorite writers. I've loved his mysteries, been moved by his novels, short stories, and his recent memoir, My Germany, and watched his career bloom into what it is today. As with so many others, Jane Austen remains high on my list of most-loved authors. Although it had been years since I'd read Pride and Prejudice, it seemed like a no brainer that I would enjoy this book. Within the first few pages, I settled into reading the re-imagined story with delight. Raphael has given us a cheeky, sometimes hilarious, always entertaining reinterpretation of a classic novel. I've often been impressed by the wit, charm and emotional intelligence of both writers, but was surprised by how well those qualities melded and opened the novel up in an entirely new way. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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What a joy to find my favorite book, Pride and Prejudice, rewritten by my favorite author, Lev Raphael! This novel is witty, wonderful, and, yes, subtle. However, reader beware and aware. If you go too quickly, expecting a hasty suntan-time smash up, you will miss a great deal, as is true of all Raphael's work, and you will be blushing like a Collins as your Austen-loving friends point out your oversights! I know the original Austen almost by heart, have always returned to it again and again, and to find one of my favorite writers rewriting it was almost too much fun for one all-nighter. No sentence Lev Raphael ever wrote, be it in novel, memoir, blog, or review was ever dull. My special love are his Jewish characters and their accents (Yes, here is a writer who can artfully invite an entire United Nations of languages to the party!). I find his Jewish characters, as well as those who scorn them, never stereotypical, which, in itself, rates my gold star. Whether we hate them or love them, Raphael's people always live, love and utter quotable line after quotable line--vital, realistic, unforgettable. "So"-you counter-, "did Austen's"--which must be, of course, my point after all.
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I'm not a major fan of mash-ups but I do love Austen and I thought this book was fiendishly clever because Raphael didn't inject The Walking Dead or anything over-the-top into Austen's book. His approach was much more under the radar--and for me, enjoyable. He's turned the book inside out and recast the family as ambivalently Jewish. That ambivalence matches what I know of Regency England and his additions and changes are spot on.
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An unusual premise. What if Mr. and Mrs Bennett were Jews thus making all five daughters Jewesses? As an Orthodox Jew I felt the book disappointing. The only rituals kept were "brisket and kugel." And the parents apparently had no concerns about the daughters marrying Gentiles, much as many Jews in our own time.,,but, unbelievable some three hundred years ago. The Jewish phrases were not seamlessly inserted into the narrative. but awkwardly interrupted. And for the men to so easily accept a Jewish bride with no discussion of how the resultant Jewish children would be raised, felt very weird.
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I felt that this was a near-copy of the novel with some rare and very superficial changes (yiddish, allusions to bibical stories, and some old saws about Jews) thrown in now and then to remind the reader that this mash-up is supposed to be different.
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Prejudice sustaining stereotypes of the lowest form. Definitely not _Daniel_Deronda_ or even _Ivanhoe_, this book might have been on the shelf next to "How to Be a Jewish Mother" and other books in a genre of ethnic humor that is no longer socially acceptable. This book is peppered with yiddish, guilt and other ethnic slurs that perpetuate prejudice without the redeeming value of cultural pride. This book does not provide a witty twist to a favorite novel nor a fresh look at a romance that has captured the heart of Jewish Anglophiles.
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