Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Lost In Austen - Book Review


For a Christmas present this past year, I received a book from an old friend Lost in Austen: Create Your Own Jane Austen Adventure by Emma Campbell Webster. She knew how much I love Jane Austen and thought I might get a kick out of this.

It really is a choose-your-own adventure and you get to play none other than Elizabeth Bennet. The storyline follows the main plot of Pride and Prejudice, but through decisions that you can make, you may interact with the some characters of other Austen novels, including Captain Wentworth, Catherine Morland, Mr. Martin, Mrs. Smith, Mr. Elton, Mr. Tilney, Willoughby, Mr. Churchill, Fanny Price, Miss Bates, and Mr. Benwick (for fun, leave a comment to this post and name which Jane Austen novel each of these characters is from – I’ll post the answers a little later!).

You keep track of different aspects of what a lady during that time was valued for, accomplishments, fortune, confidence, intelligence, connections, and failings. Throughout the book and depending on what “path” you choose, you can either add to your score or deduct from it. At some junctures in the story, where you go next depends on your score in a particular area.

Overall, the book was fun and enjoyable. I started out keeping track of the above-mentioned items but them gave up ¼ of the way through as it took too long for me to keep stopping and writing things down. Instead, I just read through the book. When it came time for me to make a decision about what to do next, I thought about which one I would choose and then read all the different scenarios to see where each one would lead. Some progressed the story, while others led to The End.

If you make all your decisions based on what happens next in Pride and Prejudice, you can probably guess how the book will end. But, if you explore other avenues, some twists and turns will keep the story interesting and different from the original.

I would recommend this as a quick, mindless read that’s a good diversion.

If you’ve read this book, please leave your comments below and if you would like to play the trivia game mentioned above please comment as well.

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