Monthly Archives: July 2007

Persuasion by Jane Austen

persuasion.jpgPenguin Books, 298 pages.

Before Helen Fielding, Louise Bagshawe, and all other chick-lit authors, there was Miss Jane Austen. To say that love stories are predictable is useless. For they are meant to be predictable, repetitive and familiar. It’s the ‘relatable’ factor, realness, and emotion –the ride to the predictable ending, that matters.

Persuasion’s plot rings many bells heard before. Anne Walter, the youngest and ‘underdog’ daughter of the pompous and vain Sir Walter Eliot, has rejected the man she loves because of peer, family, and social persuasion. (there goes the title)

Back in the time where social status, titles and roles are of utmost importance, it’s not really that hard to see how the quiet and sensible Anne has given in to outside influence.

Now, eight years later, her family has gone down (bankrupt–Jane Austen used another word that I forgot, of course). They are forced to move to the countryside and have their sprawling manor rented to a certain Admiral Croft.

A-ha. It turns out that Admiral Croft’s brother-in-law is Captain Wentworth–the very same man Anne has turned down, and her family has looked down on eight years ago.

Now a dashing and charming man, Wentworth wins the hearts of ladies, who are all eager to be married to a Captain. Given the small social circle they have, it was inevitable for Anne and Wentworth to bump into each other on several occassions.

Of course, they are apprehensive and more guarded (especially Wentworth). But in the end, it was Anne’s steady sensibility that rekindles them together.

I enjoyed this more than Emma–who (as a character) annoys me at times with her “wit” and stubborness. Anne is a more relatable character with her doubts, insecurities and inner charm.

There is a passing mention of Emma (the novel) in this book by the way.

Hail the queen of chick-lit, Jane Austen

Deception Point by Dan Brown

Pocket Books (Simon & Schuster), 558 pages

I’ve finally read all four Dan Brown books, and I can say that Deception Point is the least impressive of all four. As with all Dan Brown books, Deception Point is brimming with interesting facts and information–relayed to you the way you wish your Science teachers had.

Brown now focuses his vast knowledge on the deep space. Packed with conspiracies (as with all Dan Brown plots), this book gives a peek, and questions about extra terrestrial life, the all mighty US Government, NASA, and the NRO.

The token heroine this time is Rachel Sexton, an intelligence analyst for NRO, whose Senator father is running for the position of POTUS (President of the United States of America). It’s refreshing to see a heroine who is not as stubborn or feisty as Dan Brown’s other female characters.

This is a book that I finished in 3 days, and I can sum it up in 3 words: Damn Irritatingly Predictable!

If Brown keeps on using the same “unexpected” twists (hint: if you’ve read Digital Fortress, you may as well have read Deception Point), he may unsurprisingly lose the interest of his followers.

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Dan Brown by ‘Da Vinci’