Sunday, August 17, 2014

Book Review: Pride and Prejudice (Graphic Novel) by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice (Graphic Novel) by Jane Austen and Po Tse

Graphic Novel Adaptation
Publisher: Udon Entertainment
Release Date: 19th August 2014
Read Date: 16th August 2014
Tagged Under: 2014 read, book review, review copy, manga or graphic novel, historical romance, 3
Buy At: Amazon

Book Summary

Beloved by millions the world over, Pride & Prejudice is delightfully transformed in this bold, new manga adaptation. All of the joy, heartache, and romance of Jane Austen's original, perfectly illuminated by the sumptuous art of manga-ka Po Tse, and faithfully adapted by Stacy E. King.

Book Review [Somewhat spoilery]

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen certainly needs no introduction. It is one of the most well-loved classics of all times. It has been adapted onto various other mediums including TV series, films and plays. So when Udon Entertainment announced that it is turning Austen's work into a manga, I was intrigued to find out how it turns out.

I've already read TseMei Lee and Stacy E. King's adaptation of Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. As mentioned in my review, I absolutely loved the artwork and the storyline more or less stayed consistent. However, I was left a bit confused as to who the target audience of that work was - readers who loved the classics and wanted to read its adaptation or manga readers who want an introduction to the classics genre?

That debate exists in this work too. However, I think the manga adaptation of Pride & Prejudice leans more on the side of manga lovers. The artwork, once again, is stunningly beautiful and quite appropriate for the setting of the novel. The exquisite details that Po Tse paid to the backdrop made this work a feast for the eyes.

This work also stays very true to the manga style of story-telling, with plenty of funny expressions from Mrs Bennett. However, what didn't work for me was that everything felt too "manga," obscuring the themes that made Pride and Prejudice the classic that it is. Mrs Bennett was more of a money-hungry comic relief than anything else. Mr Bennett lost all of his witty sense of humour that makes him a delight to read. Elizabeth, the star of the story, instead of being sharp and witty, is painted as this concerned sister who is only ever looking out for Jane. Even Mr Darcy comes across as too emotional and prone to panicking than the cold and aloof Mr Darcy that I remember from the novels.

Overall: 3/5

I think manga readers will really enjoy this work and may even be intrigued enough to pick up the original text. The art is absolutely beautiful and makes the book a very easy and enjoyable read. However, the story adaptation just didn't quite work for me.

Disclaimer: a complimentary preview was provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The views expressed above are entirely my own and are in no way affected by the source of this book.

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