Oct 292010

Clever, Cute, and a Little Corny

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Publisher

In this Pride and Prejudice parody, J. Marie Croft presents a lighthearted and amusing tale of pond scum, puns, and punchlines. Proving herself to be a master of puns and word play, Ms. Croft employs the use of countless homographic puns, homophonic puns, impressive bouts of alliteration, and cleverly named characters. Mr. Darcy Takes the Plunge opens with the very famous “lake scene” from the 1995 BBC adaption of Pride and Prejudice, albeit slightly altered. Instead of a refreshing lake, it is an algae-infested pond. Instead of emerging from the lake with wet, clingy clothes, Darcy emerges with wet, clingy clothes covered in smelly green pond scum. Instead of Darcy being alone in this escapade, Bingley, Colonel Fitzwilliam and good friend Ellis Fleming also felt the urge to take a plunge in Pemberley’s polluted pond.

While Darcy and his companions were cavorting in Pemberley’s pond, his sisters, Georgiana and Anna Darcy, were making the acquaintances of Jane and Elizabeth Bennet. The ladies were taking tour of Pemberley’s gardens when they happened upon four disheveled and green-tinged gentlemen. What an inauspicious first meeting! Despite the shock and awkwardness of this situation several of these characters feel an immediate attraction and cannot tear their eyes away from each other. Will these gentlemen be able to atone for their disastrous appearance and win the hearts of the women they love?

Readers can expect many new surprises and alterations in this Pride and Prejudice parody. One being the expanded Darcy family. Both Mr. Darcy Senior and his wife Lady Anne are still alive in this novel and are the proud parents of three children instead of two. In addition, the Bennet family is a tad bit more wealthy, with a townhouse and London and the ablilty to provide dowries of 12,000 pounds for their daughters.  Not only are the Bennets more prosperous, they have no fear of an entailment since they have a sweet and precocious son named Robert.

Although I appreciated this humorous and lighthearted rendition of Pride and Prejudice, I did feel that beneath all the puns and jokes there wasn’t much of a story. The series of events in this novel were few and far between and overall there just wasn’t enough substance to grab my attention. Nothing really exciting happens and the plot is drawn out to include more puns. I most definitely laughed, smiled, and groaned while reading Ms. Croft’s assortment of puns, but as the novel progressed I started to find them redundant. Perhaps this type of parody would be better in small doses. Maybe a novella? Lastly, I wasn’t too fond of the fact that many character’s personalities were altered; Darcy bumbles, Georgiana scolds, and Lady Catherine swears like a sailor and is medicated with laudanum laced sherry. These characters didn’t really have much in common with the originals.

It is very evident that J. Marie Croft is a talented pun-artist, and it is goes without saying that reading her puns will inspire you to dabble in some word play! (Please excuse my sorry attempts!) Since puns and amusing anecdotes are the primary focus of this adaption, I’d recommend it for readers who are “excessively diverted” by puns and interested in frolicking with some Pride and Prejudice word play. Readers who are looking for anything deeper may be disappointed.
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  6 Responses to “Mr. Darcy Takes the Plunge – J. Marie Croft”


    I loved this book. It’s rare that a book makes me laugh out loud, but this one did. I think it is best savored a few chapters at a time.


    Great review! I agree with you, this is a fun read, but I did not appreciate the changed characters.


    I’m skeptical of this book, which is precisely why I have not yet read it. When there are so many Austen variations out there, I have become increasingly choosy about which I will invest my time/money in. Puns are not my favorite sort of wit. Maybe someday when I am in need of a massive dose of silliness, I will pursue the book, but I have a feeling it would frustrate me more than amuse. Thanks for the review!


    A friend just loaned me her copy; I think I’ll follow Mary’s advice and read it a little at a time. I find puns amusing, but it’s easy to overdo it. Thanks for the honest review!


    I agree with Ms. Adams. Since we now have so many books to choose from, I am more “choosy” as well, especially with non-ebooks.
    Thank you for your wonderful website.


    I look forward to hearing what you all think of this book if and when you fo read it. Please let me know if you have a review posted somewhere!

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