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Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen, Anna Quindlen

Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre - Michael Mason, Charlotte Brontë Give me Austen over Bronte any day.

Oh, the melodrama! Oh, the indecision! Oh, the languish! All too often while reading Jane Eyre I wanted to bust out my backhand to the sides of these characters' heads (...well maybe not Mr. Rochester. He'd think it was a challenge to a duel, but I've never fired a flintlock and my rapier-work is rusty.)

By no means am I saying this is a terrible piece of work. Bronte sets scenes and moods (she's all too good at the moods!) like nobody's business. She does however have a tendency to grind a point to dust. I only need one example of a personality trait displayed. Add a mention of its repetition if you like to show its repetitiveness, but there's no need for multiple full-blown scenes that say the same thing.

Part of my lack of enjoyment stems from my being a middle-aged man. I'm not the target audience. But if ever I'm turned into a teen girl, I'm moving Jane Eyre to the top of my to-read pile!