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Book Review: Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star

April 13, 2013

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star
Heather Lynn Rigaud
Sourcebooks Landmark, 432 pages

I needed something fluffy and goofy to read, to take my mind off final papers. This did the trick. It has all the ingredients of a fictional band story, one of my guilty pleasure genres. But it translates the characters, and some of the plot themes of Pride and Prejudice into the decadent rock n’ roll world.

Fitzwilliam Darcy (his bandmates call him Will) is a scowling, brooding, sunglasses-wearing rock guitarist for the hit band, Slurry, touring with his friend the affable Charles Bingley, and his cousin Richard Fitzwilliam. They need a new opening act. Enter the new girl group, Long Borne Suffering- Elizabeth Bennet on guitar, her sister Jane on keyboards, and their friend Charlotte Lucas on drums. Their personalities survive the translation well. Jane and Charles get gooey in love, Darcy and Elizabeth seethe and snap at each other while their friends wait for them to hook up. The Bennett parents are a pain. Darcy broods like a good rock star, with possibly a sensitive side. Some of the major Pride and Prejudice plot points survive- Darcy’s protectiveness of his sister, Georgiana; peril for Jane; odious Mr. Collins and objectionable DeBurghs.

Part of the fun is that it’s a fictional band romp of tour buses, concerts, leather pants, and lots of debauchery. The DeBurgh connection becomes DeBurgh records, with the family matriarch as a Gorgon of an executive, and Mr. Collins just as devoted a sycophant. That works. And the characters’ personalities translate to rock and roll characters about the way I’d expected. Darcy’s aloof, Jane and Charles worry their bandmates by falling in love at first sight. They adapt to new fame, groupies and tour schedules with their historic personalities intact. For the most part.

It’s disconcerting when an Austen heroine says the F word, though. Also, it being a rock and roll novel, there’s lots of sex. Lots and lots and lots of  Jane Austen must be rolling in her grave, sex. I lost count of the sex scenes. They were actually kind of funny, for the blend of familiar characters with romance novel trope phrases. And the romance, even as convolutedly as it develops between Darcy and Elizabeth, is pretty standard modern novel fare.

All in all, I think I found the Austen adaptation with zombies a touch more believable.

This was fun, though.


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