Edited by Peter Archer and Jennifer Lawler
Reviewed by Angie Mangino
Rating: 4 stars
Readers should know for the sake of full disclosure that this reviewer chose this book to review because of the inclusion of one work by a writer personally known whose work I have been following as she develops and expands her craft. However, my reputation for honesty ensures an objective review.
Jaclyn Lurker is a huge fan of British literature, hence her entry into Bad Austen. One of her short plays was included last year in “Wacky Love Shorts” with the Staten Island Playwright’s Collective, as well as inclusion this year in their production of “7 by 7: Seven Deadly Sinful Shorts,” with “In the House of Mourning,” representative of the sin of pride.
Her entry in this book, “Insult and Insolence” is an excellent addition in the section called, “The Books Jane Never Wrote.”
As to the book as a whole, many other examples of strong writing are featured in this, “the best of the worst” from Bad Austin.com. Editors Peter Archer and Jennifer Lawler organized this collection into three parts” “The Books Jane Never Wrote,” “If Jane Could See Us Now,” and “Shakespeare, Vampires and Pimberley, Oh, My!”
Especially appealing is the inclusion of the “Did You Know?” grayed sections throughout that share historical facts, many not generally known, about Jane Austin, her life, her writing, and her times.
A few of the contributors seem to have misinterpreted the task to write Bad Austen as to write about Austen badly, but this reviewer believes that readers will find many more that convey the theme quite well through excellent writing, making this book a good choice to include on Jane Austen’s fans to-be-read list.