From “Jane Austen’s Nightmare”:  An extraordinary adventure which I only just experienced proved to be so vivid and distressing- and yet ultimately so illuminating – that I feel I must record it in its entirety.

Jane Austen Made Me Do It is just that; a book of short stories inspired by Jane Austen. Some are stories of Austen’s own life, others are a kind “after the book ends” (for Persuasion and Emma) and some are just Austen related. In the first story, Jane Austen ventures out into Bath, and encounters many of her literary characters, all of whom have serious complaints about their characters and how their stories turned out (except for the characters of Pride and Prejudice). And these are the heroines. Then, all of the weak and nasty characters show up. Anyway, I really liked that one, and many others too.

Overall, I LOVED this collection; there were some really great stories, some good ones, and some not-so-good ones. But it’s well worth it for the good stories. “Nothing Less Than Fairy-Land” and “Love and Best Wishes, Aunt Jane” were both really good stories; entertaining and interesting to read. The only two authors that I knew in this collection were Amanda Grange and Adriana Trigiani. I haven’t actually read Adriana Trigiani, though I do want to read The Shoemaker’s Wife. But “Love and Best Wishes, Aunt Jane” was by her, and as I said, I really liked it, as well as “Jane Austen’s Nightmare” and several others. Some of the ones set in the present day, like the one at a haunted Northanger Abbey and the one about the actress named Anne Elliot were just okay for me. I felt like they lacked the distinctive verve of the Austen style, that special sparkle. Though the one in Northanger Abbey wasn’t terrible.

This anthology contains many good stories, not just a few. I also really liked “Mr. Bennet Meets His Match”, which tells of how Mr. Bennet married Mrs. Bennet. And “Intolerable Stupidity” was hilarious! The various people who have dared to meddle with Austen’s works are put on trial. This includes the film adaptions- the wet shirt scene, for example. And of course, people who have dared to add zombies, vampires, and sea monsters to Austen’s books. This story features Lady Catherine de Bourgh presiding, and Mr. and Mrs. Darcy, of course. Though very silly, it was really funny, and I loved reading it, though the actual plot between the defense lawyer and the prosecutor wasn’t that interesting. Though some stories were just okay, I others I really liked, and still others I loved. I would highly recommend this collection.

This is an Austen inspired book worth buying, so I’m certainly glad that I did. It offers many a story for every Austen fan, and I loved it.

Read Jane Austen Made Me Do It:

  • if you like Jane Austen
  • if you like short stories

432 pages.

Outstanding Book That Will Stay On My Bookshelf For Rereading (jf I own it)!