I'm on the search for new podcasts. I have a small grouping now, some one-offs, only two "entertainment" ones but I keep zoning out when I listen. That can't be good.
I just started BBC's Shreds podcast so hopefully I can pay attention here. (**update: it was very good!)
Title: The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet
Author: Kate Rorick and Bernie Su
Page Number: 400 pages (paperback)
Genre: romance, contemporary, fiction, young adult
Publisher: Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster
Twenty‑four‑year‑old grad student Lizzie Bennet is saddled with student loan debt and still living at home along with her two sisters—beautiful Jane and reckless Lydia. When she records her reflections on life for her thesis project and posts them on YouTube, she has no idea The Lizzie Bennet Diaries will soon take on a life of their own, turning the Bennet sisters into internet celebrities seemingly overnight.
When rich and handsome Bing Lee comes to town, along with his stuck‑up friend William Darcy, things really start to get interesting for the Bennets—and for Lizzie’s viewers. But not everything happens on‑screen. Lucky for us, Lizzie has a secret diary.
The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet takes readers deep inside Lizzie’s world and well beyond the confines of her camera—from the wedding where she first meets William Darcy to the local hangout of Carter’s bar, and much more. Lizzie’s private musings are filled with revealing details about the Bennet household, including her growing suspicions about her parents’ unstable financial situation, her sister’s budding relationship with Bing Lee, the perils of her unexpected fame, and her uncertainty over her future—and whom she wants to share it with.
To be fair, I watched the YouTube series before I read the book and I'm quite partial to it because I liked how they used the new medium (social media) to tell the story of Pride and Prejudice. It's (of course) highly orchestrated but it played out so well.
The book fills in extra (off scene) moments of the Lizzie Bennet world. While I did like the book for what it was, I don't think it would have been something I would have been partial to if I had not seen the YouTube series first. Some of the characterizations are ridiculous and I can't quite wrap my brain around the writing. For some reason it seemed to be opposite of the web series.
That being said, it seems to be quite a beloved book on Goodreads so I'm glad to be in the minority of thinking it just "eh, okay." There is a backstory in the book between Bing and Jane. There's activities that Lizzie partakes in with Darcy and Georgianna while in San Francisco. There's more to the story of Lydia and cousin Mary. There's more of a conclusion of Charlotte's career projection. There was more of an explanation of the Bennet financial situation in the book. In that sense, this book is brilliant for the web series, but it's not compulsory.
So, lets talk about the web series. It's called The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.
It was created by the Bernie Su and Hank Green (Su is one of the co-author's of the book) and it won an Emmy! The 'episodes' are fairly short (and ad-free) hovering around five minutes or less.
Obviously, it follows Pride and Prejudice fairly well, with a modern take on Lydia's issues but also on why it would be so important for Lizzie and Jane to make sound financial decisions (in the modern take they are not wholly dependent on getting married to secure their future). There are changes, since woman are now allowed careers and there is no family shame is getting married to a tosser (besides just being married to a tosser).
I'd give it a try for a variety of reasons, the trans-media aspect of turning a classic novel into a web series of vlogs and twitter moments, the update of Lydia as just a punchy young woman who trusted the wrong guy, the update of freedom each person gets (unrestrained from social expectations of the time) and Lizzie's Bennet's over the top performances as her parents and Darcy for the camera. It has some funny moments.