Read Vanity and Vexation: A Novel of Pride and Prejudice by Kate Fenton Online


"Tall, dark, and arrogantly handsome - not to mention distinguished, powerful, and rolling in money. Mr. Darcy? No, that's just the woman director of Pride and Prejudice," reports Nicholas Llewellyn Bevan, impoverished novelist and occasional (reluctant) journalist, when a TV production company trundles into his sleepy North Yorkshire valley. Amusedly Llew watches these gl"Tall, dark, and arrogantly handsome - not to mention distinguished, powerful, and rolling in money. Mr. Darcy? No, that's just the woman director of Pride and Prejudice," reports Nicholas Llewellyn Bevan, impoverished novelist and occasional (reluctant) journalist, when a TV production company trundles into his sleepy North Yorkshire valley. Amusedly Llew watches these glamorous invaders combine the filming of Jane Austen's romantic classic with the much less modest pursuit, off-camera, of real-life romances with the locals.Under his very nose, his bashful handsome neighbor John is plucked out of a village dance by the famously gorgeous (and wealthy) leading actress, Candia Bingham, with whom he at once falls completely in love. Our would-be hero manages only to trip over the black-booted foot of the intimidating and imperious director, Mary Dance. So he's amazed - and a little bit alarmed - when her steely eye seems to be straying his way.An update on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Vanity and Vexation is a modern take on her blueprint of the romance game complete with sex, money, and power....

Title : Vanity and Vexation: A Novel of Pride and Prejudice
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780312328023
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Vanity and Vexation: A Novel of Pride and Prejudice Reviews

  • Melindam
    2019-04-05 05:52

    "... Sod this for a lark, why not turn the classic formula upside down and inside out? Keep the plot, but reverse the sexes? Eat your heart out Jane Austen, this is your actual 20th Century Equal Opportunities Romance: rich, rude, rakish women chasing shy, impoverished men...."And this is exactly what Nicholas Llewellyn Bevan, former journalist-turned-thriller-writer does when he finds himself at a loose end or rather without any idea for his next thriller-book-to-be. He decides to try his hands and typewriter at something completely different. He is possibly influenced by the sudden turn-up of a television crew - filming P&P- at his doorstep/in the North Yorkshire village he lives. As to his muse: could it be the famous actress, Candia Mayhew?No, forget it, she is smitten by Nick's widowed & reticent, but utterly handsome brother-in-law, John. Could it then be the talented, powerful but saturnine director, Mary Hamilton who thinks Nick is "halfway presentable", though most of the time she doesn't even seem to realise he exists? That's more like it. Add some actors, journalists, literary wannabes, exwives and village gossips to the mix, shake well and you get this utterly delightful novel by Kate Fenton written back in 1995.It manages to pull off being obvious, but subtle at the same time. It is fresh, sassy and funny and the best modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice I have come across so far with a great plot, memorable protagonists and secondary characters who are individuals of their own right and don't only serve as stunt doubles for our favourite literary characters.Published in the US as Vanity and Vexation: A Novel of Pride and Prejudice.

  • Lisa Murray
    2019-03-25 04:08

    The trick to this book is to 'hold it loosely.' I was startled to be introduced to two men (rather than marriage seeking girls) on the first pages. Reality and the gender-bending recapitulation by Llew, the main character, blur WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENED. But this has all the fun of pride and prejudice with some interesting modern twists--even a couple quick jaunts overseas. If you want something fun and light with witty repartee and lots of Austen-esque characters, this is your book.

  • Kristen
    2019-04-16 10:03

    I would call this a Pride & Prejudice-"esque" book, as opposed to a sequel. It's set in present day, and the twist is that in this story the "Darcy" character is a woman, and the "Elizabeth" character is a man. It sounds weird, but it's actually pretty cleverly done.This is more of an homage to the underlying themes from P&P rather than any direct connection to the original, but it's a fun romp, I liked the characters, and the story is enjoyable. A fast, light read, and if you're looking for something a little different in the P&P type story, you may enjoy this one.

  • Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)
    2019-04-19 09:10

    This was such a fun book to read. It is the story of "Pride and Prejudice" in our time period. So if you are looking for a book that carries on the Regency style period and Jane Austen's style of writing this is not it! I recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed watching or reading Bridget Jones's Diary. It is similar to BJD in the language mostly. One, the author uses profanity occasionally and Two, some words or phrases may be hard to understand if you are not British or in this case Welsh. The author did a fantastic job of not only bringing Pride and Prejudice to the 21st Century but also inverting all the character's genders. Can you imagine the proud, arrogant Mr. Darcy as a woman? You will find character traits of Elizabeth Bennet in the mystery thriller novelist Nick Bevan and Mr. Darcy with film director Mary Hamilton. Also it is hilarious to spot others like Lady Catherine and Mrs. Bennet in the opposite gender roles. This book will test your knowledge of "Pride and Prejudice" with its many parallels. You can compare what you know from "Pride and Prejudice" and discover that the author used it and reversed it in her story. It was a wonderful read, I enjoyed the author's intelligent writing. I personally wish she did not include profanity but I wasn't turned off by the use of it. Nevertheless, it was a very funny, entertaining, and intelligent story of "Pride and Prejudice" in the 21st Century with the genders switched.

  • Sarah
    2019-04-15 05:04

    I believe this is the first Jane-Austen-inspired novel that I have not cringed at and given up on in disgust almost immediately. I thought the story was very cleverly done -- both the parallels between the P&P characters and the "real" characters and the device of the novel-within-the-novel to undercut some possibly overstrained parallels. Reversing all of the genders and replacing the marriage-market motivations with a mixture of professional and social connections was really nicely handled. For some reason I wasn't expecting the gender-switching, so identifying which characters were parallel to which may have seemed like more of a fun game than it otherwise might have been. I felt particularly triumphant that I recognised the "Lydia" so early.I refrained from giving the book 5 stars because in the end I was a little bit let down by the actual execution of the Happily Ever After, but otherwise I thought it was very entertaining.

  • Birgitte Bach
    2019-03-22 12:05

    Glædede mig til en hyggelig og sød moderne genfortælling af 'stolthed og fordom'med ombyttede kønsroller, kom til side ti hvor der stod '...all hands on dicks' troede jeg havde læst forkert, men nej. Behøver jeg at skrive at det ikke er en bog jeg nogensinde kommer til at læse.

  • Ivonne Rovira
    2019-04-05 09:56

    Sometimes updated adaptations work wonderfully: Think of the film Clueless, a delightful update of Jane Austen’s Emma, or Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones's Diary, a modern-day retelling of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. But most of the time, the result is god-awful: Just consider the Ethan Hawke version of Hamlet or Baz Luhrman’s over-the-top gangster take on Romeo and Juliet. Yikes!Kate Fenton, fortunately, falls in the former camp, not the latter. Like Fielding, Fenton retells the tale of proud Fitzwilliam Darcy and prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet, only this time the genders are reversed and the setting, shifted to modern-day Wales. And, despite the odds, the transformation works pretty well. While not as spot-on as Fielding’s novel, Fenton’s Vanity and Vexation, despite its twee title change (the UK edition is called by the much less obvious Lions And Liquorice), the star-crossed relationship between movie director Mary Dance and journalist-turned-novelist Nick Bevan proves both funny and touching. I read this years and years ago, and I have remembered it fondly ever since. I have been wanting to re-read it for the last couple of years, but I could never remember the title. Luckily, I stumbled upon it today, so I’ll soon be enjoying this witty and fun novel all over again.

  • Wealhtheow
    2019-03-23 11:08

    Pride and Prejudice in modern times with the genders switched. Could have been good; instead, it just sort of meandered.

  • Victoria
    2019-04-09 03:56

    I don't love modern retellings of P&P. I often find they are clunky where the author twists and turns the plot to make it fit with modern times.Here's the issue, unless a modern retelling is set in a distinct era - the 20s, WWII, it gets dated. This book was written 20+ years ago in 1995, and it was a world without internet, cell phones, computers (apparently), which makes the modern shift more palatable. it's not current, almost nostalgic.Also I almost stopped caring about the characters the second I learned that the first half is basically a manuscript for Nick's novel.It was decent but not enough to make me love it.

  • Sandy D.
    2019-03-24 05:14

    Witty, fun and very, very British novel about a novelist and the director of a remake of Pride & Prejudice. The story parallels are pretty damn clever, with the added bit that the sexes are reversed - the proud, controlling, and misunderstood character is the female, and the male is down to earth and charming. With very fine eyes.And since it is set in the present and not the 19th century, there is some sex in addition to the letter writing and country dances.The cover blurb says "frothy" at least twice but I didn't find it frothy at all. Light, but definitely not frothy.

  • QNPoohBear
    2019-04-11 07:19

    A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. In the novel, BBC is remaking Pride and Prejudice and the locals and actors get mixed up in situations that parallel a novel. A twist halfway through really confused me. I could not like this book as much as I tried. I felt it was too contrived and that Pride and Prejudice just didn't work in that type of modern setting.

  • Angie
    2019-04-15 04:16

    Slightly Naughty Modern day Pride and Prejudice with a twist. Roles were not totally obvious at first (probably because genders were reversed) which made it more interesting. If your not from the UK though, you might need a translator. A lot of regional slang is used. :)

  • victoria_tonks
    2019-03-30 08:59

    3.5 stars

  • Roberta
    2019-03-25 11:06

    I found this really boring, though I enjoyed it the first time I read it, so I think I might have just been in the wrong mood.

  • Melissa
    2019-03-25 06:59

    Enjoyed this modern re-telling of Pride and Prejudice with the genders reversed, but wished there was less profanity and sex.

  • Courtney Laperriere
    2019-03-26 04:17

    Vanity and Vexation is a modernized, 278 page book, based on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. The author Kate Fenton used a clever and deceiving way to retell Austen's novel by changing the genders of the characters but having sharing characteristics and personalities. When I picked up the book I was aware of the gender role witches, but it was sill hard at first to pick up on which characters were matched with the ones in Pride and Prejudice. It was fun to try to figure out based on the story and each characters actions, and really got me to keep wanting the read the book. One thing I will say is that I found it smooth to read because I already knew the background of the story it was based on after reading Pride and Prejudice with my English class.In Vanity and Vexation by Kate Fenton the plot of the story was the same, but the main characters Mary Dance; taking after Mr. Darcy, and Nick; after Elizabeth Bennet are the ones who fall in love. Along with that love story is that of Jane and Bingley's; in this book John (Jane's character) and Candia Bingham (Bingley's character). They meet at a village dance much like in Pride and Prejudice and dance together all night, meanwhile Nick is watching Mary's every move until he catches her eye. This was a little different than in Austen's book because in the beginning Elizabeth fell for Wickham and not Darcy, but basically the same idea. Most of the characters have a parallel in this modern book and the interesting way it's told makes it hard to put down.What I loved about this book was it put a whole new perspective to Pride and Prejudice and was a much easier read in my opinion. Some parts were boring and hard to follow along, or when they would throw in some British vocabulary that I wasn't familiar with. I didn't like how hard it was to figure out the characters at first, but when I really thought about it, it was fun to try to understand them. When I got this book it was just another book assignment to pass my class, but I really got into it. It's hard to say anything bad about it because it was such a good, fun read. It definitely was easier of having the background of Jane Austen's book to think back on, but I think it was be alright to not have that as well.As this book gets the modern side of Pride and Prejudice it talks with a lot of sex, drugs, and alcohol. "Isn't he just?' agreed Charlie heartily. 'How's your sex-life then, mate?" (page 147), it was all throughout the book and it became more of reality as the characters were so open about this, as opposed to the book we read in class. It was a clever, recreation of the characters; "Tomorrow?' glanced John. 'Lord knows. I don't want to be anti-social but I've a stack of work and-" (page 16) It shows how Jane's character remains doing the right thing and knows what her jobs are and the priorities.Overall great book!

  • Marsha
    2019-04-07 10:58

    What happens when an independent film crew filming “Pride and Prejudice” comes to a small sleepy town? Pandelirium! Read along with the struggles of Mr. Nicholas Llewellyn Bevan as he tries to get his next novel published (he’s got to write it first but that’s a mere formality) and court the attentions of a famous director while striving to keep out of her romantic clutches. See how many Austen references you can spot in this hilarious take-off from Jane Austen’s most familiar and popular novel as Ms. Fenton explores life and love among the rich and famous, the down at heel, the oh-so genteel and canny rustics who are quick to seize any opportunity to earn money. However, there’s more at stake than a film crew churning out yet another remake. Mr. Bevan’s novel is taking an interesting turn and one reads with amusement about the thin line between reality and fiction. Ms. Fenton has a trick or two up her literary sleeve and it would be a shame to spoil them by revealing them here. Read the book and find out for yourself.

  • Lisa Dickson
    2019-04-05 06:14

    Austen fans will be wise to steer clear of this book. There's truth in the title... Vexation awaits for readers. Sloppily edited so much that the last names of characters and the names of businesses erroneously change, you'll also encounter such glaring typos as "a women" (it should read a woman). The pacing is erratic but forgivable, however the stilted portrayal of Ahmurricans is tedious. The advice a character receives to pen a book with hopes to land a movie deal seems like the author's transparent confession about the sophomoric attempt at a twist on Austen contained betwixt these pages. There are many better Austen emulatives and fan-fiction to be had. Skip this one.

  • Elizabeth Hernandez
    2019-03-26 11:52

    This book was nice read. A few twists and turns kept it lively enough and I liked that's it's British. I read it with the accents in my head =)I like the premise...P&P with the genders switched (the "Lizzy" character is a welsh guy...etc). And that the main character is an author so he's writing a book with the same premise as the book he's in. It's a little crazy. Eventually you pick up and who everyone represents from Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice and then the plot becomes pretty easy to guess ahead of time.An easy read. Not hard to read on and on, but not too hard to put down either. Simple ending.

  • Janis
    2019-04-02 04:18

    I didn't know if I should give this book 2 or 3 stars. I really enjoyed the gender switch of characters from P&P, but could have done with quite a bit less of the vulgar language, 'modern' sexuality, and the British slang was hard to follow. I mean, how many times do you really have to insert the 'F'-word into a book? It looses it's shock value with so many repeats. But the story itself was fun to follow--to see how the author would incorporate the modern version of P&P. If you don't mind the vulgarities, it really is a fun, comical, modern take on one of my all-time favorites.

  • Cheryl
    2019-04-21 12:16

    I couldn't stick with this one to finish it. The idea of a gender-bending remake of P&P is interesting, but I think the fatal flaw in the book was that the two central characters--the Lizzie & Jane-alike males--were not much of interest. And maybe contemporary, small-town Britain lacks the romantic haze of Austen's day. I appreciated what she was trying to do, and I soldiered on through as much of it as I could, but the writer's crafting was too heavy-handed and artificial for my taste.

  • Kathryn
    2019-04-15 06:05

    A modern retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice with gender reversal makes this an interesting read. It tried a little to hard to hit you over the head with the idea that it was Pride and Prejudice. The movie they are shooting in the town is P&P and the main character decides to write the novel he is starring in. I didn't find that part necessary and I think it would have been better without it it.

  • Leslie Hickman
    2019-04-05 08:18

    This was an OUTSTANDING book. Very well written, well thought out and I just adored it. I liked how the characters sexes twisted from Austen's version from this being on the males version. Several times I could actually forget myself and think it was "real" and written by a man. LOVED it! TWO Thumbs up!

  • Sandra
    2019-04-14 11:00

    I just cannot get into this book. It just doesn't seem like anythign exciting is going to happen. The wording of this book is just harsh abd the characters are just not believable. I'm sure it's a personal thing for me as I hold some high standards for P&P variations as well as particular ways I need this book to be retold.

  • Jennifer Johnson
    2019-04-06 05:55

    "With its interesting gender-bending twist, Vanity and Vexation earns three stars. The novel started strong with great parallels to Austen's original, but the ending felt rushed."Read the rest of Inspired by Austen's review at

  • Dancer
    2019-03-25 06:50

    This was a bit difficult at first due to the dialect used, but once that became commonplace, it was worth the reading. This is a Pride and Prejudice variation. Only in this one the female is a movie producer, and she's the Darcy character. The male is the a writer and is the Elizabeth character. It has some nice twists and turns.

  • Danielle
    2019-03-23 06:02

    I was excited to read this modern-day twist of Pride and Prejudice, but ended up very disappointed. There was plenty of swearing and I just couldn't like the main characters. I ended up skipping to the end and reading the last page. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.

  • Rachel
    2019-04-05 07:08

    Seriously? the most wacked out version of Pride and Prejudice I've ever read, and that's saying something. Not only is the gender switched, but there's also a purposeless story-within-a-story thing happening.

  • Autumnpaw♥
    2019-04-11 08:01

    I was interested to read this modern-day twist of Pride and Prejudice but ended up very disappointed. There was plenty of swearing and I just couldn't like the main characters. I ended up just skipping to the end and reading the last page. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.

  • Abbey
    2019-04-17 07:08

    This was very clever - the reversal of the genders worked surprisingly well and the plot itself was well worked out and wasn't ridiculously forced. I think this is one of the better P&P adaptations that I've read.