Monday, November 15, 2010

The Duel by Anton Tcheckhov

Anton Tcheckhov's, The Duel is a short story about an aristocrat Ivan Andreitch, also called Laevsky, and his mistress Nadyezhda Fyodorovna, or Vanya,  who he is trying to leave.  Anton Tcheckhov was a Russian writer at the turn of the century. It was altogether a bit confusing and I think the names of the people were different, or their nicknames were significantly different which made it confusing. Here is my best explanation anyhow.  Nadyezhda Fyodorovna was actually married to a different man that she left in order to run away with Laevsky, but he has died, leaving her the opportunity to marry  Laevsky. Both of them are sickened by the prospect at marrying the other and secretly are trying to find anyway to escape being with each other. Laevsky has been faithful to her, but he is trying to gather enough money to run away, actually back to his mom.  Nadyezhda Fyodorovna has actually cheated on Laevsky, but does feel horrible about it, but doesn't manage to stop. The couple has debts and she seems to sleep with the owners of the shop and other men who are blackmailing her threatening to make a scene if she doesn't cooperate.  Other women are upset with her and forcefully tell her to marry Laevsky, but one night his friends lead him to a house where he walks in on his mistress with another man.  In the meantime Nikolay Vassilitch, also called Von Koren or the zoologist, and Laevsky hate each other and agree to a duel to settle their fued which all started because Laevsky was begging friends for money to run away from Nadyezhda Fyodorovna and they thought this was ungentlemanly and cruel. The seconds at the duel try to stop it, but it continues anyway. A friend who was a deacon or godly man shouts out so the bullets go a stray and the men are saved. Laevsky goes home and realizes Nadyezhda Fyodorovna is all he has and stays with her in love. In the end the dueling men also have a civilized departure now that Laevsky stays with Nadyezhda Fyodorovna and is working hard to pay of their debts, and seen to have a great change of heart.


The novella was good, but a bit confusing to follow. Regaurdless it had great discussion about relationships and life that where thought provoking and insightful. The film version directed by Dover Kosashvili came out in the spring of 2010 and received good reviews. The screenplay was written by Mary Bing and filmed in Croatia. The trailer has been removed offline, so I am hoping that it may plan to be released more broadly.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Loving Mr. Darcy by Sharon Lathan

Loving Mr. Darcy is the second in Lathan's Darcy Saga series; currently there are four novels out.  The second book picks up with Mrs. Darcy's confirmation in being pregnant. Mr. Darcy continues to dote upon his wife and becomes very involved with her health and the preparations needed for a new baby.  He continues to stay attentive to his wife; their romance and sexual appetite does not falter, rather increasing with the new love an heir to Pemberly brings.  Elizabeth takes on more responsibilities of being the Mistress of Pemberly and plans a lovely Christmas and summer celebration.  Elizabeth continues to impress and win the favor of everyone she meets.  Even Lady Catherine comes around and eventually apologizes to the Darcy's for her previous words and actions.  The couple travels to town and then throughout Derbyshire as Lizzy is presented as Mr. Darcy's new wife and she learns more about what it is to be a Darcy.  There is little in the plot to this book except smutty sexual escapades, which is great if that is what you are looking for.  The first was a bit more balanced between romance and plot.  At times Lathan throws in a new interesting twist when Lizzy is confronted with a jealous woman who Mr. Dary had previously called upon, or when robbers attack the Darcy carriage, but these quick plot interests only last a couple pages and then are resolved quickly and it goes back to the love making.  These twists were interesting and exciting parts, but the author fails to develop them into something deep and entertaining, and the conflicts resolve themselves just as quickly as they start.  This book isn't bad if you are addicted to Mr. Darcy, and it will fulfill your craving for more Pride and Prejudice romance, but it most certainly lacks a strong plot.

Sharon Lathan's Darcy Saga:
Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy
Loving Mr. Darcy
My Dearest Mr. Dary
In the Arms of Mr. Darcy

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One by Sharon Lathan

Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy is the first in a Darcy Saga series by Lathan. Currently there are four books out in the series.  This is a great romance novel based on Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice and the Kiera Knightly movie adaptation.  Nonetheless, the books in the series are hefty and long, with enough pages to really get carried away in the time period, romance, and story.  The book begins with the Darcy wedding and flashbacks even further to the proposal.  It chronicles Elizabeth coming home to Pemberly for the first time, and how she adapts to the new estate. Her adjustment to the servants and finer things is exciting and the romance builds between Elizabeth and Darcy into a lustful, smutty read. The two can't keep their hands off each other.  In their down time, Elizabeth builds a stronger relationship with Georgiana and the married women of Derbyshire.  An ugly meeting between Elizabeth and an ungentlemanly Marquis ends with Elizabeth injured and Darcy preparing for a duel. Darcy is severely distraught with the thought of loosing his precious new wife, and possibly an unborn heir to Pemberly.   Those who can't get enough of these characters will be enthralled with the first book of the series.


Sharon Lathan's Darcy Saga:
Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy
Loving Mr. Darcy
My Dearest Mr. Dary
In the Arms of Mr. Darcy