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Contemporary Romance Review: Pursuing The Times by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Pursuing The Times by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Review copy courtesy of the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
All that popular Chick-Lit author Mercury Lauren wants is to have one of her books reviewed by the New York Times Book Review - just one - and she'll do almost anything to get it. 

In this contemporary romantic comedy, with a nod toward Pride and Prejudice she crosses swords and hearts with the Editor-in-Chief of the NYTBR in a madcap adventure that takes her from her home in Westport to a yoga retreat to a golf course in Florida. 

Will she get what she wants and will she finally be happy if she does? Only one thing's for certain: nothing will stop her from Pursuing the Times.

Amazon kindle US($4.99)/UK(£3.18)


* * *
 Pursuing The Times has all the attributes of chick-lit. It's funny, silly and appeals to anyone who likes reading different renditions of Pride and Prejudice, which is what it is essentially.

Mercury is a lovely madcap character writer who writes these clever satirical books people often mistakenly label as chick-lit. She believes that if New York Times reviews one of her novels the tide will turn, and the prejudiced outlook on her books will stop. 

This aspect - talking about the snobby attitude literary fiction critics take on chick-lit, historical romance or any paranormal romance or those who scornfully label erotica as "mommy porn" - this what really gets to me, because we all have to deal with such attitude, and I'm sick and tired of people labeling women who read these genres as lonely spinsters or dumb housewives who can't comprehend "higher" literature (not that there is anything wrong with being a housewife or not wanting to be in any sort of relationship). As far as I'm concerned, they can all stuff it!

Phew! So, this is a book about stereotypes, and that's what it plays on. Mercury is a chick-lit heroine through and through, and sometimes it's too much. I felt like her character was intentionally overdone and was being too silly for words, and that was hard to swallow. 

If Mercury is our Lizzy, then Frank D'Arcangelo, the editor-in-chief of NYTBR is perfectly pompous Mr. Darcy. However, I thought as a character he was written better and felt more genuine.

There are others of course, as many as you would expect from a book playing with Austen, and they are delightfully absurd. The book reads fast, it's enjoyable, and its ending is really satisfying.

Overall, recommended, especially to authors, publicists, editors and bloggers who would probably find the most amusement in this book.

* * *
С удовольствием прочитала новую книгу Лорен. Мне нравится, что она взялась за тему авторов-критиков и описала её в стиле Гордости и Предубеждения.

Меркьюри, главная героиня, пишет сатирические книги, которые ошибочно принимают за чик-лит (женскую литературу вроде Донцовой). Она устала от постоянного презрения критиков, которые считают, что её книги не относятся к литературе и верит, что если ей удастся уговорить редактора рецензионного отдела Нью-Йорк Таймс прорецензировать ей книгу, то для неё всё изменится.

Естественно, если Меркьюри - это наша Лиззи, то Франку ДАрканжело удачно удаётся отобразить неповторимый снобизм Мистера Дарси. Второстепенные персонажи тоже хороши, читать весело и время за книгой пролетает быстро.

Единственное, что мне не понравилось - это то, что Меркьюри временами заносило в глубины абсурда, и юмор становился натужным, но у меня есть подозрение, что автор специально спародировала все обычные клише жанра.


Blodeuedd said...

The font of times makes me think of nazis, not a good thing

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) said...

I am bothered by the attitudes towards genre fiction and I often get into argumets about it, especially with my colleagues from the Literature department of my Uni. There are quite a few literary gems that are considered "mere" genre fiction, and even those that aren't literary achievments certainly have an audience.
But I'll stop the rant here.
:) Great review.

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Glad to see you enjoyed this one.

I don't read the erotica, but I still get the eyes from people who see my fantasy or UF books. At this point in the ball game, I don't care what they think. lol. But yes, it's a shame the attitudes.

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