Two Guys Read Jane Austenby Steve Chandler
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This is the third book in the critically acclaimed Two Guys series by Steve Chandler and Terrence Hill. This time the two guys take on their biggest challenge yet—Jane Austen. Follow their wild and often hilarious exchanges as they fly through Pride and Prejudice and the darker, more complex Mansfield Park. Often veering off into the worlds of music, sports, and history, both of these accomplished writers draw upon their lifelong friendships and shared childhood memories to give dimension to their deeply personal responses to Jane Austen’s writing.
These same zany digressions and non-sequiturs were widely hailed in their first two books in this series, Two Guys Read Moby-Dick and Two Guys Read the Obituaries. Terrence Hill and Steve Chandler share their humorous and touching commentaries and debates with their readers in a way unlike any other, a testimony to their 53-year friendship.
Some guys would rather have jaw surgery than to read JA. Steve Chandler could well have been one of them. As an English major in college, now a successful writer in his sixties, Steve has miraculously managed to avoid reading Jane Austen all his life, until now. On the other hand, his co-author Terrence N. Hill, an award-winning playwright and author, has read Pride and Prejudice three times, good man. Prompted by their wives, Steve and Terry embarked on this new project in their Two Guys series, taking the risk of treading no man’s land. However, considering their previous Two Guys titles, Two Guys Read Moby Dick and Two Guys Read the Obituaries, they are well-primed for this venture.
Attaining to true Austenesque style, the two lifelong friends read two Jane Austen novels and wrote letters to each other about their thoughts over a six-month period. I must admit I’m surprised (sorry guys) at the incisive look and the fresh perspective they bring to the forefront. Their sharp observations, humorous takes on many issues, their LOL commentaries on popular culture, and intelligent analysis on various topics make this a most gratifying read for both men and women, Janeites or would be’s.
Many do not want to read Jane Austen because they think she was just a 19th Century rural spinster awashed in naiveté, who had never heard of Napoleon or the war he was raging, ignorant about the slave trade from which England was benefiting, or couldn’t tell the difference between a country and a continent. The most they might think of her is as the mother of all modern day chick lit or the romance novel. Well, these myths are all dispelled by two guys that have experienced Jane Austen first-hand, and lived to tell their discovery.
Here are some of their insights and words of wisdom as they read Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park. I’m quoting directly from their letters to each other: •Jane’s got more adoring female fans than Brad Pitt, and my guess is they’re more intelligent too.
•JA (through Elizabeth) is a witty, rebellious voice for intelligence and passion in the face of those stuffy British strictures. I love this. I love a woman (or a man, for that matter) who has no need to win anyone over.
•Wasn’t Elizabeth Bennet heroic because she was such a totally self-responsible, proudly independent person? Wasn’t Darcy the same?
•I really enjoy how much you like Jane Austen, that you cry when reading her books, and that you can still be a man… A man not afraid of the feminine principle becomes even more of a man.
•…elegantly cerebral. But once you acclimate yourself to the flow of the language, it is addictive. JA’s writing becomes more captivating with each new chapter because of how many layers of psychological posturing she strips away.
•Men are often accused of putting their wives on a pedestal. Women build a pedestal and then spend their time trying to create something worthy of going on it.
•I don’t think Austen ever gets proper credit for her role in the development of the comic novel.
•Jane never attended school after the age of 11. After that she was entirely self-taught… S&S, P&P, NA, three of the greatest novels of all time–all written by 25. Thinking of myself at that age. If I had had time on my hands I could well imagine having written three novels… What I can’t imagine is that they would have been any good. Ah, but then I had the disadvantage of an education.
•The true measure of her characters is their hearts and minds. What the movies cannot get to - or do justice to - is the intelligence.
•Jane is all about principle. Living true to your highest ideals, your highest self… she shows us there is a beauty to morality..
If you are a Jane Austen fan, or just completely obsessed with her - this book is a must have to add to your collection.
Who knows...They may have just started a reading revolution among men?
Meet the Author
Drawing on Steve’s more than 20 years of working with professionals to dramatically improve their success, the “MindShift” he offers frees people from unnecessary pessimism and puts them back in touch with the source of their enthusiasm for work and life.
Although Steve Chandler graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Creative Writing and Political Science, and spent four years in the military studying language and psychological warfare; he credits his own life experiences with failure as the most valuable tools for helping others. Steve’s audiences are inspired by stories of his “low points” – it gives them hope, because they realize that they are not nearly as bad off as he was – they figure if Steve can transform his life, so can they!
Steve Chandler is now the author of 20 books that have been translated into over 20 languages. His personal success coaching, public speaking and business consulting have been used by CEOs, top professionals, major universities, and over 30 Fortune 500 companies. He has twice won the national Audio of the Year award from King Features Syndicate. A popular guest on TV and radio talk shows, Steve Chandler has recently been called "the most powerful public speaker in America today."
Terrence Hill worked in advertising – as a writer and creative director – for more than thirty years in Toronto , Detroit , Washington , New York , London and Paris . After quitting, Terry started writing for himself. He's written and published poetry, essays and short fiction. In 2005, he won the Playhouse on the Green (Bridgeport, CT) playwriting competition with his first play Hamlet – The Sequel , and published his first book – Two Guys Read Moby-Dick (co-written with Steve Chandler). It was a good year. The second book in the “Two Guys” series – Two Guys Read the Obituaries – was published in the fall of 2006.
Friends for almost five decades, Steve Chandler and Terry Hill maintain a lively and often hilarious correspondence about reading Melville, people who've died, and pretty much anything else that strikes their interest. They are engagingly susceptible to digression.
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