Cover Image: Eligible


Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

An adaptation that feels at once deeply faithful and far more impious than any of the Austen updates that have come before.
Was this review helpful?
Eligible: A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice (Austen Project Book 4) by [Curtis Sittenfeld]Eligible is a contemporary version of Pride and Prejudice. This is not a version that I care for. I feel like Jane Austen gave her character depth where in this version there were backstories but I didn't feel like I could connect with any of them. Plus there were enough other twists and turns that made me feel that this book  was a shabby interpretation of the classic.

If you are a fan of Pride and Prejudice I would not recommend this. If not, go ahead and try it.
Was this review helpful?
This story is a modern day retelling of Pride and Prejudice. While it does not strictly adhere to the ages and stages of the original characters, it is a light, fun retelling. A die-hard fan of P&P may be a bit disappointed, but I found it to be an entertaining read and well worth the time.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this funny and smart take on modern Life. Curtis Sittenfeld never disappoints me. Her writing is some of the best out there, bright and unexpected.
Was this review helpful?
An enjoyable modern take on Pride and Prejudice. I wasn't sure about the reality show premise but it won me over. Worth the read.
Was this review helpful?
Sittenfeld accomplishes what so few authors can successfully accomplish: a modern rendering of the well-loved and cherished novel, Pride and Prejudice. The way Sittenfeld lines up the plot points and twists and subject-matter to mirror the original Pride and Prejudice is absolutely skillful, creative, and spot-on. Her characters are consistent with Austen's version, but modern, and the chemistry between Liz and Darcy is steamy. I've read this novel twice and I look forward to reading it a third time! It is well-done and I recommend it to all my fellow readers--especially to my fellow Austenites.
Was this review helpful?
Such a smart, witty Jane Austen adaptation! I would follow these characters anywhere—didn't want it to end.
Was this review helpful?
While there were some excellently written parts of Eligible, for me, it is the weakest of the Austen project books in terms of bringing Austen’s characters to life in a modern setting. I gave Eligible only 1.5 stars out of five.

If you want to see a modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice done well, I recommend you rather take a look elsewhere
Was this review helpful?
After reading a few chapters, I decided this book held no interest for me at this time nor was it a good fit for my blog.  I elected not to finish the book now, but it may well be a case of "the wrong book at the wrong time" syndrome and I might be willing to try it again in the future.  Thank you to Random House and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to sample this title.
Was this review helpful?
It only took me almost two years to finally read this, but I had no doubt that I eventually would. And I knew once I did read it, I would wonder why it had taken me so long. I love Curtis Sittenfeld's writing, and Eligible was no exception. Pride and Prejudiceis one of my all-time favorite novels, and I love a good retelling! I was so happy that Sittenfeld had managed to maintain the true tone of all the characters created by Jane Austen, while successfully carrying them into the present day. Happy to finally mark this on off my tbr list!
Was this review helpful?
I just adored this book! A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice, it was tremendous fun to read, and I couldn't put it down. I always enjoy Curtis Sittenfeld's writing; she has a real knack for bringing characters to life. Interestingly, I only read Pride and Prejudice for the first time last year, and unlike most of the people I know who read it in their youth, I only liked it rather than loved it. So you may want to take it with a grain of salt when I say, in what might be sacrilege to some, that I enjoyed this version far more than the original. 4.5 stars.
Was this review helpful?
I am a sucker for the retelling of classic literature. It is hard for an author to make the story their own, and Curtis Sittenfeld accomplishes this. This modern Pride and Prejudice finds the Bennet family  living in Cincinnati, where they are struggling to keep up appearances in the face of medical and financial difficulties.

Modern Jane and Liz return home during their father's medical crisis. They find their youngest two sisters are crossfit-obsessed, vulgar and absolutely no help at home and their mother is shallow and obsessed with a reality tv matchmaking show. Jane falls for Chip Bingley, doctor and former reality tv contestant, while Liz is involved in a destructive work affair. 

Of course., Liz meets Mr. Darcy and their  dislike wars with their mutual attraction. I found the Liz-Darcy relationship a bit too Harlequin romance-y for my taste and left me frustrated with Liz's judgement. I guess that can't be helped, given the source material. 

All in all, it is an enjoyable summer read.
Was this review helpful?
I am actually shocked at how much I enjoyed this book – probably one of the more entertaining “chick-lit” books I’ve read over the last few years, BUT this may have more to do with the fact it was a retelling of one of my favorite classics, Pride & Prejudice.  I also may have enjoyed this one more than normal because it is set in Cincinnati Ohio, which is about 1 hour from where I live in real life.  Basically, I may be a little biased here.

I’d call this book a guilty pleasure type of book, or “fluffy” if you will.  You really cannot go into this book expecting a piece of literary gold like the original P&P, but rather think of it as a more modern “watered-down” story inspired by a great classic.  It reminded me of those awful reality TV shows we watch that are mindless drama and entertainment.  Speaking of reality TV, this book includes a reality show where many of the characters end up participating.  I found myself laughing at the “over the top” nature of the show, but with some of the reality shows I’ve seen aired on television, the portrayal probably wasn’t too farfetched.

Judging it from a retelling perspective, I’d say Sittenfeld did a great job staying true to the spirit of the original story while bringing it up to date and adding enough new elements.  I’ve said it a hundred times, good retellings are hard to achieve.  I feel like Eligible is a very balanced retelling.

 Much like the original, I enjoyed the family dynamics and the focus on the Bennet sisters and their differences.  If you thought there was family drama in the original P&P, than buckle your seatbelts because Eligible is family drama to the extreme.  I would expect nothing less in a family with FIVE girls.   Also like the original, Elizabeth was my favorite character.  I really felt for her throughout the book.  Being the responsible & level-headed child in the family is exhausting.  Not that I know from experience, just an assumption.

Despite the fact that it was very readable & I enjoyed the retelling aspects, there felt like there were some problematic issues.  I felt like some of the diversity was included for the sake of diversity – a transgender character, a bi-racial couple, a woman who decides to get pregnant via a sperm donor…  While I was happy to see some diversity included in the story, It felt like these characters were thrown into the story provide drama, which didn’t feel right to me.

Another issue that I had with this book was that the final chapter felt oddly placed.  The entire book is told through Elizabeth’s perspective, however the final chapter shifts to one of her younger sister’s perspective.  While I appreciated the insight into that particular character, I didn’t like how the book ended on that note.

Overall, this book was mindless entertainment that succeeded in getting me to chuckle on occasion.  Personally, I like my books with more depth to them, BUT if you are a fan of “chick lit” or need a mindless beach read, then this might be up your alley.

*3.5 Stars*
*Big thanks to Random House for providing me with a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
A fun re-visit of Jane Austen's classic tale with a modern spin - Eligible will make many die-hard Pride and Prejudice fans deeply smile - and entice neophytes into read the classic.
Was this review helpful?
This was a great modern take on Austen. Loved everything about this book!
Was this review helpful?
Such a great book if you are a fan of hers you will love this one!
Was this review helpful?
Thus far, The Austen Project has been a major let-down. When I found out the next story was going to tackle ‘Pride and Prejudice’ I braced myself for another disappointment. Thankfully ‘Eligible‘ by Curtis Sittenfeld is by far the best of the series, but it’s still not my favorite Austen-inspired story.

In this modern-adaptation of the classic story, Darcy and Liz still have some good chemistry, but Jane and Bingley are the more interesting twist.

Chip Bingley is world-famous thanks to an appearance on ‘Eligible,’ a tv dating show much like the ‘Bachelor.’ His sister is his troublesome manager, and Dr. Darcy is less-than-thrilled to be in Cincinnati.

Liz and her sister, both in their late thirties, aren’t our typical Bennets either. While their younger sisters may be busy being addicted to CrossFit (well, except Mary, who keeps her life a little more shrouded). Jane is undergoing fertility treatments because she’s a modern woman that doesn’t need a man to have a child. Liz is a magazine writer, a typical romance heroine career choice, but also the force trying to keep her crumbling family together.

As events unfold, we watch the Bennets spin toward financial ruin and thrown into the spotlight of reality tv.

Was this review helpful?
The latest addition to The Austen Project is a fun twist on Pride and Prejudice
Was this review helpful?
There’s pride, there’s prejudice, and there’s also text break-ups, reality tv, ‘hate sex’, Bitcoin, jogging, and Ivy League schools in Eligible, Curtis Sittenfeld’s fabulous, frothy take on the Austen classic, Pride and Prejudice.

The brilliance in Sittenfeld’s rendering of Pride is that she stayed absolutely true to the story (a ridiculous social-climber plots to marry-off her five daughters to suitable, wealthy men), and yet made it very much her own.

All five  girls had then gone on to private colleges before embarking on what could euphemistically be called non-lucrative careers, though in the case of some sisters, non-lucrative non-careers was a more precise descriptor.

The story is set in Cincinnati (Sittenfeld’s hometown) and we find Liz as a magazine journalist; Jane, a yoga instructor; Mary doing her third online masters degree; and Kitty and Lydia gadding about eating high-protein meals and attending CrossFit.

The endearing elements of Pride – the ridiculousness of Mrs Bennett; the parrying between Darcy and Liz; the insightful, ever-polite snipes – are still there. Darcy is updated as a neurosurgeon and Mr Bingley (Chip) is fresh from appearing on ‘Eligible’, a ‘Bachelor’-like reality tv show (which everyone claims not to watch).

“Did you really never watch Eligible when Chip was on?”
“She’s never watched any of Eligible,” Liz said. “She’s like a unicorn.”
“Oh, Chip’s season was fantastic,” Charlotte said. “There was an actual physical fight involving ripped-out hair extensions.”

The lessons in love are updated but unchanged – Liz, interviewing a prominent feminist (a reimagined Lady Catherine de Bourgh), is told “There’s no shame in devoting yourself to another person, as long as he devotes himself to you in return.”

Likewise, Sittenfeld doesn’t shy away from updating the ‘prejudice’ elements of the story, taking jabs at the hypocrisy and absurdity inherent in our current ‘politically correct’ society –

…if Liz had learned that anybody in her social circle in New York had eloped with someone transgender, she’d have greeted the news with support; she might have even felt that self-congratulatory pride that heterosexual white people are known to experience due to proximate diversity.

Some Austen fans will detest this book (it’s vulgar! It’s all too obvious!) but keep in mind that it’s not intended to replace Pride, or better it – I’m sure Sittenfeld is happy to leave the one-upmanship to Mrs Bennett. I thoroughly enjoyed Eligible for what it was – light and entertaining.

4/5 Delightful fluff.

I received my copy of Eligible from the publisher, Random House, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Note that Eligible is part of The Austen Project, in which 21st-century authors retell Austen’s novels in a contemporary setting.
Was this review helpful?
I had my doubts that a modern day Pride and Prejudice would be able to provide a fresh and fun update while maintaining razor sharp wit and satire. Sittenfeld was able to do just that with Eligible. The plot maintains its integrity with updated relevance and the characters remain themselves despite their modern sensibilities. It was a fun breezy read and I feel as though people who might not "get" Austen will have better insight after reading Eligible.
Was this review helpful?