By Steve Chandler and Terrence N. Hill
Published: Robert Reed; 2008
Synopsis: 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. 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.
My Take: I can honestly say I've never read another book like this one and it's too bad because I thoroughly enjoyed this. This must be some sort of niche genre. Old men share their opinions, epistolary style. I have expressed here before how old men, in general, pretty much amuse me. I find them tangential and grandfatherly and this book was no exception. It was comforting in a way I needed and explored Jane Austen, an author I love in a whole new way I wouldn't have expected.
The book doesn't have a whole lot of set up but you don't really need it. These men, Steve and Terrence have been best friends, essentially for their entire lives, and decide to read 'Pride and Prejudice' and 'Mansfield Park' together. They don't expect to go into it liking it all that much and instead find that they absolutely love it.
They go on this journey together through letters. One lives in Canada, the other lives in Arizona and so this seems to be the easiest way to discuss it. Through the letters of Austen's novels they find how important she was to the literary world, how lots of people have such a strong attachment to her, and how they often write letters that have absolutely nothing to do with Jane Austen (which I must admit ended up being my favorite part). A very enjoyable read!
(I got this book from PBS)