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Dirty Rotten Scoundrels!

May 07, 2017 05:05AM
How marvelous to see an Austenized version of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels! For those not familiar with the movie, it's a 1988 comedy in which Steve Martin and Michael Caine portray two competing con artists both trying to scam an heiress.

This fanfic was a very enjoyable story, and very nicely written. Thank you so much for sharing it!

That said, I agree completely with those who say that Henry ought to run away from Katerina as fast as he can. The problem isn't that she did something wrong. The problem is that she still hasn't recognized or taken responsibility for her acts. Even at the end, she's still justifying her bad behavior rather than apologizing for it -- and she's still telling him lies, too.

"You refused to speak with any potential buyers so that we could arrange an independent examination. So we didn't really steal it, you see. We just bought it on credit without warning you in advance.”

Katerina is justifying and minimizing her bad acts, but this too-cute argument doesn't change the fact that she put him in the hospital with a drug overdose so that she could steal from him. If she felt so bad about the overdose, why didn't she at least call an ambulance anonymously from a pay phone to make sure he would survive? Furthermore, it is not clear to me that Henry got full price for the work. Even if the cardinal paid a price for the pages that was "closer in line to what the complete work would have been worth", closer in line does not mean the same thing as more than any other bidder would have been willing to offer in a fair, open auction. By stealing the manuscript, they avoided a competitive auction for the whole work that might have paid Henry a higher price.

Nor is money the only issue. Henry might have preferred seeing the work in a museum rather than hidden away in a secret archive. We know from the earlier chapters that he was looking forward to the fame and recognition of having discovered a famous work. The cardinal's check won't restore that to him.

And Katerina is still lying to him. She presents herself as an academic ("I am a researcher for the Vatican Archives. I specialize in religious writings from before the turn of the millennium") but her skills simply aren't consistent with that story. She is European born and raised, but speaks American-accented English so perfectly that she can trick two con artists into believing she's American. She cracks safes without leaving any marks on the exterior. She is gracefully athletic, but can be convincingly clumsy at will -- not an easy thing to do without looking fake. These are not the skill sets of a researcher.

Finally, let's point out the awkwardness of the timing. The first time she appeared in his life, it was literally the same day that he discovered the manuscript was valuable. Then she stole it. The second time she appeared in his life was literally the same day that he became very rich. Coincidence?

The best thing about Austen's Catherine Morland was the purity of her character. This Katerina Moritz is all twisted up.

I enjoyed the story, but the other posters are right. Run, Henry! Run! grinning smiley

- Alan -

Scoundrels, end (4/4)

NN SApril 27, 2017 08:36PM

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels!

AlanMay 07, 2017 05:05AM

Re: Scoundrels, end (4/4)

Lucy J.May 04, 2017 03:24AM

Re: Scoundrels, end (4/4)

Shannon KApril 28, 2017 01:56PM

Re: Scoundrels, end (4/4)

Agnes BeatrixApril 28, 2017 07:33AM

Re: Scoundrels, end (4/4)

Maria VApril 28, 2017 06:31AM

Re: Scoundrels, end (4/4)

JoannaApril 29, 2017 02:19AM

Re: Scoundrels, end (4/4)

ErinEMay 01, 2017 01:30AM

Re: Scoundrels, end (4/4)

Megan EMay 03, 2017 03:34AM


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