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.