I'm a middle school English teacher and mother of one teen girl. I tend to read paper copies of YA books and listen to books for adults.
...and I thought I loved Pride and Prejudice. Now I can't make up my mind. My high school English teacher once said that what makes a book a "classic" is when the heart is in conflict with the mind. That is what this story is about. How much of our true feelings should we reveal to the world? Is it better to attempt to remain in control of our emotions, appearing more reserved, or to allow our feelings full expression? Should our heart or our mind direct our actions? These questions are explored through the contrasting of two main characters - Elinor and Marianne. The narration was excellent - I could hear nuances between the sisters' voices and different accents or intonations for other characters. I've put this narrator's other Austen titles on my wish list.
Avid listener on my daily commute!
This novel was originally written as a series of letters when the author was 19 years old. It must therefore be forgiven for seeming a somewhat patched-up business, with a story that will perhaps seem a little lackluster in comparison with Emma Thompson's brilliant 1995 screen adaptation. There are too many characters here (no one needs the elder Miss Steele or Lady Middleton, both of whom Thompson wisely cut from her screenplay), the climactic scenes are a bit anticlimactic (Marianne doesn't end up at death's door after a collapse in the rain due to a melodramatic fit; she merely catches cold weeks after she has calmed down and become more or less resigned to Willoughby's betrayal), and the characters we think we know from the Ang Lee film act in odd ways (e.g., What realistic villain worth his salt would make a drawn-out apology for his wickedness, as Willoughby does here? Why in the world would Edward visit Barton Cottage wearing a ring made of Lucy Steele's hair? And even if he did, what in heaven's name could cause both the Miss Dashwoods--including Elinor--to assume the hair to be Elinor's?). Nonetheless, this is Austen, so as with Shakespeare, there are lots of hidden riches and surprises here, as well as some wicked twists which, told with Austen's trademark wit, will have you laughing out loud in your car. Add to all this the performance by the incomparable Juliet Stevenson (who does not, at any point in the recording, sound stuffy or as if she has a cold, contrary to a previous reviewer's claim) and you have yourself an auditory feast. Grade: A.
The novel is rich and fascinating--what IS it with Austen and older men/younger women?--and Juliet Stevenson is a terrific reader. The only flaw in the whole work is that Stevenson is clearly suffering from a cold or terrible allergies for the middle of the book, and her delivery is a bit nasal and muffled as a result.
I recommend this audiobook to all Jane Austen fans. This reading is lovely, doing justice to Austen's delicious language, subtle humor, and gentle satire.
Here we have three sisters and their mother being forced to leave their home due to the death of their father along with the greed of another. In the era this story was written women didn’t get inheritances unless they were married to a man. So when the father dies and their half brothers wife gets greedy its time for them to move. Like with other Jane Austen books she explores the life as it was then from a different angle of her previous books. In the end well, read the book to find out what happens. I’m glad this is available in audio because it’s too long to read with the number of books I have in my ‘pending’ stack.
I've been addicted to reading since high school. I started with pulp novels, switched to great literature in college and now read everything
Until now I've preferred subtle readers (my favorite is George Guidell, who sounds like he's telling rather than reading the story, and the effect is very captivating - you forget he's there). Juliet Stevenson is not a subtle reader, but she is just as captivating in a different way. She performs the narration, often shrieking, crying, giggling, etc. (I wouldn't have known exactly what Jane Austin meant by "laughing affectedly" without Stevenson demonstrating it.) Stevenson is my new favorite reader, and I would listen to anything she narrates. Now for the book itself: it's one of the best I've ever read. Austin balances the frustrating behaviors of her characters and their consequences so perfectly with hugely gratifying events (the rotten, spiteful mother disowning her son only to have it come back to haunt her in such a perfect way). I think this is a way of saying Austin is a master storyteller.
Juliet Stevenson's narration of Jane Austen is pitch-perfect! She captures the spirit of prose and voices of the character's flawlessly. The only one of Austen's books not available with her narration is Pride and Prejudice. They need to fix that.
You can't go wrong with Jane Austen and Juliet Stevenson. I sampled all of the Sense and Sensibility audiobooks before choosing this one. I was very pleased with the production -- Juliet Stevenson does a fine job with her narration. In my opinion, a good narrator is just as important as a good author. I found myself swept away and I couldn't wait to hear more. I'm planning to listen to more of the Jane Austen books, and I've noticed that Juliet Stevenson has done a number of them, so I'll be sure to pick her again!