It was a fantastic rendering of one of my favorites of all time. An inspiring story of triumph over adversity, and love beyond challenges.
When Jane returns to Thornfield and reunites with her true love and former employer, Edward Rochester. So moving that he is still there and still loves her.
Susan's accent and emotional reading style enhance the flavor of the time period and location.
When Jane has been living outdoors for days and can find no food or help, and she is looking through the window at the family enjoying each other. Then the home owner invites her in after the house keeper turns her away. Made me cry in relief.
This book makes one appreciate the resources we have now to get help when we need it. May we never return to the times of denying those in need and sending them out into the cold.
Say something about yourself!
I so thoroughly enjoyed this reading of what was already one of my favorite books. The reading was done with such emotion that I was moved to tears many times. I could easily believe I WAS listening to Jane Eyre. Also the other parts were expressed with such clarity and feeling that I am sure this will be a book I listen to many more times. I have a largish library and have listened to hundreds of hours of audiobooks. This is really stands out to me as excellent! Well worth the credit.
Jane Eyre, Lorna Doone, and Wuthering Heights were three of the novels that by 8th grade I had read way too many times, and after which I modeled my own pre-adolescent attempts at being such a novelist. But then I didn't read them again for many decades. I still love many of the rich descriptive passages in Jane Eyre, but the over-the-top romantic melodrama no longer appeals to the much older me. It did not bring me to tears as it once did. I am still sympathetic to the love-starved, experience-starved young Jane (or rather, Charlotte), to whom every thing, every word, means so much more than it ought. However, her tale this time no longer seemed real to me; but merely an invention of a fertile imagination, a captive of a time when women must seek their drama and adventure in affairs of the heart and social interaction. The narrator had a lovely voice-- but the accents heard during Jane's stay at Moorhouse with her new-found cousins were abominable and terribly inconsistent; sounding more like a bad version of an Irish accent than anything found in the moors of northern England. I doubt I will read this book again but I'm inclined to try Wuthering Heights to see how it affects me all these years later. As a comparison, I could and do, easily re-read all of Jane Austen, Anthony Trollope, and Oscar Wilde again and again. Even so, I would unhesitatingly recommend Jane Eyre to any reader who has the sense to appreciate the environment in which young women were raised back then.
Mom, full time job, long commute. Love audio books!
What can I say about Jane Eyre? It lives in my heart. The story is sweeping and emotional. The narration was insanely good. Oh how I wish the narrator would record more classics--she is a gem! Don't miss this!
I love to listen and learn!
The performance by Susan Ericksen was great. She made it even better for me than reading it.
Really enjoyed this performance of the classic Jane Eyre. The reader chose subtle voice variations to represent different characters. Since there are a limited number of characters, anyway, this was a great choice. Clear, sharp and well read.
I enjoyed it so much that I listened to the whole thing in just a couple of days. I'd do it again, sometime, too. The story is such a classic of English literature, and this reading enhances it.
24. English/Language Arts Enthusiast. Coffee Addict. Aspiring Writer & World Traveler.
Catching up on the classics is no easy task, but Ericksen's brilliant performance makes it a tad bit less daunting. Flowing easily from the persona of one character into the next, she flings even the most unwilling reader into mind of Jane Eyre and the world surrounding her.
Note: The first half of the book will not likely leave the reader racing to the end, but I promise you, the party at the finish line is worth the slow and steady pace!
Listened to the whole thing at a single all-night listening, believe it or not. Very more-ish.
Classic expression of the English novel at its best.
The narrator and everyone else -- all very well done. I liked the UK voice with a trained-actor style of intonation - I find this preferable to US voices for classic novels.
Wonderful journey back -- hearing the book was a reminder of reading an important book at an earlier age, when the expressive language of this novel had a great impact
Despite the wonderful enunciation, the reader does occasionally mispronounce less-common English words (eg tow (as in a strand of tow - flax or hemp, same as tow-haired) is pronounced like OW! (ouch!) not like towing (pulling) something behind you. There were a few other instances that I noticed, a couple of them repeated, but they were not very intrusive because on the whole the reading was fast-paced and very expertly done.
My favorite part of the novel was the time Jane spent with the Rivers'. Though I didn't know that these people would ultimately turn out to be her relations, there was an easy, comfortable homeyness to their relationships. I also enjoyed how St. John was, aside from marriage, able to get the better of Jane. I say this not so much that I felt Jane needed any due, but rather because she, as written, had no real faults. This lack of fault in Jane, aside from a stubborn streak, is in part what keeps the novel as a whole from being a true masterpiece; the other nibbling quibble I have is Charlotte's inability to fully describe a setting better than a rough sketch.
I could better forgive the later (the sketchiness of the descriptions) had Jane been someone who was not so astute, so observant, and also so taken by passion. I could also better understand it had Jane not been an artist. Yet this inability of the author to really let us see (see better than Mr. Rochester in the finale) coupled with the fact that Jane isn't an unreliable narrator - people who are mean to her are not because of any oversight of her's, they just ARE bad people - all this weighs the novel down and keeps it from rising to what I was expecting to be a much more brilliant novel.
Jane's lack of faults and an overall lack of any sense of humor in the story (I can't have more than passingly chuckled only a handful of times, and then it probably wasn't even intentional) makes the novel a bit dull. Not even the unending pun of Jane (as in one who is plain) and Eyre (as in air, ire, heir) could get a rise from me.
Yet when the story is really going, when Jane is as passionate as the terrible weather that soaks every page with rain and snow and storm, when things are hot, the novel is really good and it's hard to not get caught up in it. I did believe she loved Mr. Rochester and I believed he loved her.
But what I loved was the complicated relationship between her and St. John. I liked him even better than strange, ugly Mr. Rochester because he was flawed in a way that real people are flawed. He was sort of unbearable, intolerable, proud, and haughty. Add in that he thought himself blameless, that he believed his name was already written in God's book, made him interesting - more interesting than Jane or her cousins.
In fact, Olivia, who loved St. John but whom he denied, as nice but dim as she was, served as sort of a metaphor for what a person the author didn't believe people should be yet made Jane, in many ways, just as dim and dull.
As for the tendency towards melodrama in the novel, I kept wondering if Charlotte was writing a novel she was hoping to see herself in or was speaking to some greater truth of the human condition that 150 odd years since its writing no longer is able to get across well. There are moments, especially the fire at the end that are so over the top that the novel felt indulgent, however, it was such a good scene that it was entertaining. I wonder if Charlotte was just trying to spice things up a bit after pages and pages of interesting, but rather long-winded dialog.
I do understand that the novel has political and social consequences that in their historical context are quite important, and as a feminist tract this novel is very important in the western tradition. However, with fresh, modern eyes, I never felt that Jane was doing anything worthy of even a mild blush. No consideration was made for what other people in the novel felt about Jane's situation so to learn that the novel was met with social resistance is purely a matter of the times the novel was written, an interesting societal footnote, but not at all indicative of the text on a larger scheme. There seems to be little intention on Charlotte's behalf to 'shock' readers otherwise she would have put Jane's travails in a larger, more controversial frame.
To better explain, it's like talking about very early season episodes of The Simpsons: they were controversial at the time but there is nothing controversial in them, they just caused an uproar because they showed a rougher side to family humor. It was much ado about nothing.
And so I feel too is Jane Eyre: much ado about nothing.
Yet I did really enjoy the novel too. The endless dialog was, unlike Dostoevsky, never dull, seemed natural, and never dragged even when it was far from brief. Characters seemed most 'in their element' when conversing and when the story demanded action that Charlotte didn't take into melodramatic waters, the situations were very interesting, such as the death of Mrs. Sarah Reed (another great character). Here the novel shines and though there may not be anything earth-shattering in its observations, that's not what the book was going for. Charlotte wanted to draw us in, make us live with these people, make us feel that love she felt, and in that regard I was quite convinced.