This classic story of Victorian English life is excellent tho perhaps a bit slow to get through given the very wordy and indirect manner of speaking in those times. I did have to rewind frequently to try and understand what they meant to say as they never spoke directly but with much innuendo.
The narrator did a fine job but the audio itself was so poorly done as to make it difficult to listen to. The words were often "soft" and mushy sounding , not because of the diction of the narrator but due to the poor recording. It would be great if they could redo this classic story with more modern recording equipmemt.
this is a classic story or england at it's most proper concerning love and relationship- i thoroughly enjoyed it. it got really slow in the middle and i thought i wouldn't make it but the narrator is so superb that i wanted to keep listening for that reason. it then picked up pace towards the end and got really very enjoyable.
Retired to mountains of California. Sell on eBay as Prsilla. No TV. Volunteer in wildlife rehab. Knit, sew or embroider while listening.
This book is about young ladies in England over 100 years ago. Their mail service was better than ours today, plus they had servants to run errands. As ever, these young ladies possess varying amounts of confidence, beauty, money, education and talent. The whole idea is to marry well, preferably for love. About like now except it was much more difficult then for a single woman to earn her own living and do her own "thing."
I majored in English and probably read this book and probably saw the movies, but I don't remember being so engrossed in all the fine points of the story. If I saw this on PBS, it was too many very similar girls in little tight dresses walking in gardens with foppish gentlemen. Actually listening to the words -- and more than once, please! -- delivers a wonderful experience! You can't tear through this material just to see what happens next! You already know almost everybody gets married off in the end. I found Sparks Notes for the novel and after two listens am not 100% clear on who is who. I think the more listens I give this, the more delicious the story will be, as in, "Oh, here comes the good part!"
One Audible reviewer said the characters were dis-likeable. Yes, wonderfully so. One new wife is nauseating, coarse and presumptuous, a huge snob. Juliet Stevenson gives her a horrible nasal voice! Most disgusting! The woman is a total bitch. She leans on one young lady to push ahead and get her a governess job with one of HER high-class friends! The girl sweetly and repeatedly tells her no, not to do that, but there is no taking no for an answer! The woman goes ahead, with disastrous results which she doesn't even realize! She is too stupid to be uncomfortable when the whole business falls through and has to be smoothed over with others.
Another character, a well-born but very poor maiden lady who is included in all the parties and never EVER shuts up, is wonderfully portrayed by Stevenson. This took preparation because Miss Bates is just gasping and so full of gratitude and sweet nonsensical comments. I think I do that sometimes. . . And the main character makes fun of Miss Bates in the presence of several other people. Snide comments are nothing new. The poor little lady doesn't even quite get the joke, but the others do. Emma is not very nice at the beginning, but she gains in compassion and graciousness through the story. Near the beginning she discourages a younger girl from pursuing a love interest that would have been suitable. She comes to regret that. And before it's over, she tells the same girl she would not presume to advise her about such a thing. How many of us today lean on each other for this or that reason -- rather playing God when it is not our place!
This tale does have sex and violence, but it is certainly not fifty shades. They talk about platonic man/woman friendship versus "making love" which only means carrying on a romance, but -- well, fully dressed and talking in a flirtatious way -- not what it means now. But they know when they're teasing or leading someone on in an expectation of engagement and marriage. These girls are up for auction, and people in the market should not waste someone's time. All the fine points are discussed. Much of the fun is in imagining! As for violence, two girls are walking in the country when they are overtaken by a gang of gypsy kids, a woman and large boy. Very rough characters! One girl gets away, but the other girl is helpless. Today we would say they mugged her. Pretty frightening even today when it happens to travelers!
I don't think this is satisfying literature for everyone. Maybe if your real life is complex and upset at the moment, this would help you calm down and relax. I think in the past I thought it was just silly business of ladies and gentlemen in drawing rooms talking about the weather and their health. Oh, no! These are real human situations; and that is what makes the book a classic and Austen deserving of all her fame. Lovely book! Lovely narrator who does men's voices very well also.
Jane Austen set all of her stories when the era of arranged marriages, balls being put on for young people and going to plays were fashionable. Here we meet Emma whose mother is dead and her father being no match for the mother can’t control her. Emma has decided not to get married as it would disrupt her life as she see’s it. So, she sets to arranging marriages or matches as the should be called. She goes through this throughout the whole book meeting a guy who is her equal, but plays to another for affection. In the end Emma learns a very valuable lesson that all should learn. Read to find out what it is and how it applies to our lives in the 21st century including Facebook and other social networks that say they can predict matches better than we can.
I love to read mysteries, histories, biographies, humor, and Jane Austen.
As always, Juliet Stevenson does a superb job. But, for some reason, hearing the book instead of reading it brings out Emma's annoying and controlling personality. Reading it, Emma is charmingly misguided - hearing it, Emma is an unpleasant jerk. This has never been one of my favorite Austen books, but now I don't think I can read or listen to it again.
The ambitions of each character was easily determined as Jane Austen's work quickly got underway. With all the matchmaking that took place in the times, Emma's social meddling gets her into a predicament with her friend Harriet, who Emma tries to set up with a man whose ego will not allow such a match to be made. Such a social hierarchy was a staple of the times and Austen illustrates both its purpose and its ridiculousness at the start. Due to Emma's fear of ruining her friendship with Harriet, she avoids her friend's company as best as she can, until the examination of her own romantic life requires a meeting.
From the beginning of their encounters, it is clear that Emma and Mr Knightley would make a great couple, as he is the only one who can put up with her sarcasm and dish his own out as well. But her lack of interest in a partner (or perhaps her own ego) keeps their romance from reaching the levels the reader knows it could - at least, at the beginning. Once Emma decides to quit meddling in other people's affairs, she begins to examine her own life and her desires of a relationship, something she's slipped to the side until now. Finally, she begins to wonder what she wants in a man and comes to identify her wishes in the end.
Juliet Stevenson's performance of each character is terrific, especially when it comes to those of Miss Bates and Mrs Elton. Just as the sentence structure displays, Miss Bates rambles on to no end, rather annoyingly at times, and the narrator's performance of such a characteristic feature is flawless, as is the pronunciation and clarity of every line in the book. Well done Juliet Stevenson!
Juliet Stephenson's performance is, again, phenomenal. Her gift is, at least, worthy of the great works she narrates. (I can vouch, at least, for this fact in Doris Lessing's The Golden Notebook; the auditory experience of which not only did that great and beloved book 'justice,' but revealed layers I'd missed in my own previous readings.)
Especially praiseworthy is the distinctness of each character's narration; one rarely questions whether a particular snippet of dialogue belongs to Emma, her father, or her young charge, Miss Harriet Smith - etc. Those of us who take in these readings while simultaneously engaged in other necessary pursuits - housecleaning or driving, for instance, may be particularly grateful for this.
Alternatively, if one has been too intimidated - or simply overwhelmed with other duties - to read certain classics in the past, one could not hope for a better introduction than that which Stephenson makes possible. (While I'd previously read - and thoroughly fallen in love with - the aforementioned book by Lessing - this audiobook has been my first introduction to Jane Austen, and now I find myself alternating between the narration and a Kindle edition, highlighting especially brilliant passages - each complementing the other quite richly. And, even better, I am able to manage this while juggling all sorts of motherly and other responsibilities.)
In short: I would listen to Juliet Stephenson's reading of a phone book - but, blessedly, she narrates classic works instead, bringing them to life in unexpectedly vivid ways. ***APPLAUSE.***
Emma is delightful. The people around her, her family, her friends are delightful. It made it difficult for me to stop listening. Bad for work. I wanted to stay in the car and listen more.
Emma. I liked her controlling personality.
Absolutely a book I wanted to listen in one sitting.
"fabric artist and quilter"
Emma is probably my least favourite Jane Austen novel - Emma is spoilt, her father is a paranoid hypochondriac and everyone seems to dabble in everyone else's business. However, Juliet Stevenson brought the whole story to life. She has a superb ability to give all the characters an individual accent and/or manner of speech and it becomes an audio play with parts being intersperse with narration. I loved it - I loved it so much I am about to go for the third Jane Austen novel read by Juliet - they are such a treat. If you love Jane Austen these versions are the versions for you.
Audiobooks have literally changed my life. I now actually ENJOY doing mindless chores because they give me plenty of listening time!
This great classic of early 19th century English literature tells the story of Emma Woodhouse, a wealthy young woman of twenty-one years of age who has all the desirable attributes of beauty, intelligence and good breeding on her side, but surprisingly for her time, has no intentions of marrying, which makes her a rather modern heroine. She likes to think of herself as a talented matchmaker and decides to take young Harriet, a trusting and unsophisticated, though very pretty girl, under her wing. She proposes to educate Harriet and teach her the refinements of the upper classes to prepare her for a brilliant match to a real gentleman. Emma is a heroine that many readers find unpleasant, and her archness and snobbery combined with willfulness and naiveté certainly set her up for humbling experiences. Though I can't say I thought her especially likeable, I did think her rather amusing and I found the process by which Emma grows into womanhood to be delightful, especially as I was finally able appreciate for all the subtleties and humour in the play on social conventions which Austen is most known for, which signalled a great change in my attitude towards Jane Austen's work. I have yet to listen to a recording by Juliet Stevenson that is anything less than excellent.