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.
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.
Always moving. Always listening. Always learning. "After all this time?" "Always."
This is one of those books that I read in print years ago - and I skipped over great portions. Jane Austen's description of manners, manors and love in Victorian England is exquisitely detailed, but for the modern reader, it can be a bit of a slog.
I had listened to Pride and Prejudice and really enjoyed it, so I decided to give Emma another try, but this time on Audible. The first couple of hours were dense and I kept when anything was going to happen. Having watched the movie "Clueless" (based on Emma), I knew it would eventually.
Things finally got moving, and I enjoyed the book. I was amused by some of the characters - particularly one introduced in Part 2. Saying who it is would be a spoiler, so I won't do that - but I found the character as cringe-worthy as Emma did. In modern times, the character is someone you would friend on Facebook, but shortly have to turn off the person's update feed on your News page because the person is so annoying, opinionated and has a complete lack of social grace. That person would be the kind of person who would desperately troll for "likes".
Juliet Stevenson's audio narration brought the characters to life, but there were a few times when she narrated in the voice of the wrong character.
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I am not a Jane Austen fan but have enjoyed listening to a few of her audiobooks. I did not much like Emma though. It lacked the joyfulness of the others. However, Juliet Stevenson's reading was so amazing, especially her characterization of the talkative Miss Bales(?).
Juliet Stevenson's narration is wonderful. I've listened to other Jane Austen's with terrible narrators, and I immediately downloaded Juliet Stevenson's versions of the same books.
I have read this book before, and am sure that I will read it again. Jane Austen continues to grab the reader and thrust them fully into the world she created around her characters. List this bookas "Must Read"!!
Sublimely Narrated. I bought a diff version 1st. Gads the shrill or something was far off for my ear! Fairly made it impossible for me to hear the story! Ironic eh? Tried again many times. Here, The words weren't rushed & elevated excitedly by the N.
The endurance Jane Austin's works as great reads to this day is remarkable. Her story in hx is 1 of true feminism. A feminist is not defined by her anatomy. So Why the parading in a preposterous giant vagina? No thank you ladies. You've got it all wrong! The whole POINT of feminism is that we will gain in equality by what we do as women & in what we decline to do. Leave the bloody tampon costumes & crassness to flush down your proverbial toilet.
Jane Austin is all woman & a feminist to the nth degree. Courageous. Bold. She revealed intelligence & women's issues in a class way. Movies are great, but do get a book to listen to her actual words as she wrote them. As for Stevens, Ive spaced first name. Sorry. I will fix by seeking another by her. She is that excellent of a narrator.