This isnt the most entertaining Austin story out there. The tale is pretty drawn out and the romance and suspence are very subdued compared to her other works. I did enjoy the story but found myself frequently checking my MP3 player to see how much was left.
Juliet Stevenson portrays male and female characters with ease and distinction. I was never confused as to whom was speaking. Her understanding of the characters' motivations enabled her to add inflection and tone that enhanced my understanding.
As always, Jane Austen's writing is superb, witty and instructive as regards human nature. Loved it!
Dark Shadows fanatic
The narrator's portrayal of the heroine was perhaps a bit too vapid, though perhaps Miss Austen really did write her that way to a certain degree. At any rate, I found humor and wit in the writing and the character. The heroine, Catherine Moreland, has some character flaws, largely developed in her by an addiction to Gothic novels. Miss Austen's satirical treatment of that genre makes this a very engaging novel.
Although this is not even my favorite Jane Austen, Juliet Stevenson's performance is so wonderful (as always) that it has improved the novel, in my opinion! This is a fun novel, though, and Katherine's naïveté is a delightful foil against the duplicitous and shallow characters she meets on her first trip into society. Henry Tilney's growing feelings for her are subtly expressed and make for a fun story as well. He really gets a kick out of Katherine! The well-summarized happy endings in Jane Austen books are a delightful departure from the usual hardships of real life. Sorry about that spoiler. Sorry if I am misspelling any names, as I often do after "reading" audiobooks!
Stevenson's performance brings Austin's work 100% alive. Her subtle mastery of Austin's use of language, shaded to get every nuance of the author's intent is magnificent. It's like she wrote the darned thing, she gets it so completely. The kicker was that halfway through, it occurred to me that her reading of the male characters was NATURAL! A very, very high compliment from me for a female reader; so often they try to force their voice register down, instead of trying to capture the character's style and intent. One of the best performances I've ever heard, and I listen hard. Because she did such a good job, I could really enjoy Austen's book for the wonderful portrait of a social environment that it is. Very satisfying story, very, very well told.
Husband, father of 4, entrepreneur, software exec, striving to serve, make a positive contribution, and better myself.
There are too many great books to listen to books again. That said, if I were to listen to it again, it would be primarily for the brilliant work that Juliet Stevenson did in not only narrating the novel, but in giving life to the various characters in a very believable manner. She showed amazing range in her voice, from the naive, young Catherine to the worldly Henry to the self-absorbed and arrogant Thorpe, the imperious General Tilney, and others.
Any of the classic English period pieces.
I cannot recall offhand if I have listened to any of her other performances. I have listened to over 50 audio books and either her others did not make as much of an impression on me as her excellent work in this one or, more likely, I pay more attention to the narration now than I did in my earlier listens.
No particular moment, it's just a good story of the period. I do appreciate how Jane Austen attempted to convey through her characters the difference between having an aristocratic title or background, and having admirable character.
I cannot say enough about Juliet Stevenson's narration and voice acting in this one. I was so impressed with it that I will actually be seeking out other books that she has narrated. In terms of the book itself, it's a good novel but I did find that there was a section around the middle in which it seemed to devolve from the standard courtship story with insight into various kinds of characters and motives into a sort of Gothic light horror as Catherine explored Northanger Abbey. That part only lasted for a short time and did not play any lasting part in the novel, and seemed an odd digression from the main plot. Without any background in Austen on my part, it almost seemed like an experiment on her part in this genre that she placed in the middle of a novel to try it out.
The voice that the narrator gave the main character was soon insipid and irritating, that in parts with long conversations, I even turned it off a couple times. Besides that, the narration was ok. Personal opinion is that this is the weakest of Jane Austen's work.
Except as a BBC series with great actors. I'm sorry, I just couldn't finish this in spite of the excellent reader. Maybe I'll try again someday.
The young women are just too silly and dense (at least in the first hour) and the guys down right annoying.
Silly trifle of a book but enjoyment of it enhanced by the excellent narrator! Juliet Stevenson is excellent
I bought this book as a daily deal because this is one of the few Jane Austen works I am unfamiliar with. I didn't relate to the main character at all, but she is very likable. I enjoyed the story and the narrator was excellent. My favorite character is the male lead, but even he is pretty flawed. The story is an acerbic take on, well, several topics, lol. Shallowness, "flirting", ignorance, money, and last but not least gothic novels.
The narrator did not change voice for the characters, but it was like listening to Emma Thompson read a story, so she is easy to listen to.