Juliet Stevenson's narration is superb in all the audiobooks I've listened to, but even her skill cannot lift Mansfield Park to the heights of Pride and Prejudice. Fanny Price is a drip! Edmund is a doofus! The story is a treadmill of reiteration! But if you feel compelled to read Mansfield Park anyway, this edition is the best I've heard. For those not familiar with Jane Austen's works I recommend Northanger Abbey. It's goofy on purpose.
This was a decent adaptation of a very good book. I like Juliet Stevenson's performances in general, but I thought her Mary Crawford was more snide than I ever pictured her to be. However it was entertaining from beginning to end.
I adore Juliet Stevenson. Her reading of Middlemarch is unparalleled.
It took me a while to get into this Austen. Critically speaking Fanny is too perfect, her family is too harshly portrayed, etc - characters are black and white. But Austen's turn-of-phrase and insights into people's behavior - wow, what an amazing woman she was!
Juliette Stevens definitely does Jane Austen books great credit. She should be considered the voice of Jane Austen as far as I am concerned. Bravo, another GREAT performance, Well Done!
Here we have a young lady who is WAY out of her element among people that don’t care about her and she cares less about them. She tries to help sort things out and it takes outsiders to turn things upside down to get things sorted out. Unlike Pride and Prejudice where the woman was rejecting the ugly man from the beginning. This one she is helping him. Nice twist!
In the end if it hadn’t been for those that turned all the worlds upside down then things wouldn’t have occurred the way they did. It’s like life when you get everything the way you ‘want’ it someone comes along and turns it all around on you. Then you realize you like the changes better than your own ideas.
I would recommend this recording to any Jane Austen fan. The narrator has an excellent feel for the language and is a delight to listen to. I wasn't excited about finally tackling this story given that generally speaking people seem not to like this book. Once I got past the theatre scene, however, my feelings about the story changed and I anticipate re-reading or re-listening at a later date to study the novel in more depth.
It was sad to Fanny to lose all the pleasures of spring. She had not known before what pleasures she had to lose in passing March and April in a town. She had not known before how much the beginnings and progress of vegetation had delighted her. What animation, both of body and mind, she had derived from watching the advance of that season which cannot, in spite of its capriciousness, be unlovely, and seeing its increasing beauties from the earliest flowers in the warmest divisions of her aunt’s garden, to the opening of leaves of her uncle’s plantations, and the glory of his woods. To be losing such pleasures was no trifle; to be losing them, because she was in the midst of closeness and noise, to have confinement, bad air, bad smells, substituted for liberty, freshness, fragrance, and verdure, was infinitely worse: but even these incitements to regret were feeble, compared with what arose from the conviction of being missed by her best friends, and the longing to be useful to those who were wanting her!
Mansfield Park is a very strange book, but I think it is also under-appreciated.
Juliet Stevenson is my favorite narrator for the Jane Austen books. The only one I don't have by Stevenson (can't find) is Pride and Prejudice, which is my favorite JA novel. Maybe she hasn't narrated it? Her voice is easy to listen to, and doesn't go to extreme high volumes, which can be annoying in an audio book.
The reason I love Mansfield Park is all summed up in the very last chapter. It does move a little slow, and it can be very trying to follow Fanny Price, but only because her personality is steady and quiet. In the end, she is rewarded for her upstanding character, and every other character in the book receives their just reward, as well. The summation of the entire story is so well done in that last chapter. I love listening to it just to get to that part.
I've listened to this one many times and am not tired of it yet!
Still my least favourite Austen. Of course, Austen at her worst is better than pretty much anyone at their best. Mansfield Park is a compelling and enjoyable story, but I just find Fanny and Edmund so frustrating. I actually liked the secondary characters so much more. They're not so perfect and prissy, and I found them much easier to sympathise with for most of the book. Plus what happens to them is so much more interesting - the scandal! The snark! It's so much fun. Fanny, meanwhile, is so weak and insipid, and Edmund is stern and completely clueless. Fanny spends the whole book mooning over him and it literally took til the last eight minutes of the audiobook before Edmund realised it or even thought about her as more than a friend (or, I should say, cousin). Definitely not my favourite romance.