This is the recording that sold me on audiobooks in general. Juliette Stevenson's narration is superb, and Austen's witty, ironic style make her works perfect candidates for being read aloud. Highly recommended.
Avid listener on my daily commute!
This was Austen's finest novel, written when she likely knew she was dying (almost certainly of Addison's disease, now treatable, which makes her untimely death at 41, when she had produced only six books, all the more tragic). The effect of this knowledge on her writing, however, was nothing short of transcendent. Razor-sharp, lean (there's not a phrase, not a sentence anywhere that could be cut) and bitter, biting yet gorgeously wrought prose plus a heartrending (and, not to give too much away, ultimately elating) story combine to make this a book you'll return to year after year.
I own every available audio version of Persuasion (which easily ranks at the top of my Top Ten list of favorite books), but this is the only one I've bothered to write a review of, because it is far and away the best. Juliet Stevenson is not only the perfect narrator for the material, she's also one of the ONLY audiobook narrators I've ever heard who somehow gives voices appropriate to each character while simultaneously avoiding the tendency to try to act out, as it were, a kind of one-woman play. She simply reads the book to you with perfect tone and inflection and pacing and intonation at all times, as only she and a handful of other talents (think Meryl Streep and Alan Rickman) seem able to do. I caught only one error in the entire recording, and it occurs twice or thrice: She pronounces the word wont (as in, she was wont to complain whenever it rained) as "won't." But this mistake is as a tiny gnat flying in front of the most gorgeous canvas ever painted.
I'd give this recording six stars if I could. Highly, highly recommended.
On every re read or listen I always learn more about myself. Jane Austen has a way of examining human interaction that truly makes you want to be a better person.
I think Juliet Stevenson does a beautiful job narrating and I love this book and have listened to it many times
Absolutely love this reading by Juliet Stevenson. The story of Persuasion is definitely worth reading and hearing. Juliet does a wonderful job of reading and giving each character their place in the story. highly recommend!
SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!
Now THIS is more like it!
After trying the utterly brilliant Michael Page's version, and being utterly horrified by it, I tried this version of Jane Austen's wonderful "Persuasion." I am SO not disappointed! "Persuasion" is my favorite book of hers, so having it savaged by Mr. Page (whom I genuinely am fond of but who can't deliver a woman's voice to save his life) was distressing.
Juliet Stevenson does an admirable job here, brings the characters to life, keeps them separate so that even without dialogue tags each is distinct, and the language flows beautifully.
Anne Elliot, ever shoved to the side and never appreciated, is the heroine, and in my opinion, she's the best, most fully fleshed out character Austen ever wrote. Steady, dependable, she has a heart that never forgets: one that's never flighty, never considers another way of loving. Suddenly finding herself in the company of the man she was persuaded to give up long ago, she also finds herself in the full bloom of her beauty (at the ripe old age of seven and twenty… Really, I'm at seven and forty, and I swear I missed the full bloom…).
Will he ever forgive her? Will she ever forgive herself? Will she find love with someone else? Is that even possible for a heart such as hers?
Or will he go on to someone else, someone less easily persuadable? I LOVE this book, have read it many times and am looking forward to listening to it again, and again.
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
I see from other reviews that I am among many for whom Persuasion is the favorite of Miss Austen's books. Anne Elliot is my favorite of all her heroines, always evoking my sympathy for her dignity and composure through the trials of her life. Threaded through the story is the theme of not getting what you want the first time around and, for some, a second chance for the golden ring. Whether all these characters get their prize, or even deserve it, is revealed as only Austen can do.
Overall I thought Juliet Stevenson read well, especially conveying Anne's calm exterior and the haughtiness of her father and sister Elizabeth. But at times she overdramatised - making sister Mary sound a bit like Miss Piggy, and at the end, as Mr. Wentworth pours out his heart he sounds more like a distraught female than the hero. Had to downgrade the performance score a bit for those periodic missteps. Still, revisiting this old favorite is as comfortable as a warm cup of tea.
I first saw a movie version of Persuasion over 15 years ago and ever other year I rewatch it. I as hesitant to get an audiobook version fearing the story would be too familiar and I'd grow bored. I'm glad that I took the chance. The narrator is a very talented actress and made the story come alive. The book, as often happens, had details left out of the film that helped fill out secondary characters. I couldn't stop listening.
Put them together for a highly enjoyable listen. As always, Austen's astute eye for human behavior and her understated humorous way of conveying it makes her one of the foremost writers in the English language. Stevenson is a marvelous narrator, pitch-perfect, skewering the snobbish and stuck-up characters and switching effortlessly between male and female voices, with no vocal awkwardness on the males. If you want to listen to Persuasion, this is is the version to choose.