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.
A favorite of mine read beautifully as ever by Juliette Stevenson.
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.
Juliet Stevenson gives a truly wonderful reading of this book. I have a hard time with narrators, and I've never found an Austen audiobook I could enjoy before. However, this reading shines. She does the characters well, gives vivacity and emotion to key moments without over stretching, and the cadence and skill of her reading makes the text easily and gracefully accessible. Austen's text shines.
The book itself of course...what is there to say? This is my favorite Austen novel. The story centers around older characters than her other novels, and the tenor of the book in general is more mature. Anne Elliot is also my favorite heroine (although Fanny is a close second, as is Elinor Dashwood). She is exceptionally smart and "tenderness itself." The honesty with which Austen reads and portrays her characters is absolutely brilliant (the gloves are off a bit more in this one than her earlier books).
This one — book and reading — is not to be missed and well worth the investment. I will come back to it again and again.
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.
This is my favorite Austen novel. Its subtle wit and treatment of love, friendship, and avarice are timeless.
Anne's conversation with Captain Harville about constancy, which is overheard by Captain Wentworth and inspires his letter to Anne. Always a tear jerker.
The reader is way, way too dramatic. Jane Austen's style is elegantly simple and straightforward, and the book deserves to be read without the annoying embellishment Juliet Stevenson gives it.
The narrator of this lovely, deeply enriching Jane Austen classic is truly talented. She brings a special insight to the characters of a book that is already special to many generations of countelss readers.