A smart and good understanding of Jane Austen. It is like hearing Jane Austen another time with a friend and discussing with him about her.
Greedy, voracious reader since age five. After a number of eye injuries & surgeries, reading is hard. So now, I listen.
I have loved Jane Austen's works for many years, but never studied them as literature. This author wrote his dissertation on Austen, and in doing so learned a lot about himself and what a shallow jerk he was (like some men in Austen's books). More interesting to me were his scholarly riffs on Austen's characters, but he makes his journey from boy to man interesting, too.
I thought I knew Jane Austen until I listened to this book. The author opened my eyes to Jane and even though I was always a fan, now I more fully understand why. He explored the novels in light of his own life, the purpose Jane intended. Masterfully written and narrated, and thoroughly enjoyable. I anxious to read all of Jane Austen's works once again with a new perspective.
The narrator was fine, the book was a bit on the dull side, it definitely went through all the Austin classics, but the story of the narrator just did not interest me.
This is my first Audiobook, and I've really enjoyed it.
I read and re-read my favorite Jane Austen novels every year, and have never formally studied Jane Austen, so getting the author's perspective and how Austen's works have influenced him create another level of appreciation for my favorite novels.
I am a clay sculptor and an art instructor at a community college. I mostly listen to audiobooks while I work in my home studio.
As a fan and more or less indiscriminate consumer of all things Jane Austen, I basically had to listen to this book. If you are also an Austen omnivore, by all means, read it. The guy had some slightly interesting insights into Austen's books and apparently reading them helped him work through some issues of his own--or such is the conceit of the book.
The author sounds like a jerk who "found himself" thanks to Jane. Good for him.
If you are looking for actual insights into Jane Austen's writing, look elsewhere. If you are looking for a good story, look elsewhere. If you are looking for an appealing protagonist, look elsewhere.
As for myself, I finished this mildly interesting book and promptly cleansed my palette with some authentic Austen. Turns out I prefer my Jane Austen books without the benefit of outside explanation--at least not this man's interpretations.
If you want a more specific explanation, I guess I didn't have much faith in the interpretations of Mr. Deresiewicz. The most interesting thing in the book was the background on Jane Austen herself and parallels to her characters. I didn't like being told what the books meant or what Jane Austen was trying to accomplish with them. They seem, to me, to stand so well on their own as to not require interpretation and Mr. D's explanations didn't jibe with my own.
It made me go out and buy new copies of all the Jane Austen novels I sold back years ago...
I loved it.
Erstwhile librarian and tech salesperson. Favorite genres - history, biography, and mystery.
This book was very clear and easy to digest. I will listen to it again when I want to feel better about the world. The author does a great job of combining really great criticism of Jane Austen's works, the history of her life and historical period, and how it relates to his own life.
It ranks at the top.
I loved the way the author wove his story together with Austen's stories.
I loved his voice.
Many moments, too numerous to list. As a teacher, I was moved every time he wrote about the importance of the details of our lives, the importance of each life, and the importance of each story. It affirmation to my teaching, as well my life as a wife and mother, made me glow.
I didn't like how he ended the book. I understand the allusion to Austen's writing
I loved this book. There are 3 stories going on. His personal story, Jane Austins books and Jane Austins personal story. If your a fan of hers a must read and I have not read all her books but have seen all of her books movies.