Juliet Stevenson's narration of this classic (which I'd not read since college) is so extraordinary, I have found myself listening to this recording repeatedly, replaying favorite passages, etc. In narrating various characters' dialogue, she maintains consistency of voice and pitch, so the listener (even if somewhat distracted by chores or what have you) is generally able to keep all these lines of narrative straight - no small feat, considering the book's complexity.
I will not only return to this recording again, but I will also seek out additional recordings by the same narrator.
Finally, I will add that the recording is quite well-produced; glitches are nearly non-existent, which seems fantastic given the length of this work.
Juliet Stephenson's performance is, again, phenomenal. Her gift is, at least, worthy of the great works she narrates. (I can vouch, at least, for this fact in Doris Lessing's The Golden Notebook; the auditory experience of which not only did that great and beloved book 'justice,' but revealed layers I'd missed in my own previous readings.)
Especially praiseworthy is the distinctness of each character's narration; one rarely questions whether a particular snippet of dialogue belongs to Emma, her father, or her young charge, Miss Harriet Smith - etc. Those of us who take in these readings while simultaneously engaged in other necessary pursuits - housecleaning or driving, for instance, may be particularly grateful for this.
Alternatively, if one has been too intimidated - or simply overwhelmed with other duties - to read certain classics in the past, one could not hope for a better introduction than that which Stephenson makes possible. (While I'd previously read - and thoroughly fallen in love with - the aforementioned book by Lessing - this audiobook has been my first introduction to Jane Austen, and now I find myself alternating between the narration and a Kindle edition, highlighting especially brilliant passages - each complementing the other quite richly. And, even better, I am able to manage this while juggling all sorts of motherly and other responsibilities.)
In short: I would listen to Juliet Stephenson's reading of a phone book - but, blessedly, she narrates classic works instead, bringing them to life in unexpectedly vivid ways. ***APPLAUSE.***
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