Having read this book many times in hard copy, I already knew I loved the story. The narrator, Elizabeth Klett, did a very good job and made it an enjoyable listen.
I read quite a few P&P variations, and have read all of Abigail Reynolds books. It's not possible to compare it to another book other than other P&P variations, and Abigail's books rank right up there with others of the best of the genre.
Since I have read the book many times before listening to the audiobook, there could only have been a down side to her performance. I was happy that she did a good job and did not make the book more difficult to finish. Many times I have stopped listening to audiobooks because the narrator is terrible. Ms. Klett is quite good. I liked her performance better than the lady who did the other Abigail Reynolds book at audiobooks.
Mr. Darcy, of course, because he is Mr. Darcy and you can't get much better than that.
Abigail takes Darcy and Elizabeth's romance quite a bit further than the acceptable courtship niceties of the Regency Age; and this probably bothers many purists, but for those of us who like to believe Darcy and Lizzy as real people would have many of the same physical and emotional desires as any normal, redblooded, 20 somethings, anticipating their wedding vows can be accepted with a bit of a wink. I did feel, however, feel that Lizzy's actions before officially becoming "engaged" was a bit too much for our dear heroine. She had too much sense to let herself be carried away to that extent before she had a formal engagement. But then, it's Darcy, so who could resist?
I am not opposed to Lizzy and Darcy having normal sexual urges, but Lizzy accepting it so readily BEFORE they were officially engaged, and so many times, was just a tad stretching it for me.
Epic, enthralling, captivating
There really isn't any comparable book that I have read.
My other Desert Island book is Pride and Prejudice which I have read so many times I can't even begin to guess. And although they are two completely different stories in two different eras written in totally different styles at different times in history, the couples at the center of both stories are strong, good people who you would want in your life. Love all four of these fictional people and wish they were real.
Too many to choose just one. I think overall my favorites are when Jamie's humor is on display. I am in awe of Diana Gabaldon's mind to be able to write the dialogue of these wonderful characters. Such wit, humor, intelligence and good sense, all rolled into Jamie and Claire. Amazing talent on display.
Extreme reactions every couple pages!
The hero and heroine of the story are both smart, funny, resilient, capable, dedicated, loyal and totally in love with each other. Jamie Fraser is the kind of man any woman of any time period or generation would want in their life. He's everything you want in a mate, and yet he's certainly not perfect. Claire is so capable and adaptable - so unlike most of us 21st century females - she deserves the love of a man like Jamie.
The book has adventure, romance, humor, political intrigue, wonderful locations, and everything in between. It's a treasure of a book....and a series.
Davina Porter is another treasure. Having read the books before listening to the audio books I never in a million years would have thought that a woman could pull off what she does with these books. Her voices for the men, especially Jamie, are spot on and her use of different voices and accents as needed are amazing. These books would have been ruined with the wrong narrator. Only now that they are making this series of books into a Starz mini-series and we now know what Sam Heughen's voice as Jamie will sound like can I replace Davina's voice in my head when I read. Until now she had become my voice of Jamie. Another extreme talent is Ms. Porter.
As a long time reader of Jane Austen fanfiction, I found this book so long and drawn out and unrealistic, even by Darcy & Lizzy misunderstanding standards, that I couldn't wait for it to be over and even skipped ahead a chapter or two a couple times.
As fans of Pride & Prejudice know, Lizzy is smart and opinionated and not afraid to express what she's thinking. Why would she, even knowing that her husband finds her attractive and claims he loves her and shows her affection in between times of pulling away from her for no good reason, why would she go MONTHS and never ask him why he won't come to her bed and consummate their marriage? It makes absolutely no sense to me that she never calls him on this, especially as her feelings toward him get more loving and she thinks about the children she hopes to someday have with him. She is not the Lizzy I know and love and it's all very frustrating. They seem to make some headway and then he backs totally off again and she doesn't question him about it. The book should have been half as long.
I didn't care for her voice for Darcy and even when there was specific "direction" in the written word as to how something was said, she didn't usually read it in the right way. Disappointing.
None. There were few extraneous characters in the book.
I am familiar with the author's other works and maybe this just isn't her best. Maybe it's an earlier work before she has improved and tightened up her writing style. I wouldn't waste my money or credit on this one if you are a true lover of P&P and Darcy & Lizzy.
Witty, touching, exemplary
It's difficult to compare this romance novel with any other book because it is so much better written (the dialogue is laugh out loud funny and so much better written) than most romance novels. And comparing a romance novel to other types of novels is difficult. The strong witty heroine, Jessica, reminds me a bit of Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice although I'd never compare the two books side by side. And the tormented and defensive Dain, he breaks your heart while at the same time you want to hit upside of the head.
Aside from Davina Porter's narrations of the Outlander series, Kate Reading is in a class by herself. She brings the book to life and her timing is impeccable. It's like watching it performed on stage. Amazing narration. Davina and Kate are now my two favorite narrators (with the exception of Colin Firth's narration of The End of the Affair and that is strictly because that man can read the obituaries or the phone book and sound wonderful)!
I had read this book many years ago twice and loved it. I had forgotten, however, why I had loved it so much. Ms. Reading reminded me within 60 seconds why this romance novel is in another level of excellence than other romance novels. I laughed outloud often, especially during the first half, and found my eyes misting at other points. That's what makes this book so special. The full gambit of emotions. Not just hop in bed over and over again.
Don't hesitate to buy this audiobook. It's a delight. Both authoress and narrator are at the top of their games.
Family, Community, Reality
Behind Closed Doors
Having not read the Harry Potter series, I had no preconceived ideas of Rowling's writing skills. Making oodles of money from a series of adolescent/preteen novels does not necessarily mean the writer's talent is extraordinary - only that her conceived storytelling ideas are engrossing and unique. I enjoyed this book and it's construction and now know that Ms. Rowling is a great writer in addition to being a great storyteller.
The idea that we don't really know what's going on in the lives of the people we think we know and what they really think of us is universal. The folks in this story could be living in any community in the western world. I know most of them in my own little subdivision!
Tom Hollander does a fine job of reading. The narrator can make or break any novel and I thought his pacing and his inflections were spot on. Good job1
Most definitely. I have read many of Mary Balogh's novels and some are true treasures. I think this might be one of them. Not her best, but very enjoyable. But the best part was the wonderful narration by Rebecca de Leeuw. I can't think of another female reader, aside from Davina Porter, who can transfix you and easily move from one voice to another and do male voices so well. Often the female readers have little quirks about their voices that drive me mad..
The hero, Hugo, as not born to the peerage but who tries to do what's best for his sister, but who refuses to follow all the "gentleman's" rules. And his struggle to forgive himself for what he has taken part in in the war with Napoleon. He's a hero to everyone but himself. It's a real struggle for him to love himself enough to give his love to a woman. I really liked this character.
No, but I'd like to have her do other Balogh stories.
Yes, as I have read all these stories over the years many times and always enjoy my favorite literary couple's re-imaginings.
Can't have Darcy without Elizabeth. All ladies want to BE Elizabeth and want to WIN THE LOVE AND DEVOTION of Darcy. All other characters are minor. They are Lizzy and Darcy's stories.
If I had the choice of listening to the same story by Ms. Klett or another narrator, I would probably choose the other narrator. I found Ms. Klett's slight lisp, especially on the word "Elizabeth", which is everywhere in the story, annoying to say the least. It became more and more difficult to hear - like fingernails on a chalkboard. Seeing as it's also the narrator's own name, I found it even more annoying. It was a subtle lisp, but when the word occurs hundreds of times in a story it drives me crazy.Perhaps it is something about an English accent and the word Elizabeth since another of Ms. Reynold's stories, with a different narrator, also seemed to have a lisp as well. Maybe it's my ears, but I am quite used to listening to actresses with an English accent and don't hear this type of subtle lisp in them. Maybe it's the recording equipment.
I always enjoy Abigail's variations on P&P. She has a great knack with writing humor (wit).
The wonderful stories overrides the slight qualms I had with the narrator, so overall I would not discourage others to listen to this audiobook. Perhaps I am too picky.
I know this was a best seller as are the author's other novels, but I was disappointed in this book. I was looking forward to reading it. The other members of my book club did like it though, so I guess I am in the minority. I thought the clue's dropped were so obvious it made the suspense disappear for me. Maybe the fact that I did not enjoy the first 1/3 due to the narrator's reading, maybe that could explain why I was turned off in the end.
No. Her very slow reading made me want to shake her and tell her to wake up. This was my book club's read for the month and I thought it would be fun to listen to it instead of read it. The narrator made the book drag so much I finally got the book from the library and finished the last 2/3 by reading it myself. I couldn't take her reading anymore.
No. I really couldn't connect with Camille by the end of the book. I didn't care what happened to her.
Yes, with a small reservation. I read many of the DH books several years back and then got away from them as they began to feel tedious. I did, however, always want to know more about Acheron, and when the novel originally came out I found little time for reading and so put it off. I came to this audiobook with great expectations.Although I understand the need to show how horribly horrific his early life was, after awhile it too became tedious. The biggest disappointment was Risa's failure to understand that Ash would never say no to her because he knew she was the only person on the earth who really cared about him, and yet she continues to ask him to do things and go places that would, in the end, end up with him being cruelly punished while she was powerless to do anything to help him. He tells her he's not allowed to do this or go there and she comes up with some weak reason why he will be safe - and then he never is. She is just too dumb and naive. Once the story came to present day I liked it much better - not because he wasn't being beaten and sliced and diced anymore, but because there wasn't some silly girl getting him into trouble because she was so stupid. Tori was a much better female presence than Risa was.
Acheron making love to Tori for the first time.
Great for all the male voices and irritatingly Valley Girl for the women's voices - especially Risa's. She always sounded like a child rather than his big/grown sister. I did like Simi's voice, however.
The romance was fine as it is.
The altered treatment of George Wickham as compared to canon. This is what we all hoped Darcy would do to him in the original.
Charlotte explaining to Lizzy what had happened to her.
Moved? Not exactly. It isn't the kind of book that "moves" you. It is a spoof and as such is tongue in cheek in the altered parts.
As a true Janeite for many years I was skeptical about the idea of placing Zombies into my most beloved story. Surprisingly I found it fun, although I believe Jane Austen should get first billing in the authorship since he changed/added very little to the original text. I'd guess less than 5% of the total word count was Seth's and the rest Ms. Austen.
I believe listening to this was more enjoyable than if I had read it. It was an enjoyable listen. I think I might even give the Dawn of the Dreadfuls a go after listening to this one.
Most definitely. I am a Janeite - love everything Austen wrote. This was the one novel I had never really given myself the time to read without interruption. I would always read a few chapters, put it aside for a few months, read a few more, put aside, etc. and never gave it the time it deserved.
Edmund's final realization of Mary's true character.
Henry's visit to Fanny's parents' home in Plymouth.
Since I was already so aware of the book and storyline, no.
Juliet Stevenson is a wonderful narrator. This is the 3rd book I have listened to read by her and she is as good as they come. Wonderful job.
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