Of the 3 or 4 unabridged audio versions available for Emma, I find the narrator of this version to be the most enjoyable. She does not speak too quickly so as to prevent the absorption of the wonderful writing style of Austen, and she also does not read too slowly. Her character voices are done well and are consistent. Her voice does not sound "old", and that makes it more believable when she speaks as Emma. NICELY DONE!!!
If you're pondering which version of Emma to listen to, this is the one. Prunella Scales gets the it just right from the character voices to the satire, it's all clear and right on. I very much appreciated this reading.
Without the different voices the narrator applied to each character, I would have spent hours trying to figure out who was talking. She makes it easy to listen to.
Prunella Scales' performance is absolutely perfect, and I doubt any narrator could top her Miss Bates. This has always been my least favorite Austen novel (even less than Northanger Abbey, which is just OK) but I am now rethinking that opinion.
While I have read everything that Jane Austen wrote and am one of those people that continuously laments that she wrote so few novels, Emma is probably one of my least favorite of her stories. However, with Prunella Scales narration, I am having to re-think my position on Emma. Scales tremulous ramblings and timing are absolutely perfect for this book and made me laugh out loud.
Austen's biting wit and keen observations of human nature are priceless and Scales does an amazing job of setting the appropriate tone for this story. I do believe that Miss Austen herself would most definitely approve.
I think I like Emma just as much as Pride and Prejudice - it might actually be funnier. Or maybe I just think so because Prunella Scales (Mrs. Faulty of Faulty Towers) does a spot-on reading. I wish she read other Jane Austen - she couldn't do a better job to this wonderful book.
I have listened to a couple of other versions as well. I heard things in Prunella Scales's reading that I never heard before, and I think it is because hers is so clear and comprehensible. I enjoy her interpretation of the characters, especially Miss Bates.
There is something a little odd about the recording. It has extra long pauses between chapters, or just after the announcement of new chapters. The sound stops long enough for me to start wondering what went wrong with my device.
I love Juliet Stevenson's readings of Austen, George Elliot, and Charlotte Bronte, however I think Prunella Scales is the best by a nose as regards to "Emma". I listen to it about once every year or two, and always get something new out of it, in addition to the frequent laughs it provokes.
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