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Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, narrated by the incomparable Juliet Stevenson. Sigh. This is classical romance at its best.
Some who read rather than listen may find parts slow, unrealistic and liberally laced with purple prose. But not so listening to Stevenson. Her voice envelopes the high morality of Victorian England, the expressions of love, sacrifice, pain, confusion, desperation – and transports these into the realm of prose-music. Her voice caresses the words. She transforms the coincidences and high drama to the level of probability. She gentles the listener into suspending belief and luxuriating in the outpouring of human emotions, the urgency of secret love and devotion, the unquestioning correctness of sacrifice, the terror of the insane.
Romantics will be enthralled by the barriers to the consummation of love, the very least being the class system and Victorian self restraint.
Stevenson's narration is better than good. This is great classic, read superbly.
Tired teacher. That is, REtired teacher.
I was thoroughly charmed by this book. It is written in a totally different style than what one would expect of a 21st century book, but putting myself in an early 19th century frame, I was able to enjoy this book. I loved the flow of the prose, the use of currently little-used words, the elegance of the whole thing. I can't believe I have lived this long without even knowing the story line of Jane Eyre. I was enthralled with it on many levels. I was pleasantly surprised by the high quality of the writing, creativity and the obvious intelligence of the author. I will be thinking about this story for a long time to come. I think everyone should read it sooner or later. Jane is a great role model for not just young girls, but for everyone who is trying to be a better human being. I hope that is all of us.
The narrator, Juliet Stevenson, was excellent. My one complaint is that she is very soft spoken and could be a little hard to hear.
I am an AudioBook Narrator and so judge these things perhaps too harshly. But this performance by Juliet Stevenson is absolute perfection. The headphones never left my ears for days.
I cannot recommend this too highly.
Jane Eyre is, of course, a fabulous book. But when narrated by Juliet Stevenson, it is brought to life in the most satisfying way. I have loved listening to this book and getting to know the characters (again) through Ms. Stevenson's lively narration.
Jane Eyre is, for me, the greatest of all classic British literature. It is a remarkable gift to have such a magnificent novel read by such capable readers. While Juliet Stevenson does an excellent job, I find the older (and less expensive) version read by Lucy Scott to be as exceptional as the book itself. Stevenson has bit deeper a British accent, while Scott maintains a greater clarity of speech while creating an authentic English tone.
Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!
Jane Eyre and Juliet Stevenson. Sheer Heaven. It always surprises me how long Jane Eyre can be, but this edition makes you understand why good old Jane has appealed to so many for so long. Once again, the narrator makes the difference, and I just can't recommend Juliet Stevenson enough! Long may she read!
Researcher, editor, writer, francophone, anglophile. Started listening to audiobooks to conciliate my love of knitting and novels.
Juliet Stevenson is my favourite narrator, period. She understands the characters, and plays them amazingly. Some of the books I choose to listen is because of her narration, and not the book itself (although it obviously plays a role in the matter).
Fantastic! Stevenson was superb in her narration! Definite recommendation for those who love the classic art.
Audiobooks have literally changed my life. I now actually ENJOY doing mindless chores because they give me plenty of listening time!
I was captivated with Charlotte Brontë's heroine from the moment we were introduced to her. Jane is an independents spirit, a smart girl with a strong sense of morals who has met with more than her fair share of bad luck, and it's impossible not to feel intense sympathy for her cause. She is both naive and infinitely wise beyond her years, and while the young woman is very much bound by the conventions of her time, the fact that she must follow her heart at every turn pushes her to act in surprising ways and make choices that seem unbearably difficult, which of course makes for great storytelling. Brontës vivid descriptions of the surroundings help us place the action in time and place, but also serve to give us much information about the character's inner workings. I was delighted to discover upon this second reading, that I had forgotten all of the second half of the story, in which Jane's quest for belonging and family rang all too true.
Listening to the excellent actress Juliet Stevenson narrate this story with her trademark rich, smooth voice, truly made this excellent story all the more pleasant to rediscover.
Its a fantastic story. Its well paced and with good detail without being flowery and Jane herself is likeable and not overtly emotional as many heroines of her era were. I remember reading this book for school and having to analyse it line by line which does nothing to endear the classics to students, but now listening to it as an adult, and having it so beautifully narrated was such joy. I found myself driving around the block snd walking for an extra half hour just to listen to it more.
"A beautiful reading by Juliet Stevenson"
Ms Stevenson's knowledge of and passion for this book really come through. A stunning reading.
"Reader its fabulous!"
It stands alone, but the scenario is familiar/timeless.
No it works well as a series - though I did listen to it in consecutive sessions.
Juliet Stevenson was a brilliant choice for reading this book. Her diction brings this book to life and is very like the voice I had in my head when I read this for myself many moons ago!
A book I've always wanted to read but never had the time. This audiobook is extraordinary. Bronte was an amazing writer. I'm so pleased I finally had a chance to listen to this.
"A Flawless 'Jane Eyre'"
What a terrific performance by Juliet Stevenson! To begin with she has a lovely voice but, beyond that, her ability to lift the text from the page and bring it wholly to life is incomparable. 'Jane Eyre' is a book which I have loved since childhood and have read and seen as a film or a play many times so I am a critical listener - but Juliet's performance is truly superb, with every character distinctly drawn, the mood(s) thoroughly realised and the narrative paced with real skill.
"A beautifully read classic"
An excellent recording / rendition of a classic book. Very accessible, easy to listen to.
I loved this book, I read it years ago but the audio version read by a fantastic narrator is brilliant
"Reader, it's magnificently read."
I can't believe I was waited so long to read this book. The prose is wonderful and Stevenson's narration is as good as we could hope for. Despite knowing very roughly the narrative arc, I found the plot full of surprise and devoid of cliché. Next stop, Jean Rhys's Caribbean update Wide Sargasso Sea - not yet available on Audible - hint, hint.
My favourite book read absolutely beautifully by Ms Stevenson. I'll be coming back to this again and again.
"brilliant, classic novel"
Yes, it is a gripping tale that follows her every struggle and obstacle from a little girl all the way into adulthood. The story has so many plot twists, never gets old.
'Why be happy when you could be normal' by Jeanette Winterson is a 20th century novel that, in my opinion, is an almost parallel novel. It traces the struggle of a girl placed into an unwelcoming and adoptive family, and explores the dysfunctional relationships between the protagonist and other characters. Protagonists in both books face life as an outcast in the role they play in society; Jane as a governess and Jeanette as a writer and a homosexual during the sixties. Facing their hardships, both women seek to overcome their oppressors and their labels in society.
Jane, as she is such a dynamic character and her opinions and ways of seeing the world are unique and distinct.
When Jane returns to Rochester after not seeing him for a year, as it was particularly suspenseful.
Both brilliant, and revolutionary books!
"A Good listen"
I enjoyed this, not remembering the story well, I was surprised by how dark it is. The first half Stevenson overdoes the whispery undertones a bit I felt. However her narration is always fantastic and few can compete with her. As far as the text goes I think it's easy to underestimate how New this form of inner termoil and thought process, as part of the narration, was. I enjoyed this a lot and see how significant it must have been at point of publication.
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