"A lady" was the attributed author of 1811’s smash success, Sense and Sensibility. That lady was Jane Austen, one of the novel’s earliest masters and still a worldwide favorite. Any fan of Downton Abbey, Harry Potter, or the works of Henry James has Austen at least partly to thank for it.
Following her first successes, Austen wrote Mansfield Park,arguably her most complex effort. Performed in a grandmotherly alto by Flo Gibson (who has over one thousand audiobooks to her credit!), Mansfield Parkintroduces the listener to Fanny Price, that shy, intelligent, lower-class girl who, at age 10, is sent to live with her rich extended family. Listeners experience Fanny’s growth into a young woman with all the irony, despair, and humor that entails.
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"Mansfield Park, a chronicle of the trials of Fanny Price, is very recommendable....Narrator Flo Gibson reads clearly and meaningfully, distinguishing voices, and does justice to the humor and style of Austen's prose." (Library Journal)
I love this story, it is my favorite of the "Austen" books... I have read them all! The narrator's voice is not quite what I would have chosen for this story, but once you are engrossed in the life of Fanny Price you forget about that.
I enjoyed this as much as any audio book of a Jane Austen novel that I've come across. I was hesitant to select it because others weren't happy with Flo Gibson's voice. I thought her voice was fine and perfectly clear enough to understand. I think she does a very good job differentiating the male character voices, too.
Personally I like listening to Flo. Her voice gives character to the reading. She is animated and gives different voices to each of the characters. What a riot. This is the second book of hers that I have listened to and I really enjoy them!
I love mysteries in the style of P.D. James, Rex Stout, Elizabeth Peters, Dave Duncan, etc. I love sci fi written by Issac Asimov (the robot books), Douglas Adams, Jack McDevitt (Alex Benedict series) and Susan Collins. I love fantasy written by Terry Pratchett, and Kim Harrison. I love Kate Morton. I don't like graphic descriptions of violence.
Austin is my favorite author and Gibson my favorite reader. Pride and Prejudice is my favorite of Austin's books, but everything she wrote is fabulous.
I tried listening to this book, but could not take the poor quality. I have it in written form. I will read it the old fashion way and enjoy it much more.
Such overacting! Such misreading! Such a grating voice! Gaaah!
I downloaded this despite the negative reviews, thinking, "But I love _Mansfield Park_. How bad could it be?" The answer is, Very bad. Flo Gibson makes everyone in the book sound like an idiot. Her attempts at an English accent are embarrassing. Her phrasing and intonation are so unnatural that it's hard to follow the story and take the characters seriously. In sum, she's very a obtrusive reader, utterly lacking in subtlety, and she significantly diminishes my enjoyment of the book. I wish Audible would offer a different unabridged edition.
It's true that the quality of her voice left something to desire for, but otherwise she plays the characters well and is animated enough to draw me into the book. She has given life to most of the characters, and it's enjoyable to listen to the book. I thought she's much better than the narrator of Emma--who has made Emma quite a lanquid and sometimes conceited woman, and whose reading totally lacks the vitality and humor that I have always attributed to the book.
I hated the narrator; agree with the previous critic that she sounds like an 80 year old chain smoker. Had difficulty distinguishing the characters. Could not get past the first hour either. I hope this will be available with another narrator. I would really like to listen to the book.
Mom, married, website designer, portfolio manager in self-imposed exile (yeah Greg Smith!!), former California native, Episcopalian.
I think Flo Gibson does an excellent job with Mansfield Park. However, I found the plot rather tedious until I got halfway through the 15 hours. The last 7 hours were very engaging.
I think Flo Gibson does a good job at narrating this book (and I don't know her personally or anything, I swear). I only give it three stars because I think the story itself is not one of Austin's best.
"Hawick Rugby Club-Lady Bertram gets sin binned"
This is the centre of the Jane Austen melting pot and is probably about as good as it gets within this particular oeuvre. A plot that takes you along, funny asides, great insights and a feeling of reaching across the years and the divide to speak to the modern reader. Interesting to see that the current production stars Billie Piper - what price Fanny Price I wonder?
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