When Catherine Morland, a country clergyman's daughter, is invited to spend a season in Bath with the fashionable high society, little does she imagine the delights and perils that await her. Captivated and disconcerted by what she finds, and introduced to the joys of "Gothic novels" by her new friend, Isabella, Catherine longs for mystery and romance. When she is invited to stay with the beguiling Henry Tilney and his family at Northanger Abbey, she expects mystery and intrigue at every turn. However, the truth turns out to be even stranger than fiction.
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I am a manly man. I eat raw meat. I speak in short sentences. but i love this book. It's not just a Jane Austen romance, it's a mini thriller and comedy too. John Thorpe is my idle.
Juliet Stevenson is my favorite reader for Jane Austen novels. She has a pleasing alto voice, and gives a very lively reading. Ms. Stevenson gives all of Jane's characters distinct voices and personalities. I recommend this audiobook highly!
I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.
Northanger Abbey read by Juliet Stevenson was great fun: absorbing, witty, and even, strangely enough (for an anti-Gothic romance), suspenseful. Seventeen-year-old Catherine Morland is an appealing heroine: ex-tomboy, unaccomplished at the things a typical young lady of her era would be accomplished at (playing the piano, drawing, etc.), obsessed with Gothic romance novels, honest, good-natured, sensitive, innocent, and ignorant. Watching her mature through the course of her first experience away from home (first in Bath and finally from about half way through the novel in Northanger Abbey) into a greater awareness of the feelings and true nature of other people and of herself is satisfying.
And the reader, Juliet Stevenson, is wonderful! She brings the story to life, playing an experienced and wry narrator, as well as pleasurably capturing Catherine's innocent ohs, nos, and honesty, Isabella Thorpe???s insincere effusions, John Thorpe's boorish boasting, and Henry Tilney's clever teasing and kind advice.
As some other listeners have said, Northanger Abbey is not up to the level of Jane Austen???s best novels, but it humorously plays with the Gothic romance genre that was so popular in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, offers plenty of quotable lines, and, especially as read by Juliet Stevenson, makes a charming and enjoyable audiobook.
Narrative makes the world go round.
Like many other Austen readers, this is my least favorite Austen novel. It was only on re-reading it as an adult (and after slogging through some of the meodramatic novels Austen satirizes) that I finally got the satire. Narrator Stevenson really enlivens the reading to so that the tone can't be missed or messed. I've listened to two other audio versions of Northanger, and this strikes me as by far the best - satiric but not "over the top" delivery.
This was a "first" Austen work for me. It was an excellent work to begin with. Wonderfully read and wonderfully written.
Juliet Stevenson is a wonderful narrator and does a great job reading what is unfortunately not the best of Jane Austen's books. Although the story is pleasant enough, it isn't up to Pride and Prejudice, or Sense and Sensibility, Emma or Mansfield Park. The story lacks complexity, the characters are merely sketched, and it just doesn't hold your interest like the other Austen works. The narration, however, is terrific.
Northanger Abbey was always my least favorite Jane Austen book. With Juliet's superb narration, I understand the genius of the story in it's comic simplicity. I have listened to every Jane Austen book of Juliet's narration and I'm happy to say this one will be repeated as often as the others.
Northanger Abbey ??? Jane Austen
This was the first book that Austen wrote. She sold it; it was never published; so she bought it back when her other books became successful. Possibly she intended a rewrite. Her brother had it published after her death.
The story concerns the teen-aged Catherine Moreland who has little experience of the world, but much experience with gothic romance novels. Austen manages to make Catherine comic in her awkwardness and excessive imagination, but lovable in her direct honesty. This book has all the satire and social commentary of Austen???s later books, but other than Catherine, I felt the characters lacked depth. Although Catherine???s brother has a failed love affair with one of her new friends, Austen only deals with the effect this has on Catherine???s relationship with Isabella. Little is said about the brother. Nothing at all is known about Eleanor???s relationship to her Viscount. That marriage is only mentioned because it allows Catherine and Henry to marry. I missed the more complex interplay of multiple characters and plot line that occur in Austen???s later books, but I enjoyed Catherine???s runaway imagination.
Juliet Stevenson gives a wonderful performance of this book. Each character is captured distinctly while she adds to the atmosphere and the comedy with her animated reading.
If you are selecting your first Jane Austen novel, I suggest you leave this one till later. It does not have the level of humour, interesting characters and romance of her greater novels.
But for all that, Northanger Abbey is still rewarding. Beautifully narrated, as always, by the superb Juliet Stevenson, it describes an eighteenth century mating game with all the silliness and self absorption that might well resemble contemporary social media exchanges. Extraordinary that one could offer that comparison but there is something timeless about Austen's dry wit and insights as to how people present themselves and perceive each other.
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