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.
© and (P)2006 Naxos AudioBooks
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.
Oh, Catherine Morland. I have such an affection for the silly, melodramatic girl. I feel like she is the original fangirl. Her obsession with fictional characters and worlds causes her so much embarrassment in real life. It's really cringe-worthy but also completely endearing. I'm surprised Northanger Abbey hasn't really had a modern adaptation yet, because it lends itself to it really well. Catherine feels like a normal 17-year-old. I adore Henry Tilney too. I love his sense of humour and lively spirits. I really like how Austen satirises novels and fiction while honouring them at the same time. It's a really, really fun book - as all of Austen's are!
Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!
An avid Jane Austen fan, I have never much liked "Northanger Abbey". Given the right reader, however, it can be a lot of fun! Juliet Stevenson, I thank you! In this version, I saw the humor and the charm of NA in a way I never had before.
Still not the best Austen book but definitely the best narrator of Austen's work.
I like to listen to classic literature while I'm on the treadmill at the gym. The deep meaningful thoughts drown out the inane pop music.
Oh yes! And I have recommended it to my daughters to show them how important it is to avoid frivolously minded girlfriends.
Juliet Stevenson is my favorite female reader. I am in awe of her ability to portray such different characters in rapid succession. She brings a life and color to the characters that truly does enhance the experience of a book.
Except as a BBC series with great actors. I'm sorry, I just couldn't finish this in spite of the excellent reader. Maybe I'll try again someday.
The young women are just too silly and dense (at least in the first hour) and the guys down right annoying.
I enjoy mysteries, NOT thrillers, contemporary fiction, especially about diverse cultures, and sometimes history, if it doesn't involve too many dates. I often listen to a book multiple times, discovering unnoticed details in the retelling.
I should just remember that I hate Jane Austen books and never buy them again!
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.
This may be my favorite Jane Austen novel, and the narrator is perfect. My only complaint is that once I downloaded the file and put it in iTunes, the audio quality wasn't nearly what it was in the sample on this website. I downloaded Audio Format 4. I had the same issue with Persuasion, also read by Juliet Stevenson, but I did not have this problem with Pride and Prejudice or Emma, both read by different narrators, which I downloaded about a year ago. This makes me think that the problem is with this file and not with my computer.
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