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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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!
"fabric artist and quilter"
I was warned that it wasn't her best, and they were right, it wasn't her best but it wasn't as bad as I half expected. The story was full of her usual insights, however the heroines weren't quite good enough to make fully fledged heroines, but the men were right from the moment they entered the book you knew were going to be bounders and were, but the pathos and general wit was lacking and Catherine Moreland just needed a bit more instruction for her to be up there with the Fannys and the like - it would have taken an episode of "Extreme Make Over" to turn her into an Elizabeth or Emma and that was never going to happen!
Juliet Stevenson does an impeccable job narrating the novel and I know that that if she read "Pig Farmers guide to breeding: piglet upbringing (including possible parasitical infestations)'" I am sure that it would be a hit - I would listen to it intently!
I've done them all now - I wish that Jane had been a prolific as Dickens or Trollope but that said it is quality not the quantity and what delights we have of her and Juliet together. A match made in heaven and here at Audible! I don't love them all equally but I do love them all.
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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.
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.
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.
I found Northanger Abbey to be very boring and not at all like Jane Austen's other works. I would have rated this book a one star, but I have to give credit to Juliet Stevenson, who did an excellent job reading this dull and lifeless book. I would definitely listen to her read again!!!
This isnt the most entertaining Austin story out there. The tale is pretty drawn out and the romance and suspence are very subdued compared to her other works. I did enjoy the story but found myself frequently checking my MP3 player to see how much was left.
I am a fiber artist and teacher. I love moderate action, plot twists, diverse characters and much romance.
This is a great book for lovers of romance novels, and Jane Austen in particular. According to Wikipedia (I know) this was her first novel, but was not published until after her death. The heroine is even more normal than other Austen heroines, so that's fun. The best part (aside from the story) is that the narrator/novelist has a voice and speaks at length about her views on novels/novelists/readers.
The narrator was solid, and non-aggravating, though occasionally her Exclamatory Catherine voice startled me rather more than I thought necessary.
Overall a very enjoyable listen.
I was educated into oblivion but have overcome it and am having a wonderful life
Very fun - Jane Austen writing about the sweetest fan of Gothic tales yet who is the perfect antiGothic heroine.
Northanger Abbey complements the oh-so-tragic tales of such figures as Heathcliffe and Kathy. However, it oh-so-not such a tale. Only Austen's narrative can make one chuckle at the difference.
Stevenson's portrayals are easily understood, well formed, and never condescending.
Very fun novel. I enjoyed talking to friends about this book and hearing what they'd thought when they'd read it.
Married with five kids. Professional military & Sports photographer.
Best reading I've heard. Juliet Stevenson is probably the best reader of Jane Austen books available. She does great at voice distinctions between characters, had a great tempo, and reads the story as if she's telling it plus has a great accent.
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