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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Audiobooks have literally changed my life. I now actually ENJOY doing mindless chores because they give me plenty of listening time!
Our young would-be heroine, seventeen year-old Catherine Morland has read one too many Gothic novel in her short life, the latest of which being The Mysteries of Udolpho by Anne Radcliffe, one of her favourite authors. When she is taken to the resort town of Bath with a well-to-do older couple who are friends of the family, it is Catherine's first excursion outside her hometown, and she is starved for new adventures and acquaintances. Young Isabella Thorpe is no sooner met than declared to be her best bosom friend ever.
When it is discovered upon his unexpected arrival that Isabella's brother, John Thorpe is best friends with Catherine's brother James Morland, and that James is in love with Isabella, the trio claim young Catherine for their own pursuits. John Thorpe is under the false impression that Catherine is heiress to a great fortune, and the blustering young man decides he will marry our young maiden. Though Catherine may be inexperienced in love, she has eyes only for Henry Tilney, a young clergyman who, surprisingly enough, shares Catherine's passion for Gothic novels, something most men would never have admitted to. Soon after Catherine has befriended her sweetheart's sister, Eleanor Tilney, she is overjoyed when an invitation is extended to spend time with the Tilney's in their home, Northanger Abbey. At the mention of the word "Abbey" Catherine's imagination takes over and she fully expects to discover a decrepit old dwelling filled with loathsome secrets of the kind she has avidly read about in her favourite novels, to great comic effect.
This story is filled with humour to a much greater extent than Jane Austen's other widely read novels. Austen, who was apparently herself a fan of fiction, Gothic and otherwise, obviously greatly enjoyed poking fun at her naive heroine, and also took the opportunity to make a case for the worthiness of novels, of which reading was considered to be an unsuitable pursuit in her day.
Only if you are committed to
Facile. Unsympathetic stupid characters.
She's wonderful. I met her when listening to The Magician's Elephant. A delight.
Mansfield Park, Pride and Prejudice and my favorite Persuasion are a much better use of your time.
Jane Austen had a great sense of humor and Juliet Stevenson's delivery brings out the irony beautifully while remaining subtle. I even laughed out loud.
I have read every other Jane Austin novel, but always overlooked this one - A MISTAKE! This is by far my favorite novel she wrote.
This book kept my interest even though the plot moved very slowly at times. The narrator did a great job with the old english way of speaking and I even laughed at her haughty interpretation of a couple of the wealthy charactors.
#6, because Jane Austen's works were 6 published novels produced by Audible. She's had other works, letters and such, later published, but her core body of work was her 6 novels. I have listened to hundreds of audio books over the years, but the Austen novels remain the top 1-6 of my list.
I say this wasn't Jane's finest hour because the tone of this book seems almost silly compared to her other novels. I realize she is conveying that very message, girls devoted to gothic romances seem silly and shallow, but the over all effect is so much less satisfying her other books. I am left wishing I could say to her, we have so little of you as it is, I wish it hadn't been used up on this trifle of a book!
Winter's coming -- almost time to huddle up with my ipod and hot chocolate!
I really expected to like the narration by Juliet Stevenson. I love her as an actress. However, the main character is made to sound like a screechy numb skull. At times I found it painful to listen to the young female characters and wish Ms. Stevenson would have underplayed it. Too bad.
If there was ever a “Chick Book”, this is it. I can’t believe that I listened to the whole thing. I did so only because I thought the ending would be worth it, but it wasn’t. In fact, after the long, detailed steps taken to get to the end, it was very disappointing. The ending was hurried, as if to say, “Then everybody found that they all loved each other, got married, and lived happily ever after.”
I got this book because I enjoyed the TV mini-series, “Pride and Prejudice.” I didn’t realize how much I would have to listen to what the main character, a 17-year-old young lady, thinks about the situations and people around her. A little more action and less analysis would have been welcome.
This is my first book by Jane Austen; it will be my last.
The ONLY thing that made this book worth listening to was the absolutely terrific narration by Juliet Stevenson. Her nuances with the various characters’ voices and clear speech in all of them made it a joy to hear her. Too bad the material didn’t support her talent.
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