© 1989, 2008 BBC Audiobooks Ltd; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
The gentle fun that Austen pokes at addicts of Gothic literature is very apropos of today - 'plus ca change, plus ca meme chose!' Very enjoyable.
The book is wonderful and Anna Massey is ever amazing. The audio book chapters are not properly separated, and instead the audio "chapters" are lengthy periods of time (45 minutes+) that make it difficult to navigate.
I've always like Jane Austen and have read, listened to or watched performances of several of her stories. But with this one I couldn't get past listening for a half hour. The narrator's voice and inflection was borderline to screeching. Never did finish listening to it.
"Taken in order....a curate's egg"
Good in parts is the standard response to the 'one that nobody reads.' Nothing particularly outstanding but an overall quality that makes the whole thing worthwhile.
This is the fifth of six and the first indication that getting your head down and ploughing on is going to be required in completing the full run of Jane Austen's novels in six months.
"Love a bit of Austen to drown out Kisstory"
The clipped tones of Anna Massey drolly trot out the wisdoms of Austen's prose. The self condemnation of Miss. Moreland's censure is wry & pitiable through the telling. Lovely stuff.
"Light, enjoyable and somewhat sardonic"
Another enjoyable Austen. Quite a simple plot with a smaller, less developed set of characters than some other of her novels. I did get the odd chuckle from the somewhat sardonic observation of human manners and behaviour.
Northanger Abbey is also a self-conscious parody of the heroine-centred, female-authored novels of the day.
"Sparkling and witty!"
I first read this when I was a teenager and it was a wonderful rediscovery for my mature years as I found there was so much more to the book. Catherine Moreland the heroine is unlike the heroines of the popular novels of Radcliffe which were then so popular in England, not particularly intelligent, and only 'almost pretty' whose mother did not have the good grace to die and leave her orphaned but went on to have many children. At 17 our young heroine is invited to Bath and of course to meet new people and feel love for the first time. Jane Austen's wit is so dazzling and seems to slide off her pen with such ease you would think it was an easy thing to do. Her expertise at creating bores who divert the reader but who vex and frustrate the other characters is stunning. The boring young man who is pursuing Catherine to the detriment of her admiration for Henry is highly amusing. If you are not diverted by the story you may be interested in studying the book as a portrait of early nineteenth century social life among the genteel. There is debate on the differences between the sexes, the meaning of history, good taste and the heavy presence of materialism in this society where people are commodities on the marriage market and status and rank are highly prized. Angela Massey is a fine narrator and really brings the novel to life.
"A beautiful reading"
The reader of this edition of Northanger Abbey is Juliet Stevenson, whose voice is perfect for Jane Austen. She brings out the character of each personality in the book and beautifully and subtly conveys Jane Austen's gentle irony. However this version is spoiled for me by the intrusive music at the end of each chapter, which breaks up the flow of the story. The music itself is beautiful and appropriate to the period of the book, but if I want to listen to music I will listen to a CD, and if I want to listen to a book I do not want to have the flow constantly and artificially interrupted.
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