Anne Elliot has grieved for seven years over the loss of her first love, Captain Frederick Wentworth. But events conspire to unravel the knots of deceit and misunderstanding in this beguiling and gently comic story of love and fidelity.
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This is the recording that sold me on audiobooks in general. Juliette Stevenson's narration is superb, and Austen's witty, ironic style make her works perfect candidates for being read aloud. Highly recommended.
A favorite of mine read beautifully as ever by Juliette Stevenson.
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
I see from other reviews that I am among many for whom Persuasion is the favorite of Miss Austen's books. Anne Elliot is my favorite of all her heroines, always evoking my sympathy for her dignity and composure through the trials of her life. Threaded through the story is the theme of not getting what you want the first time around and, for some, a second chance for the golden ring. Whether all these characters get their prize, or even deserve it, is revealed as only Austen can do.
Overall I thought Juliet Stevenson read well, especially conveying Anne's calm exterior and the haughtiness of her father and sister Elizabeth. But at times she overdramatised - making sister Mary sound a bit like Miss Piggy, and at the end, as Mr. Wentworth pours out his heart he sounds more like a distraught female than the hero. Had to downgrade the performance score a bit for those periodic missteps. Still, revisiting this old favorite is as comfortable as a warm cup of tea.
I first saw a movie version of Persuasion over 15 years ago and ever other year I rewatch it. I as hesitant to get an audiobook version fearing the story would be too familiar and I'd grow bored. I'm glad that I took the chance. The narrator is a very talented actress and made the story come alive. The book, as often happens, had details left out of the film that helped fill out secondary characters. I couldn't stop listening.
Juliet Stevenson gives a truly wonderful reading of this book. I have a hard time with narrators, and I've never found an Austen audiobook I could enjoy before. However, this reading shines. She does the characters well, gives vivacity and emotion to key moments without over stretching, and the cadence and skill of her reading makes the text easily and gracefully accessible. Austen's text shines.
The book itself of course...what is there to say? This is my favorite Austen novel. The story centers around older characters than her other novels, and the tenor of the book in general is more mature. Anne Elliot is also my favorite heroine (although Fanny is a close second, as is Elinor Dashwood). She is exceptionally smart and "tenderness itself." The honesty with which Austen reads and portrays her characters is absolutely brilliant (the gloves are off a bit more in this one than her earlier books).
This one — book and reading — is not to be missed and well worth the investment. I will come back to it again and again.
SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!
Now THIS is more like it!
After trying the utterly brilliant Michael Page's version, and being utterly horrified by it, I tried this version of Jane Austen's wonderful "Persuasion." I am SO not disappointed! "Persuasion" is my favorite book of hers, so having it savaged by Mr. Page (whom I genuinely am fond of but who can't deliver a woman's voice to save his life) was distressing.
Juliet Stevenson does an admirable job here, brings the characters to life, keeps them separate so that even without dialogue tags each is distinct, and the language flows beautifully.
Anne Elliot, ever shoved to the side and never appreciated, is the heroine, and in my opinion, she's the best, most fully fleshed out character Austen ever wrote. Steady, dependable, she has a heart that never forgets: one that's never flighty, never considers another way of loving. Suddenly finding herself in the company of the man she was persuaded to give up long ago, she also finds herself in the full bloom of her beauty (at the ripe old age of seven and twenty… Really, I'm at seven and forty, and I swear I missed the full bloom…).
Will he ever forgive her? Will she ever forgive herself? Will she find love with someone else? Is that even possible for a heart such as hers?
Or will he go on to someone else, someone less easily persuadable? I LOVE this book, have read it many times and am looking forward to listening to it again, and again.
This is my favorite Austen novel. Its subtle wit and treatment of love, friendship, and avarice are timeless.
Anne's conversation with Captain Harville about constancy, which is overheard by Captain Wentworth and inspires his letter to Anne. Always a tear jerker.
The reader is way, way too dramatic. Jane Austen's style is elegantly simple and straightforward, and the book deserves to be read without the annoying embellishment Juliet Stevenson gives it.
The narrator of this lovely, deeply enriching Jane Austen classic is truly talented. She brings a special insight to the characters of a book that is already special to many generations of countelss readers.
"Juliet Stevenson excels again!"
I had not previously read this Jane Austen, and I think it is one that is quite often forgotten. This is not however because it is one of her lesser works. This story follows a different formula to many of her other novels, and shows Austen's maturity in her writing style. It will never be as good as Pride and Prejudice, but definitley worth a listen.
Juliet Stevenson once again is a fantastic narrator, making each character unique.
"Great book, great reader"
Persuasion is not Pride & Prej, but it is wonderful in its own right. This version is read wonderfully, and very enjoyable. Persuasion is sublte and rather sad, a maturer woman's perspective on life and lost love. There are moments in this book that are unforgetable; 'that letter!' as a freind of mine always describes it. enjoy!
"Lovely, lovely, lovely!"
Oh what a joy this has been - and now it's all over! Beautifully read, with fine characterisation, this is my favourite Austen by a long chalk. The BBC did a fine adaptation a few years back (not the truly awful ITV one of a year or so ago) which gave me powerful visuals while I listened - what more can you want? I bought this in one of Audible's sales for very little, and it's been an absolute bargain; it's probably even worth its full price!
I've never read any Austen before, but having lived in the UK now for 20 years I've kinda soaked up the period drama thang by osmosis and was pretty sure of what to expect - or so I thought ... While the plot was fairly straight forward, when it came to the characters Ms. Austen didn't shy away from baring her teeth and taking a merry bite at the crass and petty snobs that filled her society. I thoroughly enjoyed the way she took the p**s out of the families and their obsession with class and correctness, and exposed their hypocrisy - especially regarding the ethics of wealth and family honour: she did it with a keen eye and a wonderfully subtle wit. (I listened to the audiobook narrated by Juliet Stevenson, and her voicings really did help to grasp the characters' natures.) Thoroughly, and surprisingly, enjoyed!
I am bemused by the reviewers that treat Persuasion as an inferior afterthought - it is so clearly full of insight and wisdom as well as wit. Juliet Stevenson is the best reader of Austen by far. This reading gave me great comfort through a difficult time. If I could give it 6 stars I would.
"Persuaded by Persuasion"
The characters have been beautifully captured by Juliet Stevenson - the voices of selfish Mary, vain Sir Walter, downtrodden but spirited Anne and handsome Captain Wentworth - are all perfect, in what is probably my favourite Austen novel.
Very mindfully written and representative for the time.
The narrator makes it! Hearing the voices of Mary and Anne keep it easy to listen to and know who is speaking.
"Not so gentle satire"
This book has some of Jane Austen's best writing - she invents the trick of the authorial voice stepping into the character's thoughts here for the first time in the novel. Outside that the authorial voice is quite biting, in the main character she gives an accurate portrait of depression, and some of the subordinate characters are truly appalling. Which may be why some people don't like it as much as her other books: it's hard to maintain the "sweetness and light" illusion that some have of Jane Austen. I like it best of all her books, and, as usual, Juliet Stevenson is a splendid narrator (though Anna Massey, if only we could have her, brings an icy bite to her reading which is entirely appropriate to this book).
"Such a beautiful book"
This is the older Jane Austen speaking, and it shows. Maturity and depth of feeling. A beautiful book, and beautifully narrated, 10/10 as always for Ms Stevenson
"Persuasion Or Patience is Rewarded"
Perhaps not one of Jane Austen's most popular novels probably because Anne Elliot is no Elizabeth or Emma. The plot isn't without flaws either - bit meandering and occasionally unbelievable.
But it's perfectly narrated and there's the massive aaahh factor at the end, which makes up for any of those stumblings.
A really worthwhile read for anyone who loves Jane Austen and a neat, happy ending!
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