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.
© and (P)2007 Naxos AudioBooks Ltd.
I know this review will seem irreverent to many, but I'm writing it for readers who don't normally read this type of book. I've read a few classics, most recently Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, which I enjoyed, so I thought I'd try one of the Jane Austin books. It wasn't for me. The main male character appeared very few times and had little to say on those occasions when he did, whereas numerous minor characters appeared often and had much to say about things that seemed irrelevant to the story. I realize that it was authored at another time in history, when the style of writing was very different, but if a book was written in this manner, today, it would be considered wordy and pretentious. If you enjoy the following quote from Persuasion, you will probably enjoy the book.
"How eloquent could Anne Elliiot have been? How eloquent, at least, were her wishes on the side of early warm attachment and a cheerful confidence in the futurity against that overanxious caution that seems to insult exertion and distrust providence."
This book is a departure for Austen as the heroine is "past the bloom of youth" being 27. Trademark Austen wit and scathing social commentary is apparent in the book. But there is something that strikes me as autobiographical, a spinster looking back over a life not seen by others for what it could be or even for the good that it contains. But this book has a happy ending.
I've always loved Persuasion, and this narrator is really perfect! Highly recommend her. For an Austen novel things move along quite quickly, and with good narration the characters come alive even more than before.
Stevenson's movement from character to character is seamless. Fine match of narrator to story. We all know Austen so well that interpretations are scrutinized by comparison, often to several versions. Well done!
I've read all of Jane Austen works, and listened to several in audiobook format is well, with several different narrators. I have both this and Emma read by Juliet Stevenson and I believe that she is a natural for Austen. She captures the humor and the drama of Austen perfectly, and I never hear her performing a character and think "why on earth did she make them sound like that?!". She manages to give each character a unique voice without resorting to strange tactics.
Also, her Mrs. Elton in the film version of Emma is magnificent.
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!
"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 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.
"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).
"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.
"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.
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.
"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!
"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!
Report Inappropriate Content