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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I heard the great British actress, Juliet Stevenson, and others, dramatize Persuasion on BBC radio this summer and was so impressed, it lead me to search for its availability on Audible. If Jane Austen had a voice, it would sound like Juliet Stevenson. I’m working my way through Ms. Stevenson’s other Jane Austen narrations and she does not disappoint. She beautifully captures the wit, insight, and tenderness of Jane Austen’s story of deferred romance.
It was an excellent story. As a Jane Austen novice, I cared about the characters, and was happy to see how the story progressed.
It was "tamer" than I expected, even for a Jane Austen novel, in that no circumstances were too dire, and no characters were too awful--but that was perfect for what I was looking for.
Stevenson's performance was excellent, handling male and female characters of all ages convincingly.
Though it is excellent, I wouldn't say the audio is better than the printed book. Convenience is certainly a plus and, perhaps for someone not acquainted with Jane Austen, the narration may help understand the tone of the writing--that there is a great deal of comedy in it. I loved the book as well as the audio, so it's not really a contest for me.
Pride and Prejudice is very similar to Persuasion, which isn't surprising as they were written by the same author. Beyond that, each of the stories revolves around an intelligent woman who finds herself separated from the man she loves by unfortunate circumstances and misunderstanding. These women are surrounded by foolish snobs, but manage to hang on to their sanity through the acquaintance of a handful of sensible friends and relatives. Both books have happy endings where the lovers are finally able to express themselves and become the happiest people alive.
By using a unique accent for each person, she conveys snobbery, intelligence, silliness, humility, and any other trait that the characters might possess. She does equally well with the voices of men and women, and I never tired of her narration. Her excellent grasp on the threads of satire that run through the story, makes her performance all the more enjoyable.
I wouldn't make a film of this book.
I thought it was interesting how sailors and industrious individuals were able to make their fortunes and move into the neighborhoods of those who were supposed to be their betters. It was also interesting to see some of the "betters" losing their fortunes by over-extending themselves and getting into debt.
Audiobooks have literally changed my life. I now actually ENJOY doing mindless chores because they give me plenty of listening time!
At the head of the Elliot family is the baronet Sir Walter, a widower and a vain man who lives beyond his means and makes up his mind about people solely based on their appearance and station in life. His eldest and his youngest daughters take after him, to great comical effect, but Anne Elliot, his middle daughter, is quite different. She's a great reader of poetry and has never forgotten her first romantic attachment to Captain Frederick Wentworth, a romance which took place eight years before the story begins. But like all well bred young ladies of her day, she let herself be persuaded by a close friend of the family, Lady Russell, to break off the engagement because of Wentworth's apparent lack of fortune and prospects. But Wentworth is back, now having acquired great wealth and looking for a wife, and anyone will do, as long as she is fond of the navy. Anyone that is, but Anne.
This, the last novel Austen wrote as she was dying, is a story imbued with a sense of loss, missed opportunities and regret, but of course in the end, love must conquer all and hope wins the day.
This audio version by the ever-perfect Juliet Stevenson was quite a treat.
Her diction and delivery are wonderful. She helped me understand some of the passages I would have skimmed over if I had been reading the written word.
Several movies have been made.
I am a book junkie. Read to me.
This is one of my favorite Austen novels and I loved the BBC Radio 4 version with Juliet Stevenson in the role of Anne Elliot. She seems to understand the heroine's inner conflicts better than anyone else. Stevenson brings all of her sensitivity and training as an actress to this reading. Simply beautifully done.
In every Austen novel, there are the silly characters whom Austen meant to be comical, but whose persistent idiocy irritate me to the point where I just skip over their parts. They are almost always women, the worst being Mrs. Bennet in Pride & Prejudice, although Miss Bates in Emma and Mrs. Jennings in Sense & Sensibility are similar, if lesser, annoyances. But in Persuasion, the silly character happens to be a man, Anne's father Mr. Elliot, and I find that, far from irritating, Mr. Elliot is one of the funniest and most ridiculous characters in Austen's fiction. Stevenson seems to appreciate him, too, for she reads his part with relish, infusing him with all the pompous self-importance Austen intended. I found myself stopping the performance and replaying those parts two and three times. Great laughs.
Persuasion is my favourite Austen and not only does this version do it justice, it was even better than I remembered.
I am quite partial to the scenes where Anne is so very aware of Captain Wentworth's presence, even when they interact very little. We have all been there and to my mind this kind of longing and depth of feeling can be somewhat lacking in Jane Austen's other books.
Hard to choose. I have read the book many times. I found this audio version wonderfulI and I will be listening to it again in the near future.
Anne reading Captain Wentworth's letter and her reaction.
She is one of the best. She reads with passion and the voices for each character are just great.
No need for one for this book.
Quality like the one in this audiobook has made me addicted already.
This has always been my second favourite Austen book after Pride and Prejudice, but funnily enough I didn't enjoy it as much this time around. I still loved it, of course, but perhaps because I had just finished Emma, in which Knightley is a nearly constant presence, I really felt like there wasn't enough Captain Wentworth. Of course, it fits in with the story, and Anne's sense of isolation from him, but I didn't connect with him and their relationship as much as I usually do. It all felt rather rushed. I'm not sure if this was due to it being an audiobook or just me being in a different place to the last time I read it. Nevertheless, it was still a delight and oh THAT LETTER is still one of my favourite love declarations of all time.
Look upward and see the wonders I've seen
Love this book!
Of all of Jane Austen's stories, this is my all time favorite. I read it once a year. You can tell an older Jane Austen wrote this as her character Ann Elliot is in her late 20s and not the usual 18-20. This love story rang so true to me as Ann waits for nine years for her beloved Captain Wentworth, who waited also.
Juliet Stevenson played Mrs. Elton in an adaption of Emma and I loved her in that performance so I knew she would do a wonderful job.
I had just read three back to back intense books and needed my Persuasion fix to cleanse my palate for more books.
If I could only bring one book with me it would be this book.
"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!
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.
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.
"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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