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Austenland: A Novel | [Shannon Hale]

Austenland: A Novel

Jane Hayes is a seemingly normal young New Yorker, but she has a secret. Her obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, is ruining her love life: no real man can compare. But when a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women, Jane's fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become realer than she ever could have imagined.
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Publisher's Summary

Now a major motion picture.

Jane Hayes is a seemingly normal young New Yorker, but she has a secret. Her obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, is ruining her love life: no real man can compare. But when a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women, Jane's fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become realer than she ever could have imagined.

Decked out in empire-waist gowns, Jane struggles to master Regency etiquette and flirts with gardeners and gentlemen: or maybe even, she suspects, with the actors who are playing them. It's all a game, Jane knows. And yet the longer she stays, the more her insecurities seem to fall away, and the more she wonders: Is she about to kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr. Darcy of her own?

©2007 Shannon Hale; (P)2007 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC

What the Critics Say

"Endlessly charming." (Publishers Weekly)
"A clever confection for fans of contemporary Austen knockoffs." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (775 )
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4.0 (362 )
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Performance
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  •  
    ElChangoPelon 05-12-08 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fun read"

    I thought this was entertaining, although a bit slow and unbelievable at parts. We read it for our book club and most everyone got some fun out of reading it. It's in no way deep, but it is clean (no sex scenes) and still romantic.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda Sparks, NV, USA 06-24-07
    Amanda Sparks, NV, USA 06-24-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not just another wannabe"

    I love all things Pride and Prejudice, and this is no exception. I went in with low expectations, because of the numerous attempts to recreate the wheel, but was surprised to find that these were not just Darcy and Elizabeth revisited. The characters were fleshed out to be not just the same retread territory, but with a spin. Definitely worth the book credit.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph R Dry Prong, LA, USA 08-17-09
    Joseph R Dry Prong, LA, USA 08-17-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    113
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    "A Book Which Can be Put Down"

    Katherine Kellgren does such a good job narrating that she almost rescues this book. This is an interesting take on the Austen universe but I have to confess that this book can be put down. I am not certain why my reaction is so lukewarm. I think it because the real parts of the story and play acting are difficult to distinguish. I also couldn't seem to sympathize with the heroine. I really didn't like her and I don't know why. It puzzles me for I tend to suspend my disbelief on command of the author. I am willing to be led where ever the author wants to go. In this case, I think the heroine led a boring life, is bored, wants to be rescued and does nothing for herself: in short, she is boring. What kind of man would want to be around her? To say this in a different way: Miss Elizabeth Bennet wasn't sitting on her hands dreaming of a Darcy coming to her rescue. She lived and took her pleasures and disappointments as she found them. She was never boring. She will never be boring. Dittos for Anne Elliot, Elinor Dashwood, Fanny Price, Catherine Morland and certainly Emma Woodhouse. If woman (or a man) is leading an empty life, it is not Mr. Darcy's fault. Look to the mirror.

    17 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Theresa Murdock 07-14-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Entertaining book"

    Both my 17 year old daughter and I (a 46 year old mom) loved this book. We're both Jane Austen fans, and the idea of being able to escape to a Jane Austen-type of world is intriguing. I think all of Shannon Hale's books are great, and always look forward to her next one.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Rock Hill, SC, United States 03-19-08
    Susan Rock Hill, SC, United States 03-19-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Light and fun"

    This book was a quick,easy listen that was light and fun. It made me laugh many times. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie Everett, WA, USA 02-19-08
    Stephanie Everett, WA, USA 02-19-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Addicting"

    This is definatly a MUST listen/read. Although I wouldn't consider it to be a great, deep piece of litrature, it really doesn't need or try to be. It's a feel good book that will most certainly make you do just that down to the very last minute. Jane Austen fan or not, Austenland is a book that every woman can identify with. If you're looking for a fun, addicting book I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rashella Lewisville, TX, United States 12-26-07
    Rashella Lewisville, TX, United States 12-26-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Really Enjoyable!"

    I really enjoyed this book! It is not what I expected; a recreation of a classic. The characters are original. Shannon Hale did a great job showing what it would be like for a present day woman to enter a "Pride and Prejudice" world. I laughed out loud several times.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cyndee lehi, UT, United States 02-23-08
    Cyndee lehi, UT, United States 02-23-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Never hide your Pride in a plant!"

    Book is about a modern girl living in the past or more specificaly with Colin Firth in the A&E version of Pride. (who can blame her)
    The first time I listened to this book, the first part was a bit to extreeme (I don't hide my version in a plant after all!) but as you go get to the arival at Austenland the book makes you laugh. I have listened to the book a few times now and I laugh even at the beginning. If you enjoy Jane Austen you will enjoy this book, especialy if you have ever dreamed of finding your own Mr. Darcy.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marian Y. Hussey chicago 06-18-07
    Marian Y. Hussey chicago 06-18-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "For those similarly obsessed..."

    This very amusing and witty story had me laughing out loud and wishing I could also pay a visit to Austenland to indulge my own rampant Colin Firth/Mr Darcy/Regency period fantasies.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ~~ DARA ~~ "Beautiful" Niagara Falls 04-15-13
    ~~ DARA ~~ "Beautiful" Niagara Falls 04-15-13 Member Since 2011

    ~~~"HOPEFUL ROMANTIC"~~~ *** Love Audio Books....Especially Historical Romances *** ~~ "Reviews Should Never Contain spoilers ~~

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Book my tickets....Im going to Austenland"

    This book was funny and lots of fun. I'm such a Pride & Prejudice fan that I probably would love to go to Austenland. This book held my interest and I would recommend to any sappy P&P fan. The reader did a great job too.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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