Joanna Trollope's much-anticipated contemporary reworking of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility will launch The Austen Project and be one of the most talked about books of 2013.
‘It's hugely exciting to attempt the reworking of one of the best novels written by one of our greatest novelists. This is a project which requires consummate respect above all else; not an emulation, but a tribute.' Joanna Trollope.
The Austen Project is a major new series of six novels teaming up authors of global literary significance with Jane Austen's six complete works. The pairing of Joanna Trollope and Jane Austen received global coverage, from the New York Times to the Times of India.
The Austen Project continues with Val McDermid's reworking of Northanger Abbey in Spring 2014 and Curtis Sittenfeld's Pride and Prejudice in Autumn 2014.
©2013 Joanna Trollope (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
Praise for Sense & Sensibility:
“Jane Austen's story and Joanna Trollope's voice make the perfect marriage. I loved every page. It's witty and fresh, whilst completely respecting the original, timeless story. What a delight!” (Sophie Kinsella)
Praise for Joanna Trollope:
“Supremely sure of her material and purpose, compassionate but never sentimental” (Sunday Times)
“Joanna Trollope is the most emotionally intelligent of contemporary British novelists” (Amanda Craig, Independent)
“As ever, Trollope writes about family life with wit, intelligence and verve” (Guardian)
“Trollope is brilliant at swooping in on a modern dilemma and showing it from every angle…Inventive, surprising and fascinating” (The Times)
I read it as a part of re-reading all of Jane Austen's works and also the new ones, both in the Austen project and others. For someone doing this, it is certainly worth a read, though for someone looking for Jane Austen's classic made fresh I would probably not push it very hard.
It started off beautifully, with so many clever modernisations, but the more the novel progressed, the more I got the feeling that Trollope was more or less copying the original, word for word. So many actions and sentiments were left unexplained, though they feel very strange to the modern reader. I really think Trollope could do better than this! One thing I kept thinking is -Why not tempt things a little, make Marianne a goth or an emo, when that us so clearly what she is, but no - still very very beautiful and playing an instrument very well indeed. So boring and predictable!
The performance was fine, though not one that has stayed with me.
Not really, but I am very curious to see what the other authors in the Austen protect have made of their books!
"Disappointing twist on an old favourite"
No. I did not think it translated at all well from the original even with the touch of an author like Joanna Trollope. I thought it was slow and the characters tedious where originally it was written as a witty take on life.
Yes. I am a fan which is why I was so disappointed.
No. The original is better left alone.
Perhaps Joanna Trollope was trying to be too careful in how she updated a classic but updating the classic was the whole point of the exercise. All she really did, in my opinion, was translate like for like without taking into account the real social changes and attitudes of modern times so the main characters came across as tedious, weak and not credible.
"An Interesting modern take on a Jane Austen"
It's not Jane Austen certainly, but I was pleasantly surprised (as I wasn't expecting much) by Joanna Trollope's version of Sense & Sensibility. It is a definite Jane Austen tribute. Joanna Trollope re-writes this book in a style that is slightly different from her own, as she doesn't usually do romance, so that's what makes this an interesting change, for her as well as for the Jane Austen fan! An enjoyable modern take on Jane Austen's characters, places and plot. Rachael Stirling reads a bit too fast for me and it might have been better if she'd slowed down, but otherwise I can't fault her narration.
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