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A truely excellent narration - Juliet Stevenson is the best narrator I have come across on audible. She brings the characters to life, giving each, character and individuality. She accurately captures the nuances and comedy of the book and the historical period.
To me, at least, this book was so well brought to life by the Emma Thompson screen adaptation that I would find it hard to imagine some of the characters (Marianne and Fanny for instance) represented very differently from that film (although I did think the occasional character including Edward and to a certain extent Elanor herself were miscast in the film version). Juliet Stevenson's interpretations are close to the film where it was good, and better where it could have been improved (to my ear her Marianne sounded like Kate Winslet).
Furthermore, her voice is not harsh to the ears, as I have found some narrators, even good ones, to be after a time - an important point when listening to something for hours through a set of earphones on an iPod.
Pride and Prejudice might be my favourite Jane Austen book, but I think this is my favourite Jane Austen audio so far. My only negative point being that I got so engrossed (much more so than when reading the paper book), and the story is quite black and miserable through much of its length, that I am sure I felt miserable with Marianne, until I had got to the uplifting ending.
I listen to a lot of British classic novels, and there's an overwhelming trend towards narrators with a very nasal, uppity-sounding English accent that grates on the ears. An expert in accents could probably identify the quality that I don't like; all I know is that THIS narrator is, by contrast, a great pleasure to listen to. Her speaking voice is gentle and beautiful and melodious. I could listen to her for hours... well, I did.
The story is of course typical Austen: predictably satisfying, tasty in that happy-endings-happen-to-good-people kind of way. You know what you're getting THERE. The excellent reading is icing on the cake.
Jane Austen writes with great sensitivity and compassion about how two sisters adapt in different ways to life's blows. The book is evocative, beautiful and gripping. The plot and the characterizations move along enticingly. The narrator is excellent and draws the listener into the setting and story brilliantly. I feel as if I am in 19th century Britain while listening and by the end of the novel feel as if Eleanor and Marianne are people I have known well. I highly recommend this version of Sense and Sensibility for hours of pleasure.
Juliet Stevenson has done a masterful job not only reading Sense and Sensibility, but also giving the characters vivacity and personalities. Marianne's raptures made me smile and the vulgarity of Mrs. Jennings made me giggle uncomfortably in a way that simply reading the book never has before.
I highly recommend this version as a wonderful and colorful reading of a book that is, at its core, about the blend of Enlightenment and Romanticism of the early 19th century.
trying to see the world with my ears
I bought this at a 4.95 sale because I had already listened to one decent audio version - but Stevenson reading is worth a full credit. I suspect she may have been influenced by Emma Thompson's screenplay in her delivery of a couple of the minor characters -- but why try to trump gold?
Stevenson reading any classic like this is a great comfort listen - a warm bath for your ears. Recommended for head colds.
Just about any Naxos version of a classic has turned out to be an excellent version in my experience. They uphold their 5 star reputation from their music label.
Everyone should read Jane Austen. Her work (and that of such slightly later contemporaries as the Brontes, Dickens & Trollope) are the roots of all of literature we read today. But unlike other writers whose works show their age and are hence hard to read and to draw parallels to today's world, this is not the case for Austen. Sense & Sensibility is one of the better of her 6 books. Juliet Stevenson's narration is terrific.
I have nothing to say about that great book that has not been said before. But what makes it even more pleasurable for audio book readers, is Juliet Stevenson's exceptional narration. I wish all my audiobooks were read by her. She has an amazingly versatile voice, perfect pace and fluency. She also is an actress who can convey any emotion with her voice and still keep the character's individuality. I am not American born and do not find the British accent cute or charming. I have very little patience for some of it affections. But Juliet makes it all very bearable. Even quite pleasant. I never want her narration to stop. She is the voice of Jane Austen.
Juliette Stevenson is such an excellent narrator, I purchased books I hadn't planned to hear more of her. Sense and Sensibility is, as ever, a pleasure.
I have every one of the available Austen/Stevenson recordings and they are all a treat. If you are an Austen fan, this is the way to enjoy her.
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