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Editorial Reviews

Award-winning narrator, Donada Peters, gives her familiar gentle-yet-dynamic performance in this classic audiobook from Jane Austen. Peters' engaging voice takes listeners on a trip with the young Catherine Morland from Fullerton to the town of Bath, and eventually to Northanger Abbey. As with most Austen novels, Northanger Abbey is not simply a coming of age tale, focusing on the courtship and romance of the young. This is a tale full of parody as Miss Morland, a devoted reader of gothic novels, lets her imagination run wild with all the horrors and mysteries she thinks will no doubt occur while at the abbey.

Publisher's Summary

Northanger Abbey, written in 1798, was one of Austen's earliest works, though it was not published until after her death. The novel is the coming-of-age story of Catherine Morland, who is taken to the fashionable resort of Bath with her friends, the Allens. While in Bath, she meets Henry Tilney and his sister Eleanor. The Tilneys invite Catherine to Northanger Abbey, their family estate. Catherine, an avid reader of Gothic novels, soon becomes obsessed with the thought that possible atrocities are going on at the abbey.

Northanger Abbey is Austen's parody of late 18th century Gothic thrillers by writers such as Ann Radcliffe. While it is considered by many to be Austen's most light-hearted novel, it is nevertheless filled with unsentimental commentary on love and marriage.

(P)2006 Tantor Media, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"The purpose of the novel is to ridicule the [then] popular tales of romance and terror...and to contrast these with the normal realities of life." (The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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  • Overall

A Favorite

Lots of fun! How could one go wrong with Austen? This story has some particularly funny spots. I must have looked silly driving down the road laughing out loud and slapping my leg.

The narrator is excellent.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Emily
  • Portland, OR, United States
  • 09-02-13

Classic story; not my favorite narrator

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Overall, yes. The humor in this work is brought out well on audio.

What did you like best about this story?

I think it is one of the funnier of Austen's stories to me.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

The narrator did a fine job with the reading. From her voice, she sounded on the older side. I found this distracting since this book has an extremely young and naive main character. I couldn't decide if it was intentional to have an older voice as the narrator, yet she sounded even older than Austen was at her death. As a result, for me the narration really took me out of the story, rather than being a plus or even neutral. She might have been on another book.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

A Gothic Satire

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Rediscovering Jane austin

Hearing someone read the text brings a whole new experience to the writing of Jane Austin. The irony of the text comes out more clearly when heard. Austin is certainly one of the great writers in the English language. Plot, character, tone and social commentary on her time makes this an exciting audio book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Janet
  • CASEY, IL, United States
  • 02-08-08

WONDERFUL READ

MY TYPE OF BOOK AND THE READERS MAKE IT COME ALIVE SO YOU FEEL AS IF YOU ARE RIGHT THERE AND LIVING AMONG THE CHARACTERS. DEFINITELY ONE I WILL LISTEN TO AGAIN.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kristen
  • Boca Raton, FL, USA
  • 02-05-08

Lightest and Funniest of Austin's Novel's

This is a wonderful character study of a naive but good-hearted young woman with many sly asides and jokes, especially in references to the Gothic novels of Austin's day (which didn't have explicit sex, but much scandal and melodrama).
The novel is well read, and I appreciated the humor more when hearing it than I did when reading it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Esquire
  • Denver, CO United States
  • 02-13-12

Why did I wait so long?

I judged this book it by a preview of a filmed version (!) and because I knew this was her earliest work (although published later) I thought it wouldn't display the qualities of her mature works. I was wrong. It is delightful - witty and full of Austen's keen observations of the characters in her world.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Evelyn
  • Jamaica, NY, United States
  • 06-20-11

A whole new dimension ....

I loved hearing this read by Donada Peters. Her portrayal of each character's distinct voice brought out all that Austen must have intended. Catherine is truly a heroine by virtue of her unalloyed candor and sincerity of heart. The surrounding characters are so beautifully parodied. Wit, social satire, pathos and romance; Jane Austen's opinions and her own fondness for her characters are lovingly presented. Each word was a joy. This work is uniquely suited to be read aloud and Ms. Peters does, for me, a splendid job!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Heather
  • Fredericksburg, TX, USA
  • 03-23-08

Horrible recording

Do not buy this version of Northanger Abbey! The recording is very old and the quality interferes with the enjoyment of the story.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Jane is our girl!

All her books are delightful.. A woman before her time.. Not bad one in the lot... Read them all!!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Wonderful satire and glimpse into the times

I'm not at all a lover of lovers--romances be dam*ed--but I can't help but love Jane Austen. Satire is my favorite form of humor and history my favorite genre and with Austen I get a really delightful dose of both.