Regular price: $3.49

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

In Northanger Abbey, a young woman's penchant for sensational Gothic novels leads to misunderstandings in the matters of the heart. Austen's first, this is considered by many to be among her most charming novels.

Public Domain (P)2012 Trout Lake Media

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    120
  • 4 Stars
    116
  • 3 Stars
    61
  • 2 Stars
    21
  • 1 Stars
    15

Performance

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    104
  • 4 Stars
    81
  • 3 Stars
    59
  • 2 Stars
    23
  • 1 Stars
    24

Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    129
  • 4 Stars
    89
  • 3 Stars
    54
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    8
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Martin
  • Sao paulo, Brazil
  • 01-29-13

Couldn't listen to the end!

Would you try another book from Jane Austen and/or Mary Sarah Agliotta?

No!

What did you like best about this story?

Jane Austen is great!

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator has no idea about the right pronunciation of places in England. She had no emotional involvment with the story. Very poor rendering.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

I couldn't even get through this ....

I was looking forward to an engaging rendition of the story, but the narration was AWFUL. The narrator spoke quickly, but extremely softly, as if she were trying to hurry through the narration as quickly as possible without waking someone sleeping in the other room. Raising the volume didn't help because she would occasionally punctuate with a loud word - this was not a good rendition. I clearly see why it is the least expensive one on here.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Austen seems to require a British narrator

Any additional comments?

Ultimately, though I love Austen, and have not yet read Northanger Abbey, I had to abandon this audiobook because the narrator just wasn't doing it for me. My primary complaint is that she is not British (shouldn't that be required?). But also, this narrator was delivering an Austen with no sparkle, no tongue in cheek wit. Narrator fail.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A Monotonous Reading - No Characterization

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Jane Austen's novel is as good as ever, but Ms. Agliotta's vocal interpretation is nearly impossible to listen to.

Would you recommend Northanger Abbey to your friends? Why or why not?

The story is quintessential Austen and though not her best work, will please Austen fans.

How could the performance have been better?

This reading cannot be called a "performance" in any sense of the word. Ms. Agliotta simply reads, and reads, and reads -- rapidly and with no character voices or even pauses. Most of Austen's dialogue (and there is an abundance) does not use he/she said tags, but relies on quotation marks and line spacing to identify changes in speakers. So an audible experience requires the reader to skillfully depict each character's voice. There is no such skill in Ms. Agliotta's reading. Even with close listening it was difficult to discern who was speaking, and there was no differentiation between male or female. The best parts of this audible book were the chapter announcements - at least then she took a breath and I knew who was speaking.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 03-19-14

Austen's Cold Bath or Austen's City Limits

This was an early, minor work of a literary giant. Northanger Abbey was a pleasant parody, but didn't have much narrative momentum. Certain devices were executed well enough (direct address, discussion of novels, etc) and Austen's ability for dialogue, social maneuverings, social criticism and gothic intricacies must have been womb-developed since they already seem mature with this her first competed (although it was also her last published) novel.

Northanger Abbey was, along with Persuasion, published posthumously. Both novels centered on society in Bath, but NA just didn't have the chops of Austen's final novel (Persuasion). So while they both tend to bookend her writing career, they are uneven bookends for sure.

I've experienced enough Austen now to know that it isn't the social romance novel that I'm reacting too, just a novel that isn't fully formed. Perhaps, I am just put off by NA's uncanny valley of the full-bore, more natural, later, better Jane Austen.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Sean
  • Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
  • 05-05-13

Gothic Parody

In Northanger Abbey, the Gothic setting is in the very title of the novel. As Catherine approaches Northanger, “her impatience for a sight of the abbey... returned in full force... with solemn awe to afford a glimpse of its massy walls of grey stone, rising amidst a grove of ancient oaks, with its... high gothic windows.” However, Catherine’s expectations are met with disappointment as the abbey comes into view and she realizes that the Abbey has been modernized. This “struck her as odd and inconsistent.” Even the Gothic windows, which Catherine had heard were preserved, are not what she had expected. “To an imagination which had hoped for the smallest divisions, and the heaviest stone-work, for painted glass, dirt, and cobwebs, the difference was very distressing.” Her expectations from the fiction she has read of what Gothic architecture is contradicts the reality.

Catherine is repeatedly let down by her expectations. They are so wild and extravagant, like in the Gothic Romance she reads, that the stark difference between her expectations and reality is comical. This is Austen’s parody of Gothic tropes and it exemplifies her theme, the dangers of fantastical literature and their power of suggestion. Another Gothic convention is horror.

Instead of horror there are only mystery and suspense, the narrative precursors of horror. Henry teases Catherine on their way to Northanger Abbey, emphasizing her reading as he asks, “And are you prepared to encounter all the horrors that a building such as ‘what one reads about’ may produce?” He sarcastically continues to lead her on, drawing very well from the Gothic tropes that he knows Catherine is fond of reading, “We shall not have to explore our way into a hall dimly lighted by the expiring embers of a wood fire... gloomy passages... an apartment never used since some cousin or kin died in it... only the feeble rays of a single lamp... its walls hung with tapestry exhibiting figures as large as life, and the bed, of dark green stuff or purple velvet, presenting even a funereal appearance... Will not your heart sink within you?” Henry continues to josh Catherine and by the end of it Catherine humorously both asks him to stop and continue. “Oh! No, no -- do not say so. Well, go on.” Contradicting herself with an insatiably morbid curiosity.

In another example, fueled by her wild imagination and a thunderstorm, Catherine arrives in her room at Northanger Abbey suspecting the worst. However, all of her irrational fears are dashed by practical reasons. She anxiously inspects a chest in one corner, only to find a collection of old hats; there are frightening creaks and groans, but they are simply explained by the weather; and, after discovering papers within a cabinet that she expects to be a secretly hidden manuscript, she finds that it is merely a list of laundry and washing bills most likely left there by a maidservant.

In Northanger Abbey, there never is a horrifying reveal, but this is to the point. Instead of horrifying reveals, Austen rather creates moments of mystery and suspense that only hint at a horrifying reveal. In parody of the Gothic trope, these horrifying reveals comically fail to occur. The effect of this exemplifies Austen’s theme of how, instead of formulating rational reasonings, Catherine’s obsession with fantastical Gothic literature has made her highly susceptible to suggestion.

Gothic literature had become clichéd, and Jane Austen appropriates Gothic conventions in order to mock them. This parody then heightens the purpose and meaning of her novel, illustrating the folly of a quixotic obsession with fantastical literature that makes one susceptible to suggestion.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Terrible narration

Would you try another book from Jane Austen and/or Mary Sarah Agliotta?

Only because I knew the story and have seen versions of it before could I get through this. The narrator reads every sentence like a newscaster rather than a storyteller, and I almost made a drinking game out of how she pronounced 'obliged' "oBLAHged."

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Mary Sarah Agliotta?

Someone British and better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Reader mispronounces

Would you try another book from Jane Austen and/or Mary Sarah Agliotta?

Jane Austen is great. The reader, however, misses the emphasis of sentences, mispronounces English place names, common words, etc.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Mary Sarah Agliotta?

Miss Cross from Rushmore

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Northanger Abbey?

All are good

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • mama
  • san francisco
  • 09-01-15

Horrible narration

Any additional comments?

I have no complaints about the book itself. After all, this is a Jane Austen novel. What ruined it for me was the narrator. She sounded like a 10-year old American girl playing a pretend English princess. Terrible British accent, narration was a bit too fast at times, no distinction between the characters' voices and her voice too soft one moment then too loud the next. I didn't know where to set my volume! No wonder this was only 2 bucks. Wish I could've spent a few more dollars on a better narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • CT
  • Charlotte, NC
  • 02-20-14

Wonderful story horrible audio

What did you like best about Northanger Abbey? What did you like least?

The story was classic Jane Austin, the story brought me back to my visit to Bathe. The audio was so bad it seemed to be at a very fast speed, and would at times sound like it was sped up to double speed. The audio also cracked through out. It was very quite or rating.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Northanger Abbey?

When Catherine went to Northangsr Abbey and the way Henry teased her.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Yes

Any additional comments?

Try the story with a differnt narrator.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Christine
  • 04-13-13

Northanger Abbey

I don't wish to be too negative, but on this occasion I will just have to be. I am not sure why, but the narrator for this book seemed, in my opinion, totally unsuitable for this story. A very 'odd' accent didn't help as it clashed with the rather 'old-fashioned' style of writing and language used, indeed in some of the passages she seemed to become totally tongue-tied. If you can, I would recommend trying another version of this book before this one.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Mrs
  • 04-06-13

American narrator

Is it really appropriate to feature an American narrator reading classic British literature? Her mispronunciation of British place names really jars.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Anonymous User
  • 06-30-17

Oh dear.......

I know this story well, but fancied an Austen fix. I'm afraid the narrator jabbered on at speed and rattled my brains! Apologies if she reads this review and is offended 😕

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Sparkly Sal
  • 01-31-17

Rapid run through

Northanger Abbey is an important work for scholars of English literature and is one of the shortest of Jane Austen's novels. This version rendered the book shorter still as it is narrated at a rapid pace. There are mistakes in pronunciation too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Mrs. Jasmine Simeone
  • 01-02-17

A sad reading of this book

What would have made Northanger Abbey better?

Nothing would have made the story better - it is my favourite Jane Austen and is funny and clever. The reading is appalling.

What did you like best about this story?

The story is a spoof - a send-up of the currently popular (in JA's day) scary stories of old castles and spooky goings on, plus the social life of Bath. It is very funny (especially when you know the main subject of the spoof which is the Castle of Udolpho by Ann Ratcliffe), and very clever in the words she puts into the characters' mouths.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Mary Sarah Agliotta?

ANYONE who could speak and pronounce English. This reader's American accent is annoying concerning such a very English book, but I could live with that. The dreadful mispronunciation, not only of English words, but particularly of English place names is atrocious. Just a little research beforehand might have cured this problem.

What character would you cut from Northanger Abbey?

I wouldn't. This narrator?

Any additional comments?

This is such a shame. I have been enjoying the other Audible Jane Austens very much indeed, and I was so looking forward to this one, which is totally spoiled for me. I am barely half way through and cannot listen to any more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Laura
  • 12-09-16

Incredible pronunciations

Would you try another book written by Jane Austen or narrated by Mary Sarah Agliotta?

Austen yes, agliotta... no. Her pronunciations are all over the place and the story is riddled with editing mistakes and repeated lines. It's the most unprofessional audiobook I've ever heard.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Kris
  • 08-06-13

I'd forgotten how varied Jane's voice is!

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Well, yes. It's interesting to hear one of her less prominent novels

What other book might you compare Northanger Abbey to, and why?

Don't know - it's different to other Austens and isn't a "horror" book.

How could the performance have been better?

Sorry, but the American voice doesn't work. Mama and Papa are not the same as Momma and Poppa. Austen is quintessentially English and needs an English reader. (No offence intended).

Could you see Northanger Abbey being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

Not really, it doesn't translate IMO.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kirsten
  • 07-03-12

Very enjoyable

I really enjoyed this version of Northanger Abbey. However, I did note that in the middle chapters the narrator gets a little tongue-tied.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • SJ Welsted
  • 05-18-13

Delightful Story

Mary Agliotta read this story wonderfully and brought the story to life, although I will say that it took me a while to figure out who everyone was as she doesn't change her voice that much between the characters. Saying that though, I did not find it effected my enjoyment of the story.

The story itself is like many of Jane Austen's novels. The characters feel real because she deals with real emotions and situations and gives an insight to how different society was during Jane's time.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Knitchic54
  • 02-03-16

Audio copy not good

This was a poor audio edition. The speed of the reading too fast but to adjust to .75 made it too slow, there were repeated phrases and lines which were annoying.