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Sense and Sensibility Audiobook

Sense and Sensibility

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Publisher's Summary

When Mrs. Dashwood is forced by an avaricious daughter-in-law to leave the family home in Sussex, she takes her three daughters to live in a modest cottage in Devon. For Elinor, the eldest daughter, the move means a painful separation from the man she loves, but her sister Marianne finds in Devon the romance and excitement which she longs for. The contrasting fortunes and temperaments of the two girls as they struggle to cope in their different ways with the cruel events which fate has in store for them are portrayed by Jane Austen with her usual irony, humour, and profound sensibility.

© and (P)2005 Naxos Audiobooks Ltd.

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4.6 (2343 )
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  •  
    Ruth Bain 03-04-16
    Ruth Bain 03-04-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Jane Austen + Juliet Stevenson = Perfection !"

    An absolute delight ! As good as the movie, which is wonderful. Required listening for Jane Austen fans !

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 03-07-15
    David 03-07-15 Member Since 2017
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    "Austen is always worth a listen"

    Elinor Dashwood is "sense" — the sensible, even-tempered sister who is mindful of propriety and the necessities of life. Marianne Dashwood, the younger sister, is "sensibility," which in the Austenian sense means something more like "sensitivity" — Marianne is the passionate, feeling sister who wears her heart on her sleeve.

    ...

    "Nay, Mama, if he is not to be animated by Cowper!—but we must allow for difference of taste. Elinor has not my feelings, and therefore she may overlook it, and be happy with him. But it would have broke MY heart, had I loved him, to hear him read with so little sensibility. Mama, the more I know of the world, the more am I convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much! He must have all Edward's virtues, and his person and manners must ornament his goodness with every possible charm."

    ...

    (There's a third Dashwood sister, Margaret, but she's thirteen and barely enters the plot.)

    We can see here the "formula" Austen was working on. Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion... each book examines a particular set of character traits and their effects on the person marked by them. (Her other books did the same thing, if not in the titles.) Elinor is the protagonist of Sense and Sensibility; she initially falls for a man named Edward Ferrars, the eldest son of a rich family, whose problem is that he wants to become a humble clergyman while his mother, who controls the family fortune, has great ambitions for him and certainly doesn't want to see him marrying some poor girl from an impoverished no-account family of minor gentry. (Shades of Lady Catherine from Pride and Prejudice.)

    Marianne, meanwhile, falls for the rake who always wreaks romantic havoc in Austen novels. In this one, his name is Mr. Willoughby. Initially set up as a true scoundrel who leads Marianne on, even forms an "attachment" to her (i.e., an engagement in all but name), only to later break it (which in Regency times was a very grave moral offense if not a legal one), and then turns out to have left one of his other conquests ruined and with child. Austen does a clever job of making Willoughby out to be a villain, only to somewhat redeem him later by revealing that, while he is no saint, his conduct wasn't quite as bad as it appeared to the uninformed Dashwood sisters.

    Waiting in the wings is the other Austen prototype, Colonel Brandon, the very serious old bachelor who'd be a fine catch for the right girl who doesn't mind marrying someone twenty years her senior. (Colonel Brandon is unmarried and in his early thirties — for a woman that would be beyond hope, and even for a man, in Regency times, that was getting well past prime marrying years.)

    Having read all of Austen's other novels, Sense and Sensibility did suffer a bit from being yet another story about two sisters with contrasting temperaments, living in reduced circumstances thanks to the ungenerosity of their more affluent relatives, facing spinsterhood due to their lack of prospects before happy engagements with men who fortuitously turn out to be well-heeled, not without first surmounting a number of misunderstandings and existing engagements as obstacles.

    Did I enjoy this book? Yes, certainly. Every Austen is worth reading. But I finished it for completeness' sake. I would recommend that everyone read something by Austen, and if you like the first one, read some more. But I don't think anyone but the true Austen fan needs to read all of her works, and I'd really only recommend Sense and Sensibility as either your first Austen (in which case all the tropes and devices will be fresh, and you'll see them used more skillfully in later books) or if you are a true fan wanting to read her complete works.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JLM Bethesda, MD United States 11-30-06
    JLM Bethesda, MD United States 11-30-06 Member Since 2013
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    "Excellent!"

    Wonderful narration and timeless classic. I will definately listen to more books with this narrator.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
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    npreston21 07-21-17
    npreston21 07-21-17
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    "Definitely recommend!"

    Enjoyed this thoroughly! Definitely recommend! And I loved the narrator she sounded just like Emma Thompson which I love!!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-22-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Perfection!"

    I have read this book once and listened to it twice and think it is my favorite of all time. What can I say, every page is memorable and the reader absolutely excellent and if I ever get amnesia how wonderful it would be to listen to it for "the first time" again. Some books like Wives and Daughters ", Gone With the Wind" , "Little Dorrit" and "Sense and Sensibility" are what I measure all other books by, It does not get better than this my fellow reader.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    drgnflsq 06-14-17
    drgnflsq 06-14-17
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    "Juliet Stevenson RAWKS!"

    My all time favorite narrator of Austin novels has always been Flo Gibson, who always struck me as having a most spirited and accurate portrayal of each character accurately down (at least in my imagination). However after reading reviews of Ms Stevenson, I thought I'd try this novel out. I was not disappointed.

    Her interpretation of each character was somehow unique in her vocal tone, depth, and accent. And her choices were perfect. You could identify the antagonists by the quality of her voice and delivery, without each sounding cartoonish. And even the most ridiculous characters had the right amount of humanity as to keep them sympathetic.

    My favorite portrayal was Mrs Jennings, who can easily be annoying but in this audiobook I always wanted more of. Definite 5 stars all around!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer NJ - United States 05-29-17
    Amazon Customer NJ - United States 05-29-17 Member Since 2016
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    "A story spoiled by a forced twist of fate."

    After just enjoying Pride and Prejudice despite the end game of that novel being so readily apparent, I was at first happy with Sense and Sensibility in that its conclusion was somewhat murkier. However, the author's ham-fisted treatment of the reveal as well as the extreme unlikeliness of the same spoiled the overall book. Without going indepth and spoiling the story, I will say that the story would have been much better had the author spent more time on early interactions between the eldest daughter and her male friends, and also had she revealed the turning point of the book in story form rather than the almost dismissive narration of the event after the fact.

    However, despite my above complaints, I did still enjoy the story and I think anyone who reads or listens to it will not regret it.

    On a side note, the narration of the story was fantastic. I see that there are many versions of this story available​ on Audible but am convinced that I had picked one of the best.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Samson 05-25-17 Listener Since 2007
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    "Juliet Stevenson just became my favorite narrator"

    Jane Austen is amazing, of course; her insight into people seems god-like. but Juliet Stevenson was the real surprise, she's just incredibly expressive.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Cooper New York, NY 03-07-17
    A. Cooper New York, NY 03-07-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Very good read"

    I love this Jane Austin story and enjoyed every minute of it. Juliette Stevenson did a superb job.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amber Nefzger 01-24-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Lovely"

    Sense and Sensibility has long been a favorite of mine. The movie with Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson is a favorite as well. The performance was lovely. Such a smooth voice, she reminded me of Emma Thompson!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • matthew
    Southampton, United Kingdom
    5/6/12
    Overall
    "Unsuitable for men"

    What a load of awful twaddle,avoid like the plague why is Jane Austen so popular ? Juliet Stevenson does her best to breath some live into the turgid proceedings but fails.

    1 of 12 people found this review helpful

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