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Publisher's Summary

One of Jane Austen's most popular novels. Arrogant, self-willed, and egotistical, Emma is her most unusual heroine.

Public Domain (P)2006 Naxos Audiobooks

What listeners say about Emma [Naxos Edition]

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful listen

Juliet Stevenson, by far, does the most delightful narration for Jane Austen novels.Her voice is strong and clear and she creates memorable characters with pitch and accent so that you always know who's speaking. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment.

93 people found this helpful

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Why can't all literature be like this?

The narration was great but above all else the story was simply as I expect it to be. It is so hard to find really good literature in modern times and that is why we have the classics... Authors like Jane Austen are constantly my 'fall back' plan really when I am looked to be immersed in a story with actual characters, characters that are so imperfect and yet so absolutely perfect in the roles they play.

Most persons already know the story of Emma, there are enough movies about the book in modern time for many persons to at least have some idea of the story. The novel was rightly named Emma and is easily one of my favorite female characters and, at the time the novel was written, was decades ahead of her time. The dynamics and description of details between the very relationships between the characters in the book by Jane Austen is what sets this novel apart I believe. Truly, just plain majestically written.

The narrator was good, she did a credible enough job to carry the book off. I will admit that she could have done more, but in all honesty the content itself more than overcompensates for the less than stellar narration.

All in all.... Stellar book... Beautiful title...

57 people found this helpful

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Excellent in Every Way

Some people don't much like the main character in "Emma". I disagree, because Emma Woodhouse, although she initially has an inflated view of her own intelligence and position in the world, really learns something during the course of the novel. Handled with humor and understanding, the story brings self-knowledge and a measure of humility to Emma. She is one of Austen's most well-rounded characters.
Other characters in Emma are among Austen's very best. And they are presented with enthusiasm and distinction by Juliet Stevenson.
Although there are less expensive versions than this one, Stevenson is truly worth the extra. If you have credits, then it's a bargain at just one. Jenny Agutter is also a very good reader. Just make sure you go for an unabridged recording! Jane Austen's main appeal is in her wonderful use of language -- don't miss any of it!

49 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Even Emma would approve this marriage

To me the most important review for any Jane Austen novel is the reader. Most likely you are familiar with the author. Emma is however, one of Austen's lesser known novels so I'll simply say, if you enjoyed "Sense and Sensibility" or "Pride and Prejudice", you will enjoy Emma.

I was surprised to see how many audible versions of Emma are available. How to choose? Happily, I spent a bit more and went with this version. Even Emma would approve this marriage of Jane Austen's writing and Juliet Stevenson's narration.

If you love the beauty of the English language used to it's best advantage (as Jane would say) you don't get better than Jane Austen (Shakespeare is a given) but any reader can do the exquisite writing justice. Juliet Stevenson is such a reader. Her tone reminds me of the great Julie Andrews. Soothing, expressive, imparting emotion with every passage, inhabiting the various characters with subtle differences that make each one distinct. Jane Austen and Emma would both be proud of their story as told by Juliet Stevenson.

45 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent listen

Juliette Stevenson does a wonderful job narrating this story. It's one of my favorites!

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A truly charming performance

I have had pleasant experience with Nexos Production since 1994, and this rendition of Austen's Emma is as charming and spirited as I could have hoped, the narrator was fantastic in her alteration of voice denoting different characters, absolutely recommended for K-12 and English undergrad.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Couldn't be better

I became interested in the classics after listening to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, so I decided to listen to another Austen and was pleasantly surprised to enjoy it so much. Juliet Stevenson is a wonderful narrator and brings each character to life.

If you think you might want to give classic literature a try, I recommend this one. It's funny and extremely well-read.

10 people found this helpful

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Manners, Manors and Love

This is one of those books that I read in print years ago - and I skipped over great portions. Jane Austen's description of manners, manors and love in Victorian England is exquisitely detailed, but for the modern reader, it can be a bit of a slog.

I had listened to Pride and Prejudice and really enjoyed it, so I decided to give Emma another try, but this time on Audible. The first couple of hours were dense and I kept when anything was going to happen. Having watched the movie "Clueless" (based on Emma), I knew it would eventually.

Things finally got moving, and I enjoyed the book. I was amused by some of the characters - particularly one introduced in Part 2. Saying who it is would be a spoiler, so I won't do that - but I found the character as cringe-worthy as Emma did. In modern times, the character is someone you would friend on Facebook, but shortly have to turn off the person's update feed on your News page because the person is so annoying, opinionated and has a complete lack of social grace. That person would be the kind of person who would desperately troll for "likes".

Juliet Stevenson's audio narration brought the characters to life, but there were a few times when she narrated in the voice of the wrong character.

[If you found this review helpful, please let me know by clicking the "helpful" button.]

9 people found this helpful

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My new favorite book

Excellently narrated. Each character is given a distinctive voice. I was enraptured. Loved it! Highly recommend this version on audible.

8 people found this helpful

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ENCHANTING GROWN-UP CHAPTER BOOK

This book is about young ladies in England over 100 years ago. Their mail service was better than ours today, plus they had servants to run errands. As ever, these young ladies possess varying amounts of confidence, beauty, money, education and talent. The whole idea is to marry well, preferably for love. About like now except it was much more difficult then for a single woman to earn her own living and do her own "thing."

I majored in English and probably read this book and probably saw the movies, but I don't remember being so engrossed in all the fine points of the story. If I saw this on PBS, it was too many very similar girls in little tight dresses walking in gardens with foppish gentlemen. Actually listening to the words -- and more than once, please! -- delivers a wonderful experience! You can't tear through this material just to see what happens next! You already know almost everybody gets married off in the end. I found Sparks Notes for the novel and after two listens am not 100% clear on who is who. I think the more listens I give this, the more delicious the story will be, as in, "Oh, here comes the good part!"

One Audible reviewer said the characters were dis-likeable. Yes, wonderfully so. One new wife is nauseating, coarse and presumptuous, a huge snob. Juliet Stevenson gives her a horrible nasal voice! Most disgusting! The woman is a total bitch. She leans on one young lady to push ahead and get her a governess job with one of HER high-class friends! The girl sweetly and repeatedly tells her no, not to do that, but there is no taking no for an answer! The woman goes ahead, with disastrous results which she doesn't even realize! She is too stupid to be uncomfortable when the whole business falls through and has to be smoothed over with others.

Another character, a well-born but very poor maiden lady who is included in all the parties and never EVER shuts up, is wonderfully portrayed by Stevenson. This took preparation because Miss Bates is just gasping and so full of gratitude and sweet nonsensical comments. I think I do that sometimes. . . And the main character makes fun of Miss Bates in the presence of several other people. Snide comments are nothing new. The poor little lady doesn't even quite get the joke, but the others do. Emma is not very nice at the beginning, but she gains in compassion and graciousness through the story. Near the beginning she discourages a younger girl from pursuing a love interest that would have been suitable. She comes to regret that. And before it's over, she tells the same girl she would not presume to advise her about such a thing. How many of us today lean on each other for this or that reason -- rather playing God when it is not our place!

This tale does have sex and violence, but it is certainly not fifty shades. They talk about platonic man/woman friendship versus "making love" which only means carrying on a romance, but -- well, fully dressed and talking in a flirtatious way -- not what it means now. But they know when they're teasing or leading someone on in an expectation of engagement and marriage. These girls are up for auction, and people in the market should not waste someone's time. All the fine points are discussed. Much of the fun is in imagining! As for violence, two girls are walking in the country when they are overtaken by a gang of gypsy kids, a woman and large boy. Very rough characters! One girl gets away, but the other girl is helpless. Today we would say they mugged her. Pretty frightening even today when it happens to travelers!

I don't think this is satisfying literature for everyone. Maybe if your real life is complex and upset at the moment, this would help you calm down and relax. I think in the past I thought it was just silly business of ladies and gentlemen in drawing rooms talking about the weather and their health. Oh, no! These are real human situations; and that is what makes the book a classic and Austen deserving of all her fame. Lovely book! Lovely narrator who does men's voices very well also.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kirsten
  • 09-04-12

Lively and fresh

This is a really nice version of Jane Austen's Emma. Emma can be a little harder to like than some of Austen's other heroines. However, Juliet Stevenson's reading breaths life into this in a really positive way - not playing down any of the negative characteristics of Emma, but not making you think that Emma was too much of a dolt.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rachel
  • 06-20-10

Wonderful

An exquisite reading by Juliet Stevenson, who understands each character so well.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Head Coach
  • 09-14-10

Superb

I had forgotten how much more subtle Emma is than the film dramatisations manage.

As ever, Juliet Stevenson does a cracking job.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Olivia
  • 11-22-18

A perfect novel read by a perfect narrator

Juliet Stevenson does absolute credit to the wit, warmth and subtlety of one of my favourite Austen works. Such a treat!

6 people found this helpful

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  • TheNameless
  • 09-10-18

Wonderful!

Of all the titles I've listened to, this is by far my favourite. I come back to it again and again, sometimes the whole thing and others dipping in to hear my favourite moments and to indulge my love of Mr Knightley. The combination of Jane Austen's words and Juliet Stevenson's narration is utterly perfect.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 01-17-14

We do love Emma, Miss Austen!

Jane Austen decided to write a heroine that no one but herself would like. Maybe then but now Emma lives on as the most delightfully spirited, frequently needing a good shake but still most loveable of all Austen's heroines.
The novel is all wit and sparkle. Juliet Stevenson narrates it beautifully (wait for her Mrs Elton!).
I loved this buy from Audible and recommend it to all customers!

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • gikur
  • 11-23-11

Disappointing

I cannot agree with the other reviewers who liked Juliet Stevenson's interpretations of various characters' voices. After two chapters I couldn't continue listening. It is one of my favourite novels but future readings of it would have been ruined for me by my memory of this interpretation. Emma is given the high-pitched voice and swooping and soaring intonation of a simpering flirtatious schoolgirl, and I found it tiresome to listen to. Can't help thinking Mr Knightly would have found it tiresome too.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Steena
  • 06-25-14

A brilliant story - brilliantly read

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

I've listened to Juliet Stevenson's narration of this story once before, and loved it so much I chose to listen to it again - all 16+ hours! The story is Austen at her best - great characterisation and witty story line. But Juliet Stevenson really brings this story to life. Her interpretation of the characters and her choice of accents and 'voice' are brilliant. Give it a few months, and I'm sure I'll want to listen to it all over again!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tracy
  • 11-11-10

Very enjoyable

This is my favourite Jane Austen novel, and anyone who is only familiar with Pride and Prejudice should definitely give this a try too. This version is well read by Juliet Stevenson, as her voice is easy to listen to and she uses different voices for different characters. I don't always like it when narrators do this, as sometimes the voices are silly, but I think Juliet Stevenson pulls it off. Recommended.

4 people found this helpful

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  • ISilver
  • 06-21-21

Wonderfully read.

Juliet Stevenson does great justice to the work. Each time I have listened to her readings I have been left imagining that anyone would struggle to better her.
Beautifully paced, expressed and characterised, a delight and ease to the ears.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • B. Morrison
  • 01-28-19

A long journey to an expected ending

Narrator was the best part. Story is good but long and tiresome in its description of character's especial qualities or shortcomings. However, quite enjoyable, even if predictable.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lauren Foley
  • 03-28-17

Fantastic rendition

Juliet Stevenson's eloquent delivery of Jane Austen's classic Emma is by far the best. Carefully read, she gives emotion and life to this timeless classic.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Paddington
  • 06-27-15

Enjoyable novel

I am a fan of Jane Austen and I enjoyed this novel. It was entertaining and kept my interest up but it is not her greatest work. Pride & Prejudice remains my favourite. I am glad I listened to it and the narration was well done.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Daren
  • 10-02-22

An unforgettable tale

An unforgettable romance. I wonder if Emma would today be someone with her own dating agency. An unforgettable and heart filled story with a slightly satisfying ending.

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  • Audrey
  • 12-23-20

Excellent

This was such a delight to listen to! I think Jane Austen is my new favourite author because she is fantastic. I love the language and couldn’t help but smile and laugh along. Juliet’s narration was so entertaining as well - her Mrs Elton was my favourite voice!

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  • Jessica King
  • 07-08-20

Love this story over and over again!

I loved this rendition so much! I, like many other readers, approach any Jane Austen book knowing the story in full. But there's something so timeless and touching about her stories that allows you to thoroughly enjoy reading/listening to them over and over again! The narration by Juliet Stevenson was absolutely spot on. She voices each character so distinctly, making it easy to follow their dialogue. Her Mrs Bates and Mr Knightly were my particular favourites! This may sound like an odd comment, but even her male character voices were convincing and authentic. With many female narrators, I find it hard to listen to the way they read male dialogue, but Juliet somehow manages to nail it. I'm convinced Juliet's narration is the only way to listen to a Jane Austen. 10/10!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Angela
  • 05-01-20

Delightful and recommend the BBC adaptation

This is such a delightful story. Romantic and fun and comforting. It reminds me of how much I long for society to return to value the honesty and integrity of what one says to be most important.
Read so well and very much in the spirit of the BBC adaptation that I would wholeheartedly recommend one if you enjoyed the other.

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  • Margaret
  • 02-07-20

Superb

Emma is a very long novel that could have become a little tedious. It is a tribute to Juliet Stevenson that Emma is superb right until the end. So talented is Juliet that every character is brought to life without over dramatic voice changes. So intimate was the narration of people’s lives I felt like I had a window into their minds. I did not like the book when read years ago, but I thoroughly enjoyed the audiobook.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Miss Emma L Watson
  • 09-23-19

A lovely classic but long winded at times

I had read this book as a teenager and was keen to reread now in my early 40's.

Overall, it is a classic worth revisiting but needs to be abridged.

Conversations between characters are very slow moving and long winded at times.

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  • Denise
  • 06-12-17

"MA two letters that spell Perfection"

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

This is the best interpretation of Emma I have ever heard or seen. Juliet is perfection.

What did you like best about this story?

It is a classic and therefore no comment required on the story. the rendition is what matters. There were never any moments where credibility was stretched by the reader.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

All.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

Any additional comments?

Please have this reader do an unabridged version of Prose and Prejudice.