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Northanger Abbey

Narrated by: Liz Pearce
Length: 10 hrs and 7 mins
Categories: Romance, Historical
3.5 out of 5 stars (42 ratings)
This title is included in Audible Escape

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Publisher's Summary

Cat Morland is ready to grow up. A homeschooled minister's daughter in the quaint, sheltered Piddle Valley in Dorset, she loses herself in novels and is sure there is a glamorous adventure awaiting her beyond the valley's narrow horizon. So imagine her delight when the Allens, neighbors and friends of her parents, invite her to attend the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh as their guest. With a sunny personality, tickets every night, and a few key wardrobe additions courtesy of Susie Allen, Cat quickly begins to take Edinburgh by storm and is taken into the bosom of the Thorpe family, particularly by eldest daughter Bella. And then there's the handsome Henry Tilney, an up-and-coming lawyer whose family home is the beautiful and forbidding Northanger Abbey. Cat is entranced by Henry and his charming sister, Eleanor, but she can't help wondering if everything about them is as perfect as it seems. Or has she just been reading too many novels?

A delectable, note-perfect modern update of the Jane Austen classic, Northanger Abbey tells a timeless story of innocence amid cynicism, the exquisite angst of young love, and the value of friendship.

©2014 Val McDermid (P)2014 Recorded Books

What members say

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Painful.

Twilight references. Social media overload. Use of the word "totes." Where do I begin? Why is Henry Tilney Scottish and a lawyer? Why bizarrely alter the reason Catherine Morland is dismissed from Northanger Abbey? Why did I listen to this all the way through? Save yourself a credit and get this one from the library.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Valley girl Brit of a narrator

Actually I don't have much to add to my headline. I had no idea there were British people, even teenagers, who sound like they're students at Oxford by way of San Fernando Valley circa 1980. (Isn’t that when Moon Zappa put out her famous song with the line "gag me with a spoon"?) I'm going to trust that Val McDermid did her homework for current slang in the British Isles... but the narrator was literally unbelievable.
Aside from the narration I think the writer did a creditable job transplanting the plot and characters of Jane Austen's 19th century parody of the Gothic novel. It is a good story and really, teenagers (although there was no such thing in the 19th century) haven't changed all that much. Some things are timeless and universal and that is what makes Jane Austen one of the truly great novelists.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Aweful disappointment

Would you try another book from Val McDermid and/or Liz Pearce?

I like Val McDermid, but if this had been the first book I had read of hers, I would not have tried any others

What was most disappointing about Val McDermid’s story?

It was a rehash of Jane Austin's book of the same name. Unfortunately the characters are equally self absorbed airheads. I just couldn't finish it.

What aspect of Liz Pearce’s performance would you have changed?

None, she did her best with poor product.

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

I would not have published this book. It is unreserectable

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Ijw
  • Cochise, AZ, United States
  • 08-20-19

schizophrenic

The setup is intriguing and readable but then it strays into confusion. Is it a teen romance? Is it a Gothic horror? Is it sparkly vampires? No it's just a pinball ride through a teenage fantasy. With lots of annoying dialogue where you're screaming "what are you doing falling for friendship at the price of crazy?". If you get to the point where you can't take it anymore just read the last two chapters. The fairytale ending is gag-worthy.

Better to read the original by Jane Austen. Save a few brain cells..

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  • Caroline
  • Arlington, VA, United States
  • 10-08-15

The narrator really is that bad...

Would you try another book from Val McDermid and/or Liz Pearce?

I would definitely try another Val McDermid and have one lined up now, there was only one truly cringe worthy written line about the 'support of supportive friends' in chapter 30 I don't know how that made it all the way through to narration... other than that I felt her writing was fine.

I will tread carefully when it comes to Liz Pearce. It's not the poshy accent that bothered me, living between the US and UK, I've come across it, and I see what they're going for with it and she does a BRILLIANT job making Bella just skin crawlingly awful - but as someone who's lived in Edinburgh, I found her pronunciation of the city name (it was almost like Edingboro instead of Edinburah) grated almost as much as her terrible Scottish accents. I have half a mind to return this one and see if the UK audible version, with a different narrator, is better.

What did you like best about this story?

I thought Val solved some of questions of modernizing this story in clever ways - putting Cat out of touch by making the Abbey a bit of a signal dead spot, phones going inconveniently dead etc. all the texting and tweeting and emailing was handled really well.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

As mentioned before, her terrible Scottish accents distracted from the characters and the story.

Any additional comments?

Val does stick quite closely to the original, but I still found it a fun read, if you'd like to read an Austen Project book that swings around the original more - I recommend Emma by Alexander McCall Smith. I don't feel like Val faithfully hits every paragraph as others have said and there's a couple new scenes she's written in. The narrator's voice I think is a little too formal and clashes a little with the informal voice of the characters. We read this for book club and my audible pal in book club said the accents were just too annoying and she switched to kindle version.