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Northanger Abbey

By: Jane Austen,Anna Lea - adaptation
Narrated by: Emma Thompson,Douglas Booth,Eleanor Tomlinson,Ella Purnell,Jeremy Irvine,Lily Cole
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Publisher's summary

A coming-of-age tale for the young and naïve 17-year-old Catherine Morland, Northanger Abbey takes a decidedly comical look at themes of class, family, love and literature. Revelling in the sensationalist - and extremely popular - Gothic fiction of her day, the story follows Catherine out of Bath to the lofty manor of the Tilneys, where her overactive imagination gets to work constructing an absurd and melodramatic explanation for the death of Mrs Tilney, which threatens to jeopardise her newly forged friendships.

This Audible Originals production of Northanger Abbey stars Emma Thompson (Academy Award, Golden Globe, Emmy and BAFTA winner, Love Actually, Harry Potter, Sense and Sensibility), Lily Cole (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Snow White and the Huntsman, St. Trinian's), Douglas Booth (Noah, Great Expectations, The Riot Club), Jeremy Irvine (Warhorse, The Railway Man, Now Is Good), Eleanor Tomlinson (Poldark, The Illusionist, Alice in Wonderland) and Ella Purnell (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Never Let Me Go, Kick-Ass 2), amongst others.

Public Domain (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

Critic reviews

"Impressive." ( Harper's Bazaar)
"This new production marries the author's wit, charm and dry humour with performances from some of the UK's leading actors." ( Psychologies)
"A wonderful new dramatisation." ( The Times)
"Emma Thompson leads a large, glitzy cast." ( Economist)

Featured Article: Celebrate Jane Austen’s 247th Birthday with a Page-to-Screen Movie Marathon


In this list, go through each of Jane Austen's novels in turn, noting which adaptations might be considered the best. (The best is, of course, a broad and subjective term—only you can decide which adaptation ranks number one in your heart!) But to help you find your favorite, this list details the adaptation most faithful to the original text, the most critically acclaimed adaptation, and honorable mentions for unique or noteworthy adaptations.

What listeners say about Northanger Abbey

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    1 out of 5 stars
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There is no substitute for unabridged

This audiobook looked very good at first glance with an array of professional actor narrators handling a volume with much character dialogue. The Book has large sections of description and context which is lost by converting a long volume of text into a short play. In Austen as in many other novelists abridgment of this kind results in a huge loss. I'm afraid that reading or listening to a well narrated version of the entire book is superior to a skinnied down version. There is more than one unabridged version of this book available in audio.

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285 people found this helpful

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Hmmm, not a fan of this one.

I had forgotten how objectionable the characters were in this story, so right away I realized that I wasn’t liking the story itself.

Add that to the fact that the volume for many of the performers was very low and background noise interference made it even harder to hear them without constantly adjusting the volume and it was pretty much doomed for me.

Only bright light was the narration by Emma Thompson. She can make anything sound good.

I’m sorry I bought this one.

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106 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Em
  • 07-21-17

A Treasure

Northanger Abbey has always been one of my favorite Austen stories (along with Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and… oh). Anyway—it ranks WAY higher than Mansfield Park, at least. But I’ve always loved that it’s Austen’s most obvious play at satire, demonstrating, perhaps ironically (or maybe, given Austen’s own life, not at all) what kind of trouble a wild imagination can get a young woman into. So it lends itself beautifully to this new high-spirited, and very funny, dramatization. It even seems that Austen has herself been cast as the omniscient and wise narrator (and who else more fully embodies those qualities than the brilliant Emma Thompson?). If you love a good comedy of manners, don’t miss this delightful audio-only treasure.

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92 people found this helpful

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Amusing audio experience

Abridged telling of Austen's first published novel which amuses the listener, but the adaptation does edit out too much of the gothic satire so central to the original work. I would recommend this to someone who has already read the unabridged book, but I suppose it could work for someone trying to ease in to Austen.

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56 people found this helpful

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I had to stop listening

I agree with another reviewer that the background noise, such as clanging of tea cups and silverware, made it difficult to concentrate on the actors and actresses. Emma Thompson is always perfect, and the other female actors were good. I also agree with the other reviewer that the male actors were wooden and unconvincing. I listen to audio books during my 45 commute to and from work. They help me relax and traffic doesn't bother me as much. I couldn't finish this audio book, because the background noise was irritating.

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45 people found this helpful

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I wish for more stars to fill in

Every Jane Austin is my favorite. I go back to listen to each repeatedly. I must admit I did not adequately appreciate the wry humor of Northanger Abbey until listening to this production. It may now be my favorite.

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33 people found this helpful

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Simply Superb!

Jane Austen never disappoints of course, and of course this is one of my favorites, right upp there with... Well... Basically everything she ever wrote so never mind about that comment. But this production is amazing! The charm, the delightful story, the amazing actors, the writing, the everything, it's great. If you are in doubt, don't be. These were some of the best six hours of my life! Thank you Audible and to Ms. Austen as ever. I

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27 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great surprise

Although I have attained a fairly great age, I had never read Northanger Abbey. As the story progressed I thought it rather slow moving, however, halfway through the tale picked up for my interest and kept me engaged to make it one of the few audiobooks I completed in less than a day.

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24 people found this helpful

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Excellent story and performance

The Audible recording of Northanger Abbey is a wonderful presentation of this story by the celebrated author Jane Austen as expertly adapted by Anna Lea. The excellent actors, superb narration by the peerless Emma Thompson, and vivid production make NA a first-rate audio book.

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19 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Some excellent performances, some poor

The female parts were very well done but the male parts were wooden and unconvincing.

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18 people found this helpful