Sense and Sensibility

Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
Length: 12 hrs and 43 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3,181 ratings)

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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.
©2005 Naxos Audiobooks Ltd. (P)2005 Naxos Audiobooks Ltd.

What listeners say about Sense and Sensibility

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

very easy on the ears.

I listen to a lot of British classic novels, and there's an overwhelming trend towards narrators with a very nasal, uppity-sounding English accent that grates on the ears. An expert in accents could probably identify the quality that I don't like; all I know is that THIS narrator is, by contrast, a great pleasure to listen to. Her speaking voice is gentle and beautiful and melodious. I could listen to her for hours... well, I did.

The story is of course typical Austen: predictably satisfying, tasty in that happy-endings-happen-to-good-people kind of way. You know what you're getting THERE. The excellent reading is icing on the cake.

31 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jo
  • 11-19-06

Superb - Justice to Jane Austen and Emma Thompson

A truely excellent narration - Juliet Stevenson is the best narrator I have come across on audible. She brings the characters to life, giving each, character and individuality. She accurately captures the nuances and comedy of the book and the historical period.

To me, at least, this book was so well brought to life by the Emma Thompson screen adaptation that I would find it hard to imagine some of the characters (Marianne and Fanny for instance) represented very differently from that film (although I did think the occasional character including Edward and to a certain extent Elanor herself were miscast in the film version). Juliet Stevenson's interpretations are close to the film where it was good, and better where it could have been improved (to my ear her Marianne sounded like Kate Winslet).

Furthermore, her voice is not harsh to the ears, as I have found some narrators, even good ones, to be after a time - an important point when listening to something for hours through a set of earphones on an iPod.

Pride and Prejudice might be my favourite Jane Austen book, but I think this is my favourite Jane Austen audio so far. My only negative point being that I got so engrossed (much more so than when reading the paper book), and the story is quite black and miserable through much of its length, that I am sure I felt miserable with Marianne, until I had got to the uplifting ending.

42 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Highly Recommeded

Jane Austen writes with great sensitivity and compassion about how two sisters adapt in different ways to life's blows. The book is evocative, beautiful and gripping. The plot and the characterizations move along enticingly. The narrator is excellent and draws the listener into the setting and story brilliantly. I feel as if I am in 19th century Britain while listening and by the end of the novel feel as if Eleanor and Marianne are people I have known well. I highly recommend this version of Sense and Sensibility for hours of pleasure.

17 people found this helpful

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Stevenson does it again

I bought this at a 4.95 sale because I had already listened to one decent audio version - but Stevenson reading is worth a full credit. I suspect she may have been influenced by Emma Thompson's screenplay in her delivery of a couple of the minor characters -- but why try to trump gold?

Stevenson reading any classic like this is a great comfort listen - a warm bath for your ears. Recommended for head colds.

Just about any Naxos version of a classic has turned out to be an excellent version in my experience. They uphold their 5 star reputation from their music label.

24 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliantly Read.

Juliet Stevenson has done a masterful job not only reading Sense and Sensibility, but also giving the characters vivacity and personalities. Marianne's raptures made me smile and the vulgarity of Mrs. Jennings made me giggle uncomfortably in a way that simply reading the book never has before.
I highly recommend this version as a wonderful and colorful reading of a book that is, at its core, about the blend of Enlightenment and Romanticism of the early 19th century.

13 people found this helpful

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required reading

Everyone should read Jane Austen. Her work (and that of such slightly later contemporaries as the Brontes, Dickens & Trollope) are the roots of all of literature we read today. But unlike other writers whose works show their age and are hence hard to read and to draw parallels to today's world, this is not the case for Austen. Sense & Sensibility is one of the better of her 6 books. Juliet Stevenson's narration is terrific.

8 people found this helpful

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Jane Austen. Juliet Stevenson. Need we say more?

My wife tells me that during the First World War recuperating soldiers were given Jane Austen to read, as a means of calming shell-shattered nerves. While not a veteran of the trenches, this superb story--or rather, this superb reading of this superb story--got me through a very painful bout of bedridden illness. Jane is so sane.

1 person found this helpful

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Wonderful book wonderfully read

I have nothing to say about that great book that has not been said before. But what makes it even more pleasurable for audio book readers, is Juliet Stevenson's exceptional narration. I wish all my audiobooks were read by her. She has an amazingly versatile voice, perfect pace and fluency. She also is an actress who can convey any emotion with her voice and still keep the character's individuality. I am not American born and do not find the British accent cute or charming. I have very little patience for some of it affections. But Juliet makes it all very bearable. Even quite pleasant. I never want her narration to stop. She is the voice of Jane Austen.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Jane and Juliet: The Perfect Match

I have every one of the available Austen/Stevenson recordings and they are all a treat. If you are an Austen fan, this is the way to enjoy her.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

Extremely enjoyable. Excellent narration that manages to give individuality and variety to all the characters.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rachel
  • 05-25-09

A perfect narrative

Juliet Stevenson's reading of this classic piece is flawless. She understands each character and brings them to life in turn. I love this book even more since listening to her narrative. Highly recommended - I will now be downloading many more of Juliet Stevenson's readings.

19 people found this helpful

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    out of 5 stars
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  • Jules
  • 12-12-06

Wonderful

Beautifully read, most enjoyable.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Paul & Susy
  • 09-12-06

A great story but also an excellent reading

Juliet Stevenson's reading brings the characters alive and pours emotion to the dialogue.

21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Cecilia
  • 11-26-10

wonderful reading

Juliet Stevenson's reading is incredibly clever, every character has his/her own voice, and when action moves to drama she can transmit feelings without unnecessary pathos.

7 people found this helpful

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

Classic Jane Austen

As with the other Jane Austen novels she has narrated, Juliet Stevenson does another excellent job with this one.

This is classic Jane Austen and exactly what one would expect from her. Filled with the usual ups and downs of the romantic lives of her female heroines, this story is interesting and gripping, and delivered what my anticipation of it had hoped.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ms. C. E. Davies
  • 05-26-13

Excellent narration of a classic novel

Unsure how much I would enjoy the narration of this, perhaps my favourite Austen novel, I thoroughly enjoyed Juliet Stevenson's reading. She doesn't go along the route of my bete noir of attempting male voices, her distinction between Elinor and Marianne is excellent, and I loved her Mrs Jennings.

Admittedly, the novel wanders a little but otherwise is a delight. I would recommend this audible book highly to any Austen fan.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Sharon
  • 10-23-13

Delightful

Any additional comments?

I am a big fan of Jane Austen's novels, having read and/or watched TV adaptations of them all. I bought this as 'comfort' listening for my long commutes to and from work, and it was indeed very comforting. I think Juliet Stevenson's narration is excellent. She imbues the characters with life - makes them 'jump off the page' (I guess that should be 'jump out of the speaker'). I am now planning to purchase other Austen novels which she as narrated - more comfort listening! If you have never read any Austen novels, buying them as listening books is a good way to introduce yourself to her world of 'propriety'and 'aprobation'. And I would certainly recommend the versions with Juliet Stevenson as narrator.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Tenni
  • 04-13-13

Another great Jane Austin novel

Sense and Sensibility was a lovely story, Jane Austin really makes you feel like you are living back in the old world amongst her characters. This book was a little slow to start but after a few chapters I was hooked and couldn't wait to hear what happened next. There are many twists and an interesting insight into their way of life, beautifully written.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Vanessa L Folks
  • 09-01-16

All the better for the reader

Thoroughly enjoyed this audio book. Juliet Stevenson was the perfect person to listen to.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Benjamin W.
  • 05-12-16

Excellent

Beautiful narration of a classic, absolutely loved her rendition of Lucy Steele's letters, brilliant capture of her character.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ford Krieger
  • 10-25-16

Wonderful.

Juliet Stephenson is the best Austen narrator by far. I'm moving next to her other narrations.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-08-16

A classic performed well

Juliet Stevenson does justice to this classic work. Her performance of the quiet repose of Elinor Dashwood could not be replicated by a more melodramatic narrator without sounding synthetic. And yet, she captures the spirited exclamations of Marianne, if a trifle stressed, and the affectations of the Steele's in an unobtrusive manner.
I'm always amused by attempts of narrators of one sex to perform the part of the other, but Stevenson is not unduly lacking in credulity for such performances.
All in all, the narration does not subtract from the text, if anything she adds to the experience.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Margaret
  • 01-14-20

Superb in every way

The narration of this book is the best Is superb in every way. If there was an Oscar for narration this would be the winner. I had only seen the movie of Sense and Sensibility. I now marvel at the brilliant adaption for the movie by Emma Thompson. She kept every vital nuance. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book and highly recommend it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-07-19

Juliet Stevenson is Incredible

Juliet Stevenson is the most perfect person to narrate this story, she does an impeccable job at bringing the characters to life. I enjoyed this book to the full thanks to her.

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  • TooT
  • 09-08-18

Difficult at first, beautiful as it went on

I think it is the medium of audio that affected my enjoyment of this book. I've read it, I've watched several adaptations, but listening made me really incensed on the part of the Dashwoods at the treatment they received from their (half) sister-in-law. I found it physically difficult to keep listening. Of course, as things proceeded, the immediacy of the emotions I felt became less irritating - avarice is such an irritating vice!, and the reading, the pleasure of Austen's writing - well, sheer delight in much loved characters. I've found that the Naxos editions are generally the best readings. The Jane Eyre read by Amanda Root is the best audiobook I have ever listened to, and this is in the top 10.

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  • paula king
  • 02-26-18

excellent adaptation of a classic

I listened as part of the #janeaustenSAL in the fb group, I've loved listening & learning more.