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Jane Eyre is one of my favorites but I completely appreciate the need to abridge it for a full cast performance. That being said I think too much was taken out, giving it an incredibly rushed feel.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful
One of the most curious facts in all of English literature is that in the late 1700s, possibly as early as 1787, when she was just a wickedly intelligent teenager, Jane Austen began satirizing the Bronte sisters, who would not be born until many decades later. Austen's Juvenilia, particularly Love and Freindship [sic], and her more mature work Northanger Abbey, stand collectively as a glorious spoof of all that Charlotte Bronte would write about with deadly earnestness sixty years later in Jane Eyre: Gothic horror, blood and gore, mists and moors, screams and terrors in the night, madwomen locked away in attics, swoonings and faintings galore. Bronte, who romanticized suffering to the highest possible degree in her personal life as well as her writing (who else but a Bronte could manage to die of morning sickness while pregnant?), presents Jane Eyre as a Romantic sufferer extraordinaire. Jane is humorless, beaten down by fate and her own moody fits of passion at every turn, until finally Rochester, her love object, is so much more beaten down than she is that she can finally consent to be his wife. The whole thing is so completely without humor or any consciousness of its own absurdity that it works ONLY if you look at it with Jane Austen's winking eye, imagining how fun it would be to satirize.
This production succeeds in doing just that. The story is so perfectly distilled to its essential Gothic-horror elements, complete with amazing sound effects, that it would make the perfect Halloween listen. The script is perfect, the acting impeccable, the production values and editing flawless. I never thought I'd say this of ANY production of Jane Eyre, but I'm sure I'll listen many more times. Highly recommend.
11 of 19 people found this review helpful
This is a short adaptation but it works because the script and the two leads are excellent. Amanda Hale is superb as Jane and Tom Burke is a wonderful Rochester. Because they are both so good, I wish more of the exchanges between Jane and Rochester from the book had been included, however the big exchanges are there and although everything is radically cut back, enough remains to be true to the original. The script generally reminded me a bit of the Ruth Wilson/Toby Stephens TV version, only with a post 'wedding' scene closer to the original.
Probably no adaptation of such a favourite novel can be 100% to my liking, and I find the music in this one intensely annoying. The performances are well able to carry the story and the emotion that goes with it, they don't need wailing violins to constantly support what they're doing and I found them intrusive and distracting.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?
There is too much Narration throughout & far too much of the plot left out which leaves me rather cold. I prefer full drama with as much near to the full plot as possible, for me that is warmth.
What other book might you compare Jane Eyre to, and why?
The reason I wanted this apart from the Jane Eryre story which I like and have read and watched in many versions and enjoyed, was for the actress Amanda Hale a favourite of mine whom I have enjoyed viewing in many wonderful films and television work. Amanda is diverse and works hard to bring out each character in what ever it is she is doing. She is very good in this production, which is the ONLY reason why I could tolerate listening to the end. This version reminded me of 'Villette' a story which fits perfectly into the narrated style along with the included drama.
Which scene did you most enjoy?
I enjoyed the scenes when Jane is with her cousins. Her character is more solid and we see Jane for who she is, her true self and she holds herself well against the lunatic male cousin who lives in a fantasy world with his God and takes it upon himself that "He' wants Jane to be 'His' wife & go to India" with him because this is what 'He' wants. He then attemps to morally & emotionally blackmail the girl like some which hunt.
You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?
Both actors Amanda Hale & Tom Burke are good professionals whose works I enjoy in other genres on TV & radio. I can see that this narrated version of Jane Erye will appeal to those who appreciate narrated style of work, it is still good.
Any additional comments?
I will probably listen to this again on a day when I am in the right mood to listen to this style. The play is well produced with a kind subtleness which suits the Jane Erye theme. I do like variations of literature, but must be in the right mood. I prefer to be as near to the original work as possible when it comes to drama.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful