Award-winning narrator and internationally acclaimed writer/comedienne, Alison Larkin brings her signature wit to this hugely entertaining audio production of Jane Austen's first novel, Northanger Abbey, followed by The History of England, a short, delightfully satirical piece that Austen wrote when she was just 15 years old.
In Northanger Abbey, Catherine Morland, a clergyman's daughter, longs for the kind of romantic adventures she has read about in her favorite Gothic novels. After spending a season mingling with fashionable high society in Bath, she is invited to stay at Northanger Abbey where nothing is what it seems.
In The History of England, the teenage Jane Austen pokes fun at the historians of the day who pretended to be objective when they clearly were not, and wrote about the kings and queens of England with less respect (and more wit) than a British newspaper.
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Jane Austen is always good...:)
Yes, I would. I like Austen's novels, I come back to them quite frequently, althought I must admit that "Northanger Abbey" is the one that I read just once before. Listening to it now may count as my second meeting with the book - and a very pleasant one, thanks to Ms Larkin's interpretation:)
I'd say it's Catherine Morland, the heroine - I know, she is sentimental, head over heels in love with gothic romances, makes bad decisions and imagines things... but she is young, hungry for life in all its beauty and for extreme emotions... just like almost every girl her age:) And she is fantastically interpreted by Ms Larkin who portrays her as she is - a young inexperienced girl not really knowing the world outside her family circle, thrown into the "worldly" crowd and trying to find her own place there :)
I also loved the "History of England" part of the audiobook. I knew pieces of it as they were used in the 1999 film version of "Mansfield Park", but listening to the whole text was a great pleasure. And again, Ms Larkin's interpretation added even more fun to it:)
There isn't one particular scene that I'd pinpoint as my favourite... There are many, really, that I like because of something small - it may be a piece of conversation or an image... But all of them make the book so intelligently funny...:)
Yes, I would gladly listen to it in one sitting on condition that I have no-one around me disturbing me all the time:) Austen's books, just like most classics, demand focus - the language and the style of writing is so totally different from modern writers'; the reader (or listener) has to concentrate a little bit more to follow the long sentences with quite a complicated structure...:) This being said, I like that old-fashioned and almost poetically rich kind of story-telling:)
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.
- Lidia Chymkowska
Fantastic Narration of some of Austen's Best
Northanger Abbey might be my favorite of Austen's novels and this audio only enhanced it. All of the characters are well voiced, the emotion and imagination are beautifully read, and each character comes alive. Henry Tilney is one of my favorite literary characters and he was done splendidly here. Every time he was mentioned I found myself grinning, excited to see what he was going to do and how it would be read. The history of England portion was interesting and humorous. You can see Austen's style even in that writing from when she was fifteen.
I have not listened to any of Alison Larkin's other performances, but this one definitely gives me a reason to do so!
This is such a splendidly done audio of one of my favorite classics. I would highly recommend it to any lover of Austen or audiobooks. *I received a copy of this audiobook upon request for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.*