Joanna Trollope's much-anticipated contemporary reworking of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility will launch The Austen Project and be one of the most talked about books of 2013.
‘It's hugely exciting to attempt the reworking of one of the best novels written by one of our greatest novelists. This is a project which requires consummate respect above all else; not an emulation, but a tribute.' Joanna Trollope.
The Austen Project is a major new series of six novels teaming up authors of global literary significance with Jane Austen's six complete works. The pairing of Joanna Trollope and Jane Austen received global coverage, from the New York Times to the Times of India.
The Austen Project continues with Val McDermid's reworking of Northanger Abbey in Spring 2014 and Curtis Sittenfeld's Pride and Prejudice in Autumn 2014.
Praise for Sense & Sensibility:
“Jane Austen's story and Joanna Trollope's voice make the perfect marriage. I loved every page. It's witty and fresh, whilst completely respecting the original, timeless story. What a delight!” (Sophie Kinsella)
Praise for Joanna Trollope:
“Supremely sure of her material and purpose, compassionate but never sentimental” (Sunday Times)
“Joanna Trollope is the most emotionally intelligent of contemporary British novelists” (Amanda Craig, Independent)
“As ever, Trollope writes about family life with wit, intelligence and verve” (Guardian)
“Trollope is brilliant at swooping in on a modern dilemma and showing it from every angle…Inventive, surprising and fascinating” (The Times)
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Too close to the original
I read it as a part of re-reading all of Jane Austen's works and also the new ones, both in the Austen project and others. For someone doing this, it is certainly worth a read, though for someone looking for Jane Austen's classic made fresh I would probably not push it very hard.
It started off beautifully, with so many clever modernisations, but the more the novel progressed, the more I got the feeling that Trollope was more or less copying the original, word for word. So many actions and sentiments were left unexplained, though they feel very strange to the modern reader. I really think Trollope could do better than this! One thing I kept thinking is -Why not tempt things a little, make Marianne a goth or an emo, when that us so clearly what she is, but no - still very very beautiful and playing an instrument very well indeed. So boring and predictable!
The performance was fine, though not one that has stayed with me.
Not really, but I am very curious to see what the other authors in the Austen protect have made of their books!