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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Audiobook Week: Persuasion, by Jane Austen

written by Jane Austen
originally published in 1817
audiobook: 8 hours
narrated by Nadia May

*** About the Book ***

This classic novel tells the story of Anne Eliot who, as a young woman, was persuaded to end her engagement to Captain Wentworth as it would have been an unsuitable match. Eight years later Anne’s father has fallen on hard times and the family is living in reduced circumstances. Captain Wentworth is brought back into Anne’s circle of acquaintance in an unforeseen manner and Anne realizes her feeling for him are as strong as ever. But his continuing resentment of Anne is evident and he is actively looking for a wife elsewhere, while Anne is being courted by her father’s heir.

Can anything change Captain Wentworth’s feelings? Will Anne be given the opportunity to follow her own heart?

*** Why I Listened To It ***

I always say that I love Jane Austen, but in reality I’ve read only a few of her books – my plan is to remedy that. My new phone can play audiobooks from my library (using the Overdrive Media Console) and, since this book was immediately available, I downloaded it and started listening.

*** My Thoughts ***

I went into this book not sure what to expect. A Literary Odyssey recently raved about it, but when I talked to Laura’s Review Book Shelf last week she said she couldn’t stand it. I knew the story from having seen a TV version of it and was inclined to like the book, but still I was uncertain.

I’m glad to say that I really did enjoy this book. There are some genuinely unlikeable people in here (more so than in Pride and Prejudice, where - in my opinion - the characters are more humorous than anything else) and I felt bad for Anne much of the time. But I enjoyed the story very much and found it quite believable.

Note for Laura (spoilers included!): In our conversation you said you felt that Capt. Wentworth’s behavior toward Anne was horrid and that his change of heart was due mainly to jealousy. I looked for that in the story but I couldn’t see it. I feel like his behavior made complete sense (not that he wasn’t rude at times) and I didn’t have any issues with him. I guess this is one of those books where we’ll just have to disagree! :)

*** About the Narrator ***

I believe this is the first time I’ve heard Nadia May’s narration. I thought she did a wonderful job! I was never confused as to who was speaking even though she didn’t use a wide range of voices. I also enjoyed her accent.

*** Your Thoughts ***

I’ve heard mixed reviews of this book – which side do you fall on? Do you like this book better or worse than Austen’s others?

Have you listened to any Austen via audiobook? Is there a narrator you prefer or one you dislike when it comes to Austen books?

Note: This review is part of Audiobook Week. Today I’m reviewing a Classic book; other genres will be featured throughout the week.


diaryofaneccentric said...

I haven't read Persuasion, but it's on my list to read this year. I have high hopes for it, too. ;)

Serena said...

I have not read Persuasion, but I have a bookmark in it. It takes me longer to read Austen than other books, but since you gave a glowing review of this on audio, perhaps I should listen to it instead.

Jen - Devourer of Books said...

I love narrators that can keep you straight on who is talking without sounding like they're trying too hard.

Felicia the Geeky Blogger said...

I have never listened to Persuasion and after listening to Sense and Sensibility I am going to put it on my must listen list :)

Lenore said...

I just read this recently for the first time. I liked Wentworth, but wasn't in love with him or anything (even though that letter was ...whoa!!).

bermudaonion said...

I haven't read a lot of Jane Austen's work either. I find that it takes me a little while to get into the rhythm of her writing when I do, so I'm not sure the audio version would work for me.

Erika Robuck said...

I haven't read Persuasion in at least ten years. I'll have to pick it up again.

Miri said...

I too reviewed Persuasion as an audiobook this week! :). If you would like, I have a Linky open until tomorrow.

Heather J. said...

diaryofaneccentric - I think you'll enjoy it. :)

Serena - Definitely give the audio a try - it worked well for me!

Jen - Yes, those are the good ones.

Felecia - I haven't listened to S&S but it is on MY list! LOL

Lenore - You know, other people have mentioned the letter too but I didn't think it was all that. I did love that he was writing it while she was in the room though!

bermudaonion - Yeah, that might make it more difficult to enjoy the audio ...

Erica - I'm glad that I finally listened to it!

Miri - Thanks! I'm heading over to check out your post now.

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