*** About the Book ***
Since I'm still trying to get caught up on my stack of unreviewed books, I'm cheating and copying this summary from my library's website:
Jane Austen’s first major novel, a parody of the popular literature of the time, is an ironic tale of the romantic folly of men and women in pursuit of love, marriage, and money. The humorous adventures of young Catherine as she encounters "the difficulties and dangers of a six weeks' residence in Bath" lead to some of Austen's most brilliant social satire. There is Catherine’s hilarious liaison with a paragon of bad manners and boastfulness; her disastrous friendship with an unforgettably crass coquette; and a whirl of cotillion dances with their timeless mortifications. A visit to ancient Northanger Abbey, the ancestral home of the novel’s handsome hero, excites the irrepressible Catherine’s hopes of romance amid gothic horrors. But what awaits her there is a drama of a different kind, in this most youthfully exuberant and broadly comic of Jane Austen’s works.
*** My Thoughts ***
Although I'd seen the movie version before, this was my first experience with the book. I was surprised to find much more "conversation" between Austen and her readers than in her other books. She wrote this story as if she were telling it to a friend, occasionally making comments directly to the reader. I really enjoyed that!
The love story isn't quite as developed in this book as in her other novels. Though I enjoyed the characters and the setting, I didn't love it as much as her other books and I didn't get swept away by the restrained passion of the main characters as I did in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. That said, I do love Mr. Tilney. His sense of humor was superb and I really enjoyed getting to know him. He's definitely the type of guy I would have been attracted to.
I was surprised to see how little time was actually spent at Northanger Abbey! You'd think that with the book using that as the title, there would be more focus on it. Not that it really mattered, it just surprised me.
Nadia May did a wonderful job as narrator again. I highly recommend her versions of Austen's books - she has the perfect voice for them.
It was a pleasure to listen to this book and I had a lot of fun with it.
*** Your Thoughts ***
Which Austen novel is your favorite? Which Austen man is your favorite? My favorite book is still PRIDE AND PREJUDICE - I love the humor and the miscommunication and the characters and everything else. As for the men, I'll always love Darcy in the book but I don't know that I'd have been able to overlook his arrogance and actually fall in love with him in real life. Mr. Tilney is a strong contender at this point but I still have one or two other Austen books to read ...