Delightfully funny, Emma displays the shrewd wit and delicate irony which made Jane Austen a master of the English novel. Although Austen thought that only she would like her witty, fanciful, self-deluded heroine, Emma has gained the affection of generations of readers.
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(P)2000 Blackstone Audio Inc.
Classics,contemporary fiction, Politics, Philosophy, Economics - a weekly eye on The New Yorker & The Guardian and dense word style/play.
There's a huge amount of Jane Austen current and faced with every Tom, Dick and Gwynneth, I thought it a good idea to go back to the originals and read them end to end from start to finish. Flagging in places, hitting on Emma it is apparent that the apotheosis of so much of Jane Austen's work rests on the character and interplay of Emma. It is a world out of this world, a place to turn to and relax and dream - the quality and wit, the depth of the shallowness - great stuff.
Emma is a wonderful novel and too well known to describe but the American narrater has slightly slurry diction which is off putting.
Emma is Austen's most wrong-headed character, and her development into a woman needing forgiveness and becoming truly lovable is deeply engaging. The wonderful Nadia May reads flawlessly and, as ever, does justice to this excellent novel.
What a listen! This audiobook sparkles with life. The voices and accents are well done and i felt that it really does justice to Jane Austen.
"Poor Emma, She Had it all Figured Out, Wrong"
One of my favorite AAM (Austen Awkward Moment) occurred when the newly married Mr. Elton and Mrs. Elton (the woman he married) is thrown together with Miss Harriet Smith (the woman he was supposed to marry) and Miss Emma Woodhouse (the woman he wanted to marry). I struck with the different behavior by Austen's rejected suitors: Mr. Elton (E), Mr. Knightly (E who thought Emma was partial to Mr. Frank Churchill) Mr. Darcy (P&P) and Capt Wentworth (P). The latter three became determined and better persons, the former turned sour. Their real characters are revealed under adversity. Of course, one can go on for some considerable time with this theme alone in Austen novels.
Poor Emma, she thought she had a pretty good fix on things and found out that she didnt even know herself. I have read criticism (more like catty remarks) about Emma as snobby and elitist. I reject this view; I understand it but still reject it. Miss Emma Woodhouse was mistress of her world. She knew and embraced the strict rules governing it. She didnt make the rules but she lived by them. Unfortunately, for her, the rules were changing. Agrarianism and feudalism were giving way to city life and manufacturing evident by the newly rich Mr. and Mrs. Coles and other newly wealthy neighbors thrust upon her notice. Mr. Knightly, among others, deals with the new rules (unwritten BTW) and neighbors much better than Emma.
One confession: reading or listening, I often skip over the parts with Miss Bates. HoweverShe is a good, well meaning soul, funny and Nadia May does a splendid job bringing her to life Still, I can only tolerate her in very small doses. If I was stuck with her everyday like that poor Jane Fairfax, I would go absolutely off my rocker. I am reminded that I know many Miss Bates. I also know many Mrs. Eltons. After thinking that thought, Miss Bates is not so bad after all.
Emma is excellently narrated. The characters and storyline are really brought to life. Great audio quality, too.
I love Jane Austen, love this story, and love listening to Nadia May. So why couldn't I listen to this book? I'm not sure if it was the tempo (too fast!), the voices she chose for the characters (too sharp and high) or a combination of the two, but this audiobook was incredibly irritating to listen to. I tried several times but finally gave up. The only reason I could give this three stars was that I know the book itself was good.
"One of the best!"
One of Austen's best as far as I am concerned, and Nadia May is one of the finest narrators in the business.
"Literally painful to listen to"
How could I NOT love this book? I adore Jane Austen and thoroughly enjoyed two versions of the movie of this tale. I was so very much looking forward to listening to it on a long drive.
Perhaps I am an illiterate dolt, but after two hours of enduring seemingly endless and pointless dialog with nasal high-pitched female voices droning on like chickens cackling (about NOTHING of substance and shallow characters I cared absolutely nothing about) I actually deleted this from my iPod. This feels like sacrilege, and I am sure there will be literary penance to be paid for such an abominable act. But perhaps I can save someone else the torture.
"Most Satisfactory, Always Enjoy Austen"
I've previously read this book a few times, but this was my first listen. I always enjoy Austen, and this was no exception. Emma entertains me with her matchmaking attempts and blindness to the realities of the feelings of those involved, as well as in the minute descriptions of such varied characters as the audacious Mrs. Elton, the insipid Miss Bates, the lively Frank Churchill, and invalid Mr. Woodhouse. Even when Emma finds herself in a muddle or having done wrong, she instantly repents of any mistake and endeavors to correct it. I've found my self occasionally annoyed with her naivete, but on my first read-through, I missed some helpful social cues too, so how can I blame her for not seeing all correctly? Then I remember that no lasting harm is done, and enjoy the story. She has merit enough, and good intentions, for me to forgive any folly. It's also amusing to reflect, that while I did not experience quite the class distinctions in my community as existed then, the social world and courtship, er, dating, is much the same for young people today as it was as Austen depicted it for Emma and company almost 200 hundred years ago. (recalling unrequited crushes, and nudging certain college friends together...) Though, piano fortes are not so often given as gifts to secret lovers these days I think - one of my favorite little points of this story. On the whole, a beautiful portrait of a charming cast of characters and, more generally, of early 19th century English country life.
This narrator was a wonderful voice for Austen, with the proper energy and cadence, though her range of character voices was small. A few women had distinct voices (a few were made distinct by speech style, rather than sound); there were only one or two distinct male voices; but regardless, it was never difficult to follow who was speaking given those few and help from context. The one difficulty I had was occasionally in telling the difference between Emma speaking aloud or in her own head. By no means did this narrative style detract from the story-telling. She had a proper and classy British accent, which I found more than once to remind me of Julie Andrews', very pleasant to the ear.
A delightful read, with a most satisfactory conclusion for all.
"I just couldn't take it anymore"
If the mother in Sense and Sensibility (one of my favorites) got on your nerves, this book will kill you. This book is 3 or 4 times longer than it should be because it is filled with nonesense conversation. I tried!!
I did not care for the reader. She read entirely too fast for my taste. The story was complicated and mixed up. I was very disappointed in it. I will try listening to it again when I need a sleeping pill.
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