Jane Austen's last completed novel, published posthumously in 1818, depicts the trials and tribulations of the young Englishwoman Ann Elliot as she reconnects with naval captain Frederick Wentworth. After spurning his marriage proposal years earlier on the advice of friends, she is practically a spinster by the time Wentworth returns to town. After suffering through the vain, shallow society around her, Ann and Captain Wentworth do eventually find a happy ending. Although this is an earlier recording with some inconsistent sound quality, performer Jill Masters' genteel English accent is enjoyable to listen to and perfectly suited to the tale.
In Persuasion, the book's heroine, Ann Elliot, was earlier engaged to Frederick Wentworth, a young navel officer, who now has become a captain. Anne is 27, and the early bloom of youth is past, when she and Captain Wentworth are thrown together again.
This book is often thought to be the story of Jane Austen's own lost love. In it, she seems mellowed and more philosophical, touched perhaps by the sentiment of a story in which she saw herself as the heroine but in whose happy outcome she has a premonition that she would never play a part.
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This is one of the few of Austen's works that didn't immediately grip me and I found myself struggling through the first volume and Anne Elliot's grindingly slow apotheosis and constant anxious inward reflection. However, after getting past Anne's initial struggle I gained a new found appreciation for Austen's understated style of writing in which she primarily focuses on the values held by her characters and allows the foolish among them to condemn themselves through her technique of free indirect speech.
I have tried to be positive about the book, but ultimately I found it dry and tedious. This wasn't helped by the narrator who seemed inept at reflecting accurately the portraits painted by Austen.
Not something if you're after a light, pleasant read.
"Not the best narrator, but certainly not the worst"
I enjoyed this book decently enough to finish it, without deciding to forget the whole thing and try a different narrator. I cannot stress enough how important it is to listen to the full samples given before deciding on a work with multiple narrator options. I've learned my lesson. Jill Masters is not my favorite, but she is far from the worst. Victoria McGee is by far my least favorite Austen narrators, and I couldn't even get halfway through her version of Sense and Sensibility. Lindsay Duncan is my absolute favorite, and I wish she would do all of Austen's works. In Jill Masters' defense, her style simply did not jive with my interpretation of the novel, and her inflections and emphasis did not land as I would have liked. However, she read it well and was consistent. Like many reviewers have also pointed out, I'll stress that the sound quality of this recording is not very good. The volume level fluctuates, there are some awkward pauses, and the sound quality in general is lacking. In short: not the best, but not the worst.
"Terrible audio quality"
I love this novel. And I was delighted to find this one in Kindle Unlimited list. What a terrible audio quality. I hear someone talking background. I first thought it was my background. No! It's actually in the audiobook!
I can't possibly continue listening to this audiobook.
"Worst Narration I've Experienced Yet"
Unable to finish this Jane Austen classic with 2 hours remaining. I very rarely abandon a book and I would not have abandoned it (I think) if I had selected another version of this book read by another narrator. I plan to avoid Jill Masters in the future as there is nothing more disappointing. I could not tell you the gist of this story as I rarely stayed engaged for the 6 hours I did listen to. I feel compelled to try another narrator but I will wait for now. I never listen to a sample before downloading but that may change. This was the worst narration I've experienced in 10+ years of audiobook listening.
"Terrible audio quality for a wonderful book."
Absolutely. I recommend the book and the narrator, but not this recording. The recording quality is terrible. Sometimes is sounds like she is in a room full of people talking over each other. Other times it sounds like she has a pillow over her face.
This is my favorite Jane Austen novel. Anne Elliot is my favorite Austen heroine.
Find a better recording of this wonderful story!
"Worst audio performance I've ever had in a book"
There was noise in audible background in the performance and there was a change in volume up and down it was really, really awful. If the booking been wonderful it would've been intolerable.
"For everyone woman of eight and twenty"
The first time I attempted Persuasion I was left wanting. The book fell to the wayside and was not picked up again for two years. This time--with the assistance of Jill Masters charming narration--I not only finished the story, but fell in love. Perhaps this is the perfect example a book finding you at the right time in your life. I was 26 when I first attempted the story and at 28 I fully understood the brain of Anne Elliot. While I might not have acted as she did--I tend to be less easily persuaded--I admired and understood her every decision. Jane never really lets me down.
"Wonderful novel, poor Audible"
I adore Austen and quite like Persuasion as a novel, but this was just a poor audio book. The narrator was mediocre at best and, as some other reviews have said, the overall audio quality is poor. At times the sound is muffled or muddy and in a few chapters you can actually hear other people talking in the background. This is definitely not the quality I would expect from an Audible book. In short, definitely read or listen to Persuasion--just a different version.
I love Jane Austen's and have read and now listened to many of her other books. However, I had difficulty listening to this particular narrator. She was not able to carry off reading this book. It made the book difficult to follow. I am now trying a different audio version. I wish I had listened to the sample as I now realize there are more audio versions. I will let you know how the 2004 audio version compares.
"Muddy and unconvincing"
Very poor sound quality - mostly muddy throughout - plus, at times it sounds like there's a cocktail party going on in the other room. Also, the narrator doesn't do different voices; her men especially are completely unconvincing.
"Personal bias review!"
This is my favorite of Jane Austen's six novels. I think it's because the passion is so English-ly understated throughout until the end where it veritably explodes off the page with first Anne's appeal to Captain Harville and culminating in Captain Wentworth's letter to Anne. (To receive a letter from the kind of quietly confident man that can carry off a line like "You pierce my soul" would be rather, shall we say, motivating.) One can easily commiserate with the desperation Anne feels to make sure she does not lose yet another chance with him. I rather like to think Miss Austen was relieved as well when Anne caught him. Perhaps it's only because my own interpretation of intonation differs from the author's that I find her narration a bit off the mark. I felt as though Ms. Masters missed the whole point of persuasion as a theme.
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