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Austenland [Hardcover]

Shannon Hale
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)

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Book Description

29 May 2007

Jane is a young New York woman who can never seem to find the right man-perhaps because of her secret obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. When a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-obsessed women, however, Jane's fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become more real than she ever could have imagined. Is this total immersion in a fake Austenland enough to make Jane kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr. Darcy of her own?

In this addictive, charming and compassionate story, Shannon Hale brings out the Jane Austen obsessive in all of us.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 197 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (29 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596912855
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596912854
  • Product Dimensions: 21.9 x 14.6 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,219,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Adorable! This is the best tribute to obsessed Austen freaks (like me) that I've ever read (Stephenie Meyer)

Gloriously satisfying. (Glamour)

Allow me to direct you to the best Austen tribute since Karen Joy Fowler's The Jane Austen Book Club: Shannon Hale's clever and imaginative Austenland ... Hale's charming first book for adults is chick lit with soul (Bookpage)

Funny, moving and a real surprise (USA Today) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

The funny, charming novel set at a Jane Austen fantasy camp for women, from New York Times-bestselling author Shannon Hale. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun! 9 Dec 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am always fascinated by Jane Austen related books so I had to give this one a try. The idea is an intriguing one. Jane Hayes is obsessed with all things Austen. Her great aunt feels she will never find happiness unless she gets over her obsession and stops comparing every man she meets with Mr Darcy. When she dies she leaves Jane an all expenses paid trip to England to spend three weeks in a country house living like Jane Austen's heroines did to try and rid her of her obsession.

Jane is renamed Jane Erstwhile and finds herself amongst a group of people - some of whom are actors and some are, like her, on holiday. She is kitted out with appropriate clothes and given a whole sheaf of instructions about how to behave. At first Jane finds it all a bit difficult and considers giving up and going home. But then she finds herself sinking into the whole experience. I thought the tension between the real people and the fantasy was very well done. I did enjoy the book and like Jane I found myself confused between whether people were acting in character or being themselves. I loved the idea of `Austenland' and wonder whether there really are such experiences available.

Overall this is an intriguing book and I liked the characters - especially trying to work out whether people were acting in character or being themselves. The dialogue was realistic and could have come from an historical novel set in the early 19th century. I found the emotions Jane experienced convincing and I loved the ending - it's absolutely perfect. Yes there are minor inaccuracies but they didn't spoil my enjoyment of the book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Austenland 25 Aug 2010
By Lisa
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was a little hesitant about buying this book, as some of the reviews are not good at all. Eventually, I decided to give it a shot, and it was money well spent. The right mix of silliness and feel-good, with the true passion for Austen that makes it feel inspired. For all the Mr Darcy lovers out there...and all those who'd like a light but good summer read.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good idea but average execution 2 Feb 2013
By Bron
Jane is willed a holiday in Austenland by her great aunt who observes her obsession with Pride and Prejudice and her lack of successful relationships - Austenland where you can live out your favourite Jane Austen book fantasy in costume, manners, outings and men. At first Jane is ambivalent about immersing herself in the fantasy and tries to find something real to cling on to but she then decides to live the fantasy to its fullest in an effort to say goodbye to her desire for a Darcy ideal man.

The idea of the book is good but the plot is thin and there is not enough character development. The romantic ending is predictable but still surprising because the attraction between the characters is not shown with sufficient strength.

There are a few glaring mistakes such as the character who says he is from Sheffield and therefore obviously supports Man U!

A sweet book, but the idea could have been built into a better and more satisfying result.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FAVORITE BOOK ALERT! 6 Nov 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I have only just moments ago finished Austenland and I am still in its lovely bubble. I feel euphoric actually. Like I have taken a drug and don't ever want to stop. Shannon Hale is a master writer. Not to mention she is hilarious. Bravo to her. I don't know how she did it? How did she make me feel like I was seconds from getting my first kiss. You remember the feeling? You're feeling lightheaded, butterflies are going rampant in your stomach, and your breath is quickening. Yet, you are holding it for fear the moment will pass without you having that special kiss you long for? I remember that feeling, and it is in full glory throughout this book. I think I felt breathless for more than half of the book. I think this is the feeling, the reason, we women are addicted to all things Jane Austen. No need for smutty details in books, the light touch of his hand on the small of her back was enough to get me going!

I can not adequately express how much I enjoyed this book. I was fully engrossed in every page, and I think I'm going to have to have me a Jane Austen movie fest with the baby today. I'm in love with Mr. Nobely as much as I am in love with Mr.Darcy, and that is hard to do!

The dedication to the books read: "For Colin Firth: You're a really great guy, but I'm married, so I think we should just be friends." Isn't that hilarious!! Ha! My sister Amy said her dedication would read like this: "For Colin Firth, I'm already married, but I'd give it all up for you! Call me!"

Austenland is currently being made into a movie starring Kerri Russel and JJ Fields. Produced and financed by Stephenie Meyer. LOVE! I can't wait to see it!

"What are you doing?"
"Ya!" said Jane, whirling around, her hands held up menacingly.
It was Mr.
Read more ›
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good fun read 3 Feb 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a big Austen fan I was excited to read this book, I love the idea of Austenland where you can pretend to be a character in one of the books. I liked Jane, with her Mr Darcy obsession, and determination to get over it and concentrate on real life. She is bequeathed a holiday at Austenland by her great aunt and sets off to England to see if it will help her move on from Mr Darcy. She finds a strange mixture of people, some fellow tourists and others actors playing their prescribed parts. As she struggles to adapt to the way of life she begins to develop friendships, but are they real friends or just acting? This is a great, light-hearted read and I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of both Austen and chic-lit.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, Flirtation and Fakery
i enjoyed this book. It was light-hearted fun, which is exactly what a girl needs sometimes. However, I had heard of the book and film before and my perception was a bit skewed. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Marie Price
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
Such a sweet and fun book. I loved it. I loved the characters and the story. It did take me a little while to get into the story but once Jane arrived in Austenland the story... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Angelcake
5.0 out of 5 stars if you saw the film, you gotta get this book.
got this book to go with the dvd and I love the fact it has the film cover on it. one very happy customer.
Published 1 month ago by nefertiri
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable.
I enjoyed this one and read it in one sitting. I did see the film first and I liked the film more than this. The ending in particular was more effective in the film. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kelly Ryan
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Ordered as soon as found out about it - excellent
Published 2 months ago by Lesley
2.0 out of 5 stars it doesn't necessarily mean I will love it. Just not my thing
One day I will learn the lesson that just because it says Austen, it doesn't necessarily mean I will love it. Just not my thing, although I've heard other people say they love it.
Published 2 months ago by DebsMcG
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
good read
Published 2 months ago by leylandlass
5.0 out of 5 stars Super!
Great read. Couldn't put it down! A perfect read for all Darcy lovers! Can't wait to read Austenland 2 now!
Published 3 months ago by Julie McClean
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love this film, very witty, not to be taken too seriously. A little bit of escapism.
Published 3 months ago by J. M. Leftwich
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother.
Completely missed the mark on all fronts. Well written but the content and it's construction lets it down.
Published 3 months ago by D. J. Charnock
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