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Northanger Abbey [Kindle Edition]

Val McDermid
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (194 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Book Description

Jane Austen in the hands of queen of crime, Val McDermid. Get ready for a very different Northanger Abbey.

Seventeen-year-old Catherine ‘Cat’ Morland has led a sheltered existence in rural Dorset, a life entirely bereft of the romance and excitement for which she yearns. So when Cat’s wealthy neighbours, the Allens, invite her to Edinburgh Festival, she is sure adventure beckons.

Edinburgh initially offers no such thrills: Susie Allen is obsessed by shopping, Andrew Allen by the Fringe. A Highland Dance class, though, brings Cat a new acquaintance: Henry Tilney, a pale, dark-eyed gentleman whose family home, Northanger Abbey, sounds perfectly thrilling. And an introduction to Bella Thorpe, who shares her passion for supernatural novels, provides Cat with a like-minded friend. But with Bella comes her brother John, an obnoxious banker whose vulgar behaviour seems designed to thwart Cat’s growing fondness for Henry.

Happily, rescue is at hand. The rigidly formal General Tilney invites her to stay at Northanger with son Henry and daughter Eleanor. Cat’s imagination runs riot: an ancient abbey, crumbling turrets, secret chambers, ghosts…and Henry! What could be more deliciously romantic?

But Cat gets far more than she bargained for in this isolated corner of the Scottish Borders. The real world outside the pages of a novel proves to be altogether more disturbing than the imagined world within…

Product Description


Praise for Northanger Abbey:

'Val McDermid’s brilliant re-working of Jane Austen’s original shows that innocent, bookish girls in thrall to the supernatural have changed surprisingly little in two centuries. Witty and shrewd, full of romance and skulduggery – I loved it.'

‘Brilliant… I was utterly charmed by this newfangled Austen and look forward eagerly to Alexander McCall Smith’s Emma’
John Sutherland, Financial Times

‘Funny and brilliantly written’ Jenny Colgan, Guardian

‘Northanger Abbey is funny, clever, subversive and Scottish. No bonnets – all brio’

‘I picked up Northanger Abbey one evening and didn’t stop reading until I’d finished it. It’s an exquisitely realised tale of the uncertainty and brutality of teenage years told with the lightness of touch and humour that Val is famous for. Utter brilliance from McDermid’ SUSAN CALMAN

‘McDermid’s reworking of the original novel is intelligent, amusing and well-written… captures beautifully how it feels to be a teenager… McDermid is a subtle and witty writer and it’s hard to imagine a better evocation of the spirit of the original.’ THE TIMES

‘A fun rendering… McDermid’s Abbey, with its passageways and dark corners, is fantastic, and this novel is a lark.’ SUNDAY TIMES

‘McDermid’s great virtue is to have made Austen’s characters seem fresh in the way they would have been for her first readers… I can imagine Jane herself applauding.’ SUNDAY EXPRESS

‘Note perfect… breezy, vital, inventive… Her obvious pleasure in the task is as contagious as Austen’s wit.’ THE SCOTSMAN

Praise for The Austen Project:

‘The Austen Project is a breathtaking tribute to Jane Austen. I can’t wait to read the other five “updates” while being reminded to reread, joyfully, the originals’ Washington Post

About the Author

Val McDermid is the author of twenty-five bestselling novels, which have been translated into thirty languages, and have sold over ten million copies. She has won many awards internationally, including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year. She was inducted into the ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame in 2009 and was the recipient of the CWA Diamond Dagger in 2010, awarded for sustained excellence and significant contribution to crime fiction. She has a son and a dog, and lives in the north of England.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1092 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • Publisher: The Borough Press (27 Mar. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (194 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,561 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Val McDermid grew up in a Scottish mining community then read English at Oxford. She was a journalist for sixteen years, spending the last three as Northern Bureau Chief of a national Sunday tabloid. She divides her time between Northumberland and Cheshire

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By rhosymynydd VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was a little taken aback seeing Northanger Abbey, the well known Jane Austen novel, recreated in modernity by Val McDermid.
Val McDermid is better known for her wonderful thrillers, not the least of which is the Tony Hill series. Her ability in these, to draw the reader in, to take them to the top of the plot and create terrific endings is well known. I was thus intruiged to see what Ms McDermid had done with the second in "The Austen Project" (a plan for six well known current authors to rewrite Jane Austen in a modern day setting. The first was Joanna Trollope writing her version of "Sense and Sensibility" which I am sorry to say I did not entirely see in parity).

In Northanger Abbey Joanna Morland, a typical teen of our times, although a little more restrained than most I know. She is taken off to the Edinburgh Festival where she meets new friends She fantastises about that General Tilnys have murdered his wife and that vampires abound - lovers of twilight wil appreciate this. There is a lot of textspeak (txtspk) and other linguistic material favoured by today's youth but this is in keeping with the book. I felt that I could in fact divorce this edition with both Val McDermid as its author and from Northanger Abbey as a stand alone novel. It is funny, it is a light-hearted quick read and enjoyable to an extent. Taken as that it is a good example of modern novella, bordering on chic-lit.

I could not in all conscience, award it 5 stars, as I felt some of the parity with the original and a great deal of McDermid's usual abilities to keep the reader entranced were missing(However, giving her the benefit of the doubt, I put this down to my age and my normal reading demands). It is well worth a read, even if you are neither an Austen of McDermid fan. It was certainly a definite improvement on the rather boring Joanna Trollope update of Sense and Sensibility.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Trying too hard...? 5 April 2014
By Simon Tavener VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In all honesty, I am not certain what the point is of taking a well-loved classic and asking a contemporary writer to re-imagine it for a modern audience. If you love the original, you are never going to be satisfied with any reworking and if you don't, there is no real reason for a new reader to select it from the thousands of other titles on offer.

Val McDermid has an unenviable reputation for her work as a crime author - and I get a strong sense of her love of Austen. But it feels as if she is having to try too hard to become a modern Austen. Her prose is readable - but you can also see the effort involved.

This is a perfectly pleasant reading experience - but doesn't really bring any fresh insight into the original novel.

I won't be bothering with any others in the project - but I will still read a McDermid crime tale!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back to the Abbey 17 Jun. 2014
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The original novel was probably my least favourite of the original full Austen novels, and I was unsure how this book would go. I was pleasantly surprised. I like how Val McDermid brought social networking into a novel where misunderstandings and miscommunication often occur. Cat Moreland is still naïve, but she is young and we are happy to indulger her.

The original cast are also (for the most part) quite happy in their new surroundings of 21st century Edinburgh during the festival, rather than early nineteenth century Bath. I struggled slightly with the imposing General Tilney, who seemed too old-fashioned and out of touch for modern Britain.

Cat Moreland is just a teenager, with teenage issues and interests, and the new setting could make those teenage issues seem more relatable to a new, younger reader. The themes are, after all, the same. It’s just that they didn’t have Facebook in the early nineteenth century. I like how McDermid tackled these new problems whilst still keeping to the original premise of the book and still coming out with an enjoyable read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I loved the cover of the "Northanger Abbey" (and the praise of J.K. Rowling on its cover enticed me further!). But what a disappointment this book was. Written for the project where famous (and not so famous) authors come up with "updated" versions of Jane Austen's novels, I cringed all the way through the book, and have nothing but sadness and a feeling of certainty that Regency novels are better left to Ms Austen. What a shame!

The characters are ridiculous. The story unbelievable. The gothic factor terribly mocked with the main character's obsession on vampires and strong belief that her love interest and his family are creatures of death. The most amazing thing - nothing really happens... The last quarter of the books is filled with "scandals" and "drama". What a cringe!

Please save yourself - go read original instead!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun modern version 6 April 2014
By Kathryn Eastman VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I think Val McDermid did a good job with this modern take on Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey. In my opinion, this, the second book in the Austen Project series, was more successful than Joanna Trollope's version of Sense and Sensibility which didn't work nearly as well for me. (That said, I think Joanna Trollope had by far the harder time of it tackling a book dependent upon entailed estates and having to marry for fortune and/or status at a time where that is no longer an issue in modern Britain and men and women can both work and determine their own futures.)

I thought some of the touches here were very well done: the fact that Cat Morland is home-schooled by a protective mother and has a clergyman father means that she can credibly be a similarly naive girl to the one in Jane Austen's original novel. She has filled her head and her imagination from the novels that she's read and this hasn't really been checked or tempered in any way by either her parents or enough contact with other kids and wider society. She's had a sheltered upbringing in a small village. It was important for that part of her character to remain intact in this version and it's hard to imagine the circumstances in which a modern teenager would be all that naive, if she went to school. So that worked.

I also liked that instead of heading towards the spa town of Bath, Val McDermid chose to move the setting to the Edinburgh Festival, which is a long enough event for the action to take place and a place where all ages would be likely to mix and go to events. Henry Tilney in this version is lawyer and John Thorpe works in the City and is full of himself.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 3 days ago by A
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Very disappointing... Expected so much more.
Published 7 days ago by Lillis
1.0 out of 5 stars What a ghastly piece of teen garbage. It has all the intellectual...
What a ghastly piece of teen garbage. It has all the intellectual depth and rigour of the average Twitter message. If you are over sixteen, forget it and buy something else. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Mr. R. Wilson Laidlaw
5.0 out of 5 stars Two of my favourite author - an excellent challenge
The Austen Project is an attempt to have Jane Austen's five novels rewritten and updated to a contemporary setting. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Anne
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Ploughed through this as I thought it was going to get better. It did but only the last few pages. Found the modern day storyline very annoying. Read more
Published 17 days ago by slow joe
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing
From a writer like Val McDermid, I expected a quality piece of writing. Instead, this reads like the worst kind of vapid chick-lit. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Avid reader
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Thought the book would be suitable for teens!
Published 19 days ago by Caroline Buckland
5.0 out of 5 stars Northanger Abbey
A thoroughly readable story successfully bringing Jane Austin up to date. Val McDermid's characterisation is as vivid as the original.
Published 29 days ago by S K Stewart
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
i quite enjoyed this but felt it was for a teen audience
Published 1 month ago by EmmaChops
1.0 out of 5 stars revised Northanger abbey
Not at all convincing! The plot did not transfer well to modern times and was not credible. Characters out of sync with modern life.
Published 1 month ago by lorraine salmon
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