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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and magnificent
While the various cinema and television dramatisations of her books have deservedly contributed to making Jane Austen known and loved beyond the study of her writing in the classroom, it would be a shame to settle for the adaptations and never read those exquisitely written novels.
I have just reread "Sense and Sensibility" and have once again marvelled at the...
Published on 15 Mar 2005 by jfp2006

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A treat!
I was quite surprised to find myself reading this. Despite having done English A level I've managed to avoid the whole world of C19th women's novels until now. Having nagged my kids that they ought to read more classics, I thought I'd better give it a go myself. I struggled through the first fifty or so pages - the world Austen writes about is almost as far...
Published on 12 Feb 2006 by Jezza


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and magnificent, 15 Mar 2005
By 
jfp2006 (PARIS/France) - See all my reviews
While the various cinema and television dramatisations of her books have deservedly contributed to making Jane Austen known and loved beyond the study of her writing in the classroom, it would be a shame to settle for the adaptations and never read those exquisitely written novels.
I have just reread "Sense and Sensibility" and have once again marvelled at the absolute masterliness of Jane Austen's depiction of human feelings, hesitations and dilemmas. Young ladies in 2005 may not make their emotional choices in the same way as Elinor and Marianne Dashwood had to do two hundred years ago, but few contemporary writers show the complexity of emotional relationships with the same precision and insight as Jane Austen. Then as now, the most irresistible men on the surface turn out, like Willougby, to be the most unsuitable ones when you get to know them (and that doesn't make them any less irresistible...); then as now, parents (Mrs Frears) tend to be domineering and unbearable, and yet a part of the equation to be reckoned with; then as now, it may be a good idea to realise that people are very often less predictable than they at first seemed...
But then - and very often not now... - there was the way Jane Austen plotted it all out and honed her sentences like chisels, so that the novel begs to be read aloud.
As of course it would have been once. For those who never have, time to switch off the TV and launch into Jane Austen. Start with this one; take sides with Marianne and with Elinor, marvel at how comic characters like jovial Mrs Jennings and bimbo-ish, semi-literate Lucy Steele remind you of people still very much at large today. Then treat yourself to the even more wonderful "Pride and Prejudice". And then all the others. And bemoan the fact there are only six of them (plus a couple of bits...) And then start all over again.
Magnificent.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sense dictates you buy this CD, 27 Oct 2008
By 
MG Eldridge (Anywhere but Bath) - See all my reviews
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This is a short review of the product not the book.

It is superbly read by Ms Stevenson (as in her reading of "Persuasion") - once more every word and inflection counts. The characters - well or less ably drawn - live. Miss Austen's often stringent wit comes through repeatedly, as does her understanding of her gender. I can't think of a better way to make a series of long car journeys a delightful prospect!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Duty and desire, 9 Jun 2010
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Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
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This is an excellent pocket sized edition of Jane Austen's first novel. The type is clear and a reasonable size and the book is nicely produced with an interesting introduction.

Elinor and Marianne are good examples of how two sisters can be completely different in character and temperament. Elinor is the sensible cautious sister and Marianne the romantic and sensitive one who delights in wild landscapes and feeling heartbroken or elated. I always love the way both sisters deal with adversity. Elinor seeks to keep her feelings to herself and to find occupations to take her mind of what has happened; Marianne wallows in disappointment and doesn't try to overcome her feelings. There are parallels to be drawn here with modern society which encourages people to let their feelings all `hang out' and with say the 1950s where there was more emphasis on duty, putting others first and dealing with your own disappointments.

As ever Jane Austen's dialogue and descriptions delight the reader. There are comic and serious characters; the good natured Mrs Jennings and the unpleasant Mrs Ferrars; the reliable and thoughtful Colonel Brandon and the completely unreliable John Willoughby. While not the most popular of Austen's novels it is still very readable and a delight to anyone who loves her work.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book, 3 Jan 2010
By 
L. Gribble (Plymouth, UK) - See all my reviews
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What can I say, a great classic (my favourite!) and it looks and feels amazing with the new cover.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For me, anything Jane Austen is just great, 19 Nov 2006
This is my second favourite Jane Austen's novel after Pride and Prejudice. As usual, i find Jane Austen's style amazing, I loved many characters in the book specially Marian, i always found something charming about this girl much more charming than her sister..Her emotions are very deep, she loves deeply, grieves deeply, even her prejudice is deep. I felt very sorry for her for even though she married but it seemed to me like she will never love anyone like she loved willoughby. I first read this book in 2000, i read it again last year and i enjoyed it as if i was reading it for the first time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jane Austen's First Look at English Society, 11 April 2006
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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Most people who have read Jane Austen will have read Pride and Prejudice. With a title like Sense and Sensibility, most readers will assume that the two books can be interpreted and enjoyed in the same way. Other than having three word titles that employ alliteration in the first and third words, the two novels are more different than similar.
While Pride and Prejudice is primarily about miscommunication, Sense and Sensibility is about the maturation of two sisters as they find themselves confronted by adversity. The former topic allows Ms. Austen more room to roam, but within the later topic she has plenty of opportunities to display her story telling and comic talents. While maturation is an important sub theme in Pride and Prejudice, you see maturation better developed in Sense and Sensibility.
When their father dies, Elinor, Marianne and Margaret find themselves in exile from their family home with their mother. The family estate had been left to their half brother whom their father exhorted to take care of them. But that promise is soon diluted into doing almost nothing through the selfishness of his wife and his vacillation. A relative kindly offers them a country cottage near his home and takes obvious pleasure in their company.
In this new home, Elinor finds herself entertaining the welcome attentions of Edward Ferrars. Her sister, Marianne, is all aflutter over John Willoughby who seems to be committed to her. In fact, everyone assumes that there will soon be wedding bells for Marianne and Willoughby.
All of these pleasant connections are, however, soon disrupted. Willoughby leaves and ignores Marianne. Elinor finds out an unexpected secret about Ferrars that puts her on her caution in pursuing their relationship. As these complications develop, Marianne soon finds herself distraught. Elinor steps into the breach to try to help her sister regain her equilibrium. Both learn what a broken heart can feel like and adjust in their own separate ways.
In vintage Jane Austen style, all bets are off near the end of the book as characters take unexpected steps that open up new possibilities. There's no one quite like Jane Austen for pulling great twists in her romantic comedies. These twists will cause your jaw to drop.
Try not to compare this book to Pride and Prejudice. It's clearly a lesser work, but one that can certainly be enjoyed in its own right.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Marvellous Read - but if you have a Kindle, do consider the Kindle Whispersync for Voice Combination, 9 Sep 2014
By 
Susie B - See all my reviews
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The Dashwood sisters: calm, sensible Elinor, and impetuous and passionate Marianne, are forced to leave their home, Norland Park, after the death of their father when the family estate is left to their half-brother, John. Elinor is especially reluctant to leave Norland, as she has become rather close to a kind but diffident young man, Edward Ferrars, who is the brother of John's grasping wife, Fanny. With their mother and much younger sister, Margaret, Elinor and Marianne move into a large cottage in the grounds of Barton Park, the home of a kind and generous distant relative, where they meet retired officer and gentleman, the gallant Colonel Brandon, and the dashing, handsome, but unreliable, Mr Willoughby. Later, Elinor is introduced to the seemingly affable Lucy Steele, who does her utmost to ingratiate herself with the Dashwood girls, especially Elinor - however, Lucy has a secret that when revealed is particularly injurious to Elinor, and when Marianne also has her heart broken, Elinor struggles to keep a calm head and cope with the onslaught of emotions that suddenly befall her.

A real pleasure to read, this is a beautifully written, sensitive, yet witty and very entertaining novel, complete with a host of manipulative, deceitful and grasping supporting characters, who contrast well with the sensitive and sensible Elinor and her intimates. I have been reading and re-reading Jane Austen's novels for many years and I cannot remember how many times I have read and enjoyed this story - but one of the main purposes of this review is to talk about the Kindle Whispersync for Voice combination. If you buy one of the Kindle versions, several of which are priced at less than fifty pence, you are now able to download the audio version:Sense and Sensibility (Unabridged) for a couple of pounds (at the time of writing), therefore saving yourself a small fortune. You can switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible audiobook without ever losing your place. I bought the Kindle and audio download combination after buying the lovely new paperback version: Sense and Sensibility (Vintage Classics Austen Series) as a gift for someone, which gave me the urge to reread my own copy - however not wanting to break off from my current read, I decided to try the audio download and listened to it happily whilst travelling/gardening etc. Juliet Stevenson's accomplished narration is enjoyable and easy to listen to - she uses a variety of voices for the different protagonists, and although Jane Austen's wonderful writing speaks for itself, Juliet Stevenson's rendition makes each character come even more alive, making this an entertaining and satisfying listening experience.

5 Stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic - Austen does it again!, 3 April 2008
I finished this book on the train this morning, and the last 40 or so pages made it all worth it. I'd only read two Austens prior to this - Persuasion and the wonderful Pride and Prejudice which, coupled with the Colin Firth TV adaptation, is probably my all time favourite. I tried to keep and open mind and not try to compare them too much. However, this is a very different book. It has a much more serious, sombre tone - of course with Austen's trademark comedic characters thrown in! If you've never read an Austen before, I would recommend starting with this one.

The similarity in plot, at least, occurs at the beginning of the novel. Yet again we see the injustice of the period which dictated that family estates could not pass to female offspring, which meant homes sometimes passing to distant male relatives and the females of the house being cast out. This forms the foundation of the plot - the events that occur following an enforced move to another part of the country, the characters encountered and the trials suffered by the two sisters.

I'd say that in terms of character development, S&S is a slow burner. As always, the women are more developed than the men. There is a vast range of players, each demonstrating the desirable and not so desirable aspects of human nature. Vanity, selfishness, artfulness and avarice are all expertly demonstrated. A great supporting character is the daft Mrs Jennings who is initially chided for her imprudence, but in the end shows her kindness and selflessness and proves herself to be invaluable to the two sisters. Another is the detestable Lucy Steele who plays the role of Elinor's tormentor. The skill of Austen is demonstrated here, I actually wanted to reach into the pages and strangle the girl! By the end of the book you can't help but feel a fondness and admiration for both Elinor and Marianne. This book tells the story of how they both react in the face of adversity. Elinor's fortitude and stoicism and Marianne's wanton abandon to her emotions; and at the end of the book Elinor's thawing and sympathy for the selfish scoundrel Willoughby and her ultimate blissful happiness and Marianne's maturing and growing self awareness which then leads to her happiness also, both showing an integrity not possessed by their peers. I can't go without giving the blokes a mention too...there's no Darcy here unfortunately but there is the wonderful Colonel Brandon, kind and considerate who spends the majority of the novel despairing of ever having the woman he loves.

This is a warm, funny, at times serious, insightful book with beautifully written characters and Austen's deft plot twists. Its a must read for new fans. I'm now looking forward to reading Emma!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, 29 Mar 2009
By 
C. L. Foster - See all my reviews
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Intially, I wasn't that impressed with Julie Christie's reading of Sense and Sensibility. It was sometimes harsh to listen to and unsubtle, but as it progressed Christie improved greatly. It is abridged and runs over 6 cds. It is a lovely cd to listen to, and of a great novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A class of her own, 19 Sep 2007
Many of those coming to 'S&S' for the first time will be reading it as a follow up to Pride and Prejudice, and if this is you then you won't be disappointed, although this is a very different story. There's rather more suffering here and sickness is a recurring theme, but with potentially better rewards at the end for both characters and readers.

I'd say the style is a little more formal than some of her other novels and as such it takes a bit longer to warm to the characters, but they are beautifully sketched and all show progression throughout.

Sense and Sensibility is a novel about learning to be happy when circumstances work against you and unexpected things happen. It's also a story of love, family, friendship and vanity, is extremely funny and Austen's trademark satirical eye is on every scene.

You'll like it if: you like karmic novels- people get what they deserve here!
You'll hate it if: you are looking for social commentary or a rounded historical viewpoint. Austen deals (very well) in the gentry alone and even though social standing is very important, the lower classes are distinctly brushed over.

I'm moving onto 'Emma' now and as P&P is my favourite book of all time the above parallels are praise indeed. Enjoy.
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Sense and Sensibility (Barnes & Noble Leatherbound Classic Collection)
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