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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Em is a Gem !!??
This novel - after a little adjustment to the style of writing if not accustomed to Austen - makes a marvellous read ! Emma is feisty, warm, witty and mischievous - but not without fault. One finds oneself caught up in the characterisation of Emma and quickly realise that the themes of pride, perception and prejudice ( Austen's speciality ) run throughout.

The...
Published on 6 Feb 2007 by Clinty

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This is an abridged version: website description not clear enough.
I passed this on to a friend as I wanted an unabridged version. The website description should make it clearer that this is abridged.
Published 9 months ago by Mrs Hilary F Brown


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Em is a Gem !!??, 6 Feb 2007
By 
This novel - after a little adjustment to the style of writing if not accustomed to Austen - makes a marvellous read ! Emma is feisty, warm, witty and mischievous - but not without fault. One finds oneself caught up in the characterisation of Emma and quickly realise that the themes of pride, perception and prejudice ( Austen's speciality ) run throughout.

The reader really is only meant to see events from Emma's point of view - she is the heroine afterall. Her personality carries this novel - she is amusing, clever and inspiring - she has a good nature, is not too egotistical and is willing to learn from her mistakes.

My fave Jane Austen novel - with bouncy, flowing dialogue, an interesting main character and clever subversive story that does not reveal too much all at once, but allows the reader to indulge in the interraction of characters.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A timeless classic, but also a very, very clever book, 30 Jun 2002
What can I add about this jewel of a book.
I first read it as a A level student in 1982, and did not know quite what to expect, having read no Austen before. What a revealation it was, the characterisation and pacing of the novel are as close to perfection as I have ever encountered.
Surely no writer can ever have matched Ms Austen for her consummate use of dialogue, and often what is implied says so much more than what is stated, a difficult technique.
Particular favourites of mine are Mr Wodehouse, and his constant fear of illness and draghts, and the verbal excesses of Miss Bates, both instantly recognisable characters.
If you do not know the plot, I won't reveal it, but heartily recommend this glorious read to anybody of any age.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jane Austen's best novel!, 10 May 2013
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I love, Jane Austen and keep reading her novels.
Her characters are so, so extraordinary, from unexceptional heroes to highly comic secondary characters. They are so much "like in real life", and at the same time, so mightly interesting, and thoroughly (but never boringly) described, that many cannot believe Jane Austen invented them, and try to imagine her own family and friends used as models.
Emma is highly entertaining from the beginning, but as for any of Jane Austen novels, I would say : highly entertaining for people who like to read real books of real litterature; if you don't, you can try Emma because it is funnier (Jane Austen sparkling humour) but you may like it... or not.
There is one particularity : we see the heroin, in the severest light, which makes that many don't make out her real, good qualities and overrate her (real, too;..) faults.
This Penguin edition has a pleasant cover, correct paper but no note at all, which surprised me.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Handsome, clever and rich", 10 April 2012
Ah, the original feel-good romantic comedy. Snotty and arrogant Emma Woodhouse, takes it upon herself to arrange the love lives of her friends and neighbours in quiet and dreary Highbury. Is she as clever as she thinks she is?

This is a book that you probably feel you have read, even if you haven't. The plot and characters have been borrowed by two dozen TV and film adaptations, plus many hundreds (thousands?) of romantic novels. To escape these, you probably need to move to North Korea. So you already know the story, the characters, and the ending. Is it worth reading the novel?

Hell yes. This is one of the funniest books ever written. Jane Austin's piercing dry wit runs through every page, striking at the brilliant and believable characters, ridiculing the banality of village life, and achieving a perfect balance of humour, sympathy and wisdom. People who don't like this book typically raise two criticisms: the heroine is irritating, and nothing happens. Personally, I find Emma funny because she is so irritating. As for 'nothing happens', well that's true, except for the intimate portrayal of a whole community, in which half a dozen people fall in love.

Who bought Jane Fairfax the harpsichord? Will Frank Churchill visit Highbury? Will Miss Bates shut up? The characters are entirely convincing; they more or less jump out of the book and offer you a cup of tea. Time and again, I found myself thinking 'I know someone like that', and the best character of all is the flawed and incompetent heroine. Good characters don't have to be likable, but they better be interesting.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover., 5 Feb 2011
Good Points:

~Elegant cover design (in my favourite colour).
~Is hardy and wont damage easily, will look pristine for years.
~Has a in-built bookmark.
~Gives a history of Jane Austen (including chronology an a section called 'The Penguin Edition of the Novels of Jane Austen'.
~Gives a short history of Penguin Classics.
~Has all the really useful notes on the text in the back, and gives all the 'Emendations to the Text' in the back also.

Bad Points:

~Would be really useful to have two in-built bookmarks: one for the text and one for the notes in the back, to save time flicking through the notes constantly.

Review:

People looking to buy this book will most likely fall into one of two categories; those that have read Emma before, love it, and want a binding of the book that will last forever, and those that have never read Emma, always wanted to, and loved the look of the cover on this version. For those that have read the book you will be happy to hear that I will not be doing a long review of the story, as this would read much like an English Lit. essay, and that is not why you are reading this. For those that have never read the book, all I can say is that you will not be disappointed if you are familiar with reading books from this period.

The key thing that sets this book apart from the others is surely the binding. It really is beautifully done, and is of a very high standard, well worth the extra £5 on other paperback editions. If you are like me, and have to keep your books looking pristine (by not bending the spine on paperbacks) then it will be a relief to know that its almost impossible to make this book look bashed. Unless you get water on it. Don't put it in your handbag with a leaky flask like I did, as it will be watermarked. The little chair design by Coralie Bickford-Smith is superb, and looks brilliant on my bookshelf, much better than the plain looking black spines of the other penguin bindings. The paper is also of a very high gsm compared with cheaper versions so is less likely to spoil also. My only worry is that the cover may fade in sunlight, so I have put mine on a bookshelf I have in my hallway (where there is no windows, and so no damaging sunlight).

The introduction and notes are by Fiona Stafford and are interesting to read once you have read through the book. I guess these notes and introduction would be very useful for people reading this book for academic purposes.

Conclusion:

You will be putting this book in your will, it will last that long no matter how many times you read it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful - but do consider paying a little extra for the Kindle Whispersync for Voice Combination, 7 Sep 2014
By 
Susie B - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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"Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition" is the twenty-one-year-old heroine of Jane Austen's wonderful novel: 'Emma' set in the village of Highbury. Having decided to remain unmarried herself, Emma delights in match-making amongst her friends and neighbours, and with one success already under her belt, with the marriage of her governess to an eligible gentleman neighbour, Emma sets out to help things along in the matrimonial field with her new friend, Harriet, and the vicar, Mr Elton, against the advice of her good friend, Mr Knightley. Mr Elton, however, has other ideas and has his mind set on quite a different partner and hence the road to romance does not quite go the way Emma had planned. And then a very suitable and seemingly eligible young man for Emma arrives in Highbury, and is keen to make himself amenable to our heroine, but this young man is hiding a secret, which when finally revealed, shocks Emma and everyone around her....

From an author who really needs no introduction, this witty, beautifully written and deftly composed story is a delight from start to finish. Emma is a marvellous (if sometimes slightly irritating) heroine, and most of the other characters are a delight, including Emma's hypochondriac father and the very garrulous Miss Bates. Wonderfully amusing this is a novel to read and reread - however the main purpose of this review is to talk about the Kindle Whispersync for Voice combination. If you buy the Kindle version for a very low price (some versions are free of charge, as is this one: Emma) you are now able to download the audio version: Emma (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:Emma (Vintage Classics Austen Series) as a gift for someone, and found I had 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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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I seem to have been doomed to blindness.", 21 Jun 2004
By 
Mary Whipple (New England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Emma Woodhouse, "handsome, clever, and rich," is the 21-year-old daughter of the elderly owner of Hartfield, the largest estate in Highbury. Though only a couple of hours away from London by carriage, Highbury regards itself as an isolated and virtually self-contained community, with the Woodhouse family the center of social life and at the top of its social ladder. Emma, doting on her hypochondriac father, whom she represents to the outside world, has grown up without a mother's softening influence, and at twenty-one, she is bright, willful, and not a little spoiled. Having too little to do to keep out of trouble, Emma's hobby is matchmaking, "the greatest amusement in the world,." Unfortunately, her sophistication in the social graces does not extend to much insight into human beings.
Taking Harriet Smith, a young woman of "questionable birth" under her wing, Emma makes Harriet her "project," educating her in the social graces, convincing Harriet not to marry farmer Robert Martin, who has courted her, and ultimately persuading Harriet, wrongly, that the vicar, Mr. Elton, is falling in love with her. Bored and without a large circle of "suitable" friends, Emma is an incorrigible meddler, playing with the lives of those around her, snubbing those she considers inferior, gossiping about others in an attempt to divert attention to herself, and misreading intentions. Only Mr. Knightly, sixteen years older than Emma and a friend of her father, stands up to Emma and tells her what he thinks of her behavior, and it is through him that she eventually begins to grow.
Love and the formal protocol or marriage are a major focus here, with marriage more often a merger of "appropriate" families than the result of romance or passion. Class distinctions, acknowledged by all levels of society, limit both personal friendships and romantic possibilities, and as Emma's matchmaking fails again and again, causing grief to many of her victims, Emma begins to recognize that her pride, willfulness, and love of power over others have made her oblivious to her own faults. Austen shines in her depiction of Emma and her upperclass friends, gently satirizing their weaknesses but leaving room for them to learn from their mistakes--if only they can learn to recognize the ironies in their lives. Though Emma may be, in some ways, Austen's least charming heroine, she is certainly vibrant and, with her annoying faults, a most realistic one. Mary Whipple
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My mother's favourite book, 5 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Emma (Large Print) (Paperback)
Its my 92 year old Mother's favourite book. Her copy was one she had as a school prize and
print was too small for her to read now so I was delighted to find this large print copy and she was very happy to be able to read it again.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful, accomplished, witty, deviously good, 29 May 2000
By 
Raina (Vienna, Austria) - See all my reviews
Emma is the most accomplished and arguably the best of Jane Austen's novels. also, it is the most subtle. While one cannot approve of Emma's actions one can hardly escape liking her in spite of herself. As a story, it is charming, witty and intelligent, as a piece of art it is perfect. Naturally biased as I am by my enjoyment of it, this book is highly entertaining and wonderfully revealing about it's time and setting at once.Emma is social satire and entertaining storytelling at it's best and most perfect symbiosis.A must-read for any fan of old English literature.Since Jane Austen was the master of the romantic satire, this her most characteristic work is another example of the overcoming of the seeming oxymoron Romance-Satire. Ridiculing literary cliché though never to the extent of rendering her own art absurd, she takes very unromantic people and makes them susceptible to the imaginations of Romanticist Emma, who, through her delusions, brings all sorts of chaos into the tranquil neighbourhood before eventually falling prey to her own notions and foolishness in getting the man she wants through his supposed love for another. Nonwithstanding Emma's meddlings the novel ends well and everyone ends up where he or she is supposed to be, including herself. Though I am warning those who need great passion, gothic events and grand drama, read Charlotte Bronte, for here you find only, romantic comedy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More a coming-of-age novel than a romance, 27 Feb 2010
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
In Emma Austen tried to create a heroine who no-one would like but herself - and certainly failed! Emma is charming but so convinced of her own total ability to be right that she can't help but be utterly wrong. Her growth to a fuller understanding of herself and to a new kind of maturity makes this one of the richest Austens in my view.

This also contains some of the best secondary characters ever: the wonderful, awful, touching Miss Bates; the enigmatic Jane Fairfax; the Churchills.

Less witty and somehow darker than Pride and Prejudice (witness the unthinking cruelty of Emma at Box Hill) this is almost more a coming-of-age novel than a romance - although Mr Knightley is one of my favourite heroes after Captain Wentworth.

Superb.
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