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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 24 July 2011
I first bought this book in its Kindle version a week ago. To be honest, I wasn't really that keen on it. I was only persuaded to read it because I was new to the Kindle and didn't yet have a lot of books to read on it. I expected it to be tedious. I didn't find the title promising, for one thing. And for another, I had an not entirely unreasonable feeling that, since this is rather an old book, it would contain really hard language and strange words. I started off the first couple of chapters with an ill grace, but soon I was captivated by Jane Austen's excellently woven plot about family and relationships. I simply couldn't stop reading, and I was so absorbed in it that I lost track of the time. It is now my most favorite book, which is actually quite surprising because I had never imagined that anything could beat the Harry Potter novels. Also, the Kindle format is very good, with an active table of contents and everything.

The rough outline of the story is about high-ranking Mr. Darcy, who has a massive amount of wealth and middle-class Elizabeth Bennett, who has a determined prejudice against Mr. Darcy because of his pride. As the passion between them grows,it becomes more and more unlikely of their being united. I also really like the way it is all so realistic and makes you believe every word of the book. I won't go into the plot to spoil the surprise.

I've really enjoyed this book...more than anything that I have ever read before, and I hope you will read and enjoy it too. I really recommend this book to anyone over ten years of age. It is a great read... Unmissable!!
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on 26 June 2012
Yes, I know this is free so you can't expect much from a free book but why can't we have the full text? This is my favourite classic and I was looking forward to reading the e-version but feel I have been cheated. One of my reasons for getting a Kindle was the promise of free classics and now I'm finding it be a promise with hidden terms and conditions.
I'm sure this version is great for someone who has not read the book but many of us have. I knew by the first page something was missing from this version. Just be careful which edition you download!
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on 25 May 2004
I had the terrible misfortune to go to a school that insisted on making us read the most miserable old books for our English courses. For years afterwards I suffered under the assumption that anything labelled as a "classic" was certain to be grim and impenetrable, and I stuck to reading relatively modern novels.
I bless the day when I wrestled with my prejudice and picked up a friend's anthology of Austen's novels. I had heard plenty about Austen's "social observation" before. It's an unfortunate phrase, because it suggested to me that her writing would be interesting but a bit dry and academic. Not a bit of it.
All of the Austen novels I've read so far have been good, but Pride and Prejudice is head and shoulders above the rest and ranks as one of the most entertaining books I have ever read. The characters are fabulously drawn, from the odious Mr Collins and the vacuous Lydia to the blithe Mr Bingley and the truly heroic Lizzie Bennett. The book is wonderfully constructed, going through what seems to be fairly straightforward plot development before Mr Darcy's proposal puts the main protagonists through a second half full of suspense and heart-felt self-criticism. Austen's writing is clear, concise, full of acute observations and coloured with a wonderful sense of humour.
While the whole book is extremely satisfying, it is Lizzie who steals the show. Much has been made of Mr Darcy's sex appeal, but most red-blooded men would find hard to deny that Miss Bennett is a deeply fascinating and attractive woman. She is fabulous throughout, and the story is peppered with moments where she delivers some truly marvelous dialogue, not least her reaction to Mr Darcy's proposal and her interview with Lady Catherine (which almost had me cheering out loud on the train into work). Strong-willed, intelligent, good-looking and cool under pressure; what a woman.
A fabulous book. How I wish I had read it years ago.
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on 23 September 2003
elizabeth Bennet is a wilful, head strong girl, and when she first meets Mr Darcy she thinks him to be an arrogant, conceited man who dislikes her as much as she does him. when she later discovers that darcy has involved himself in the love affair of her sister jane and mr bingley, and the awful treatment of her newly discovered friend mr wickham, she is determined to hate him even more.
the story that follows is a delightfully funny and well observed tale of the dating game. and Austen's wonderful way of writing characters and there behaviour is absolutely captivating, before you know it you're drawn in to the story, willing Mr darcy and lizzie to realise how they truly feel!
for a casual reader who has not got the time to listen to the entire thing, i would recommend this as it runs at a quite comfortable 5 3/4 hours on 6 CD's. Joanna David's lovely honey voice carries you through and it draws you in, her voicing of Mrs Bennet is especially good.
however i would not recommend this for students as the book is abridged on these CD's, though the editing is done skilfully and the story lines carried nicely through the bits that are left out.
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on 3 December 2007
This was the first of Jane Austen's books I read and it remains my favourite. Pride and Prejudice is so well written, that a couple of hundred years down the line, it is still easy to understand and easy to relate to.

I love that each of the character's failings are brought out, it just makes them so very human! And yet despite being aware of Mr Darcy's pride and stiffness, Lydia's silliness, Mrs Bennett's complaints, etc, the reader is still drawn to them.

The dialogue, the description and the human touch throughout this lovely novel is what makes it timeless.

As an aside, this edition of the book is great as the author's original spelling has been left unchanged, and it's not full of appendixes and notes.
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on 18 August 2005
*Please don't vote on this review unless you were looking at the audiobook version or you will find the info irrelevant. It's not meant to be about the print editions, despite where Amazon may allow it to show!*

We listen to a lot of these audiobooks on long drives and I think this one has to be our favourite. As die hard 'P&P' fans, it appears often in our car.

It's beautifully read by the lady who plays Aunt Gardner in the 1995 BBC TV version and she makes a superb job of it. Her reading is full of feeling without being in the least over the top. Although she doesn't do a lot of *very* different voices to the degree that some readers do, she's easy to listen to and easy to follow. Volume is steady so you can listen in the car without the voice disappearing, (as on some....), then blowing you off your seat when you turn it right up!!

I think everyone knows the story, so that needs next to no comment in itself. Of course, it's abridged in this version, but very carefully done so that you don't miss any of the key parts and none of the characters are dropped as so often happens in film and TV versions.

Also good for listening whilst doing housework, chilling out, sun-bathing, public transport. Enjoy!=)
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on 8 November 2009
Please, if you have never read Emma, please do judge this book by any film or TV adaptation you may have seen. The classic mistake of adaptors is to squeeze out a plot where there is none, trying to turn it into another Pride and Prejudice. (I love P & P, but Emma is better.)

This novel is about characters and is a wickedly funny observation of the society, the manners and the daily lives of the early 19th century. It sparkles with humour.

This is a truly great book that does not give up all its secrets at the first (or even the tenth reading.) Nothing happens in Emma, everything happens in Emma.

Read, savour, re-read.

(Who am I to praise the great Jane?. Unworthy. I will just genuflect and go.)
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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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on 6 February 2007
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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It is almost 200 years since "Pride and Prejudice" was first published. It ought to be the equivalent in literature of those faded, dried flowers that used to be found pressed between the pages of the old family bible. Instead it is redolent of freshly cut flowers still carrying a sprinkling of morning dew.

The freshness and the perfection of form are certainly astonishing. Jane Austin is as good as story teller as ever picked up a pen, knowing exactly how to construct plots, and what incidents and dialogues to detail in full and what to briefly summarize. Her "world" is small but intricately constructed. Every characteristic, quality and idea has a precise and fixed value, all being ranked strictly and sternly according to decorum, logic and morality.
Despite its architectural perfection, however, a recent re-reading reveals one or two construction features that are questionable. How could it be, for example that Fitzwilliam Darcy could have such a dragon for an aunt? I also wonder about the friendship between Darcy and Bingley. How did it begin? It is obviously important to each, but we are given nothing of its history.
Jane Austen lived long enough to see this book published and enjoyed amongst her own family and a small readership. Her mother entertained family members with it, reading it, in Jane Austen's estimation, a little too quickly. Distinguished British actress Lindsay Duncan reads it with perfect timing and inflexion in this highly recommended audio tape format, which presents the novel in an unabridged version of just over twelve hours.
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