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Northanger Abbey by [McDermid, Val]
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Northanger Abbey Kindle Edition

3.3 out of 5 stars 247 customer reviews

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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: 1349 KB
  • Print Length: 369 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: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars 247 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,292 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Hardcover
I've just finished this book and, whilst it was not quite as bad as the updated Sense and Sensibility (although you'd probably need very sensitive equipment to measure the difference), I still wish I could remove my brain and soak it in a bucket of bleach for a couple of days to remove the memory of it from my head.

Possible spoilers below.

The characters certainly live in RegencyModernTimes. They are constantly texting each other or on Facebook, but at the same time, people keep bowing formally to each other and saying stilted dialogue like, "I knew it. Honestly, Ellie, that is a complete fantasy. A lie. I made no such plans. He just wants me to come on this stupid outing so he can show off his fancy car again. I am determined to go walking with you and Henry tomorrow, not go to Glasgow or Linlithgow with that idiot." DETERMINED?! I MADE NO SUCH PLANS?!? Who speaks like that? And then Bella Thorpe can basically say nothing but 'Soz' and 'Totes amazeballs' and flirts all the time, yet never so much as kisses a man in the book, much less has sex with them (which I assume would be a given in a modern version of Northanger Abbey).

'Cat' (short for Catherine) is the heroine and a combination of a secluded childhood where she was home schooled and a dreamy nature has supposedly left her an innocent. Even this is not enough to explain the below thought process:

1. She really likes vampire novels.
2. She really like a young man who ran across town when it was cloudy.
3. Vampires like running and can go out in cloudy weather.
4. The young man is therefore a vampire
5. His family are therefore vampires
6. She must go to a secluded Abbey with the whole vampire family to confirm her suspicions

I mean.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
This ‘re-imagining’ of Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid is part of the Austen Project, which aims to ‘team up authors of global significance with Jane Austen’s six novels’, to which the only sane question is: why?

Val McDermid says that reworking Austen’s novels in a contemporary setting might encourage people who hadn’t read the originals to give them a try. Fair enough – after all, the film ‘Clueless’ was a hugely successful re-working of ‘Emma’, but this version of Northanger Abbey is more a simple translation from Georgian into Modernese. Val McDermid has faithfully recreated every scene in the original, merely replacing Bath with Edinburgh, carriages with cars, letters with texts and gossip with Facebook.

It is woeful.

Take this, for example. In the original, Jane Austen writes, "Mrs Allen was one of that numerous class of females, whose society can raise no other emotion than surprise at there being any men in the world who could like them well enough to marry them." There, in one beautiful pithy sentence, is a deliciously acute character assassination.

McDermid’s version reads thus: “But although she didn't like herself for the thought, Cat reckoned she had somehow previously missed the realisation that Susie Allen was the most empty-headed woman she'd ever spent time with. What was bewildering about this discovery was that Mr Allen was definitely neither empty-headed nor obsessed with how he looked. It was puzzling.”

Maybe McDermid was constrained by having to follow the existing plot so faithfully, or maybe her true metier is brutal crime fiction and not light-hearted romcom. Whatever the reason, this clunky, leaden adaptation is an affront to Austen fans and is unlikely to persuade anybody who enjoys this version to read the original.
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