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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-10 of 149 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
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 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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on 30 June 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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on 13 August 2003
After reading lots of books in my time I thought that at the age of 28 I should start reading some of the classics.
I thought that Pride & Prejudice would be a hard read and probably not that enjoyable, (my normal material being more Iain Banks than Catherine Cookson!) but I was determind to 'give it a go'.
Now that I've read the book, what can I say but I love it!
It wasn't that hard going & like with Shakespeare it really doesn't matter if you understand the odd word!
I loved Lizzie from the start and now I can understand what all the fuss about Mr Darcy is! From the beginning you want them to get together and with each of their encounters you just want them to drop all their guards and just tell each other how they really feel.
The characters in this book are written with such intelligence & love and humour that they seem to come alive before your eyes! You want to knock Lizzie & Mr Darcy's heads together, tell Mr Collins to stop being so stuffy & tell Kitty, Lydia & their mother to stop embarrasing Lizzie & Jane all the time!
I would encourage anyone to read this book and it has made the bookworm in me come alive again!
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on 1 March 2015
This is Jane Austen's fourth novel and one of my favourites. I love the main character, she's self-centred (although not really meaning it) but adorable. Filled with her own self-importance at times but a wonderful daughter and Aunt. I felt like screaming at her and slapping her in most chapters but when the ending is lovely and made me realise just how much I cared about her. A world away from Fanny Price (see my Mansfield Park review here).

Emma is twenty-one, the daughter of an important family in a small town, important to her neighbours but not much farther than that. After playing a small part in the marriage of her governess to a local merchant (or business man, I can't remember), she decides she can play match maker with her friend, Harriet. She fails, gives Harriet rubbish advice and generally makes a hash of it. The rest of the story is about a secret engagement, the plight of her poorer neighbours and some life lessons thrown in. All in all, a thoroughly lovely, escapist kind of book.

The characters are wonderful, I particulary like Miss Bates (played by Sophie Thompson in the Gweneth Paltrow adaptation, which is my favourite). I thought Mr Knightley was a rather school teacherish man and I have a feeling that their relationship may not have been quite equal (I imagine him telling her off like a father rather a lot). But that's what is completely wonderful about this novel, I can imagine how the characters would react outside of the story, I feel like I know them inside out. Well done Jane.

Is the plot as good as Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility? No, I think it's a whisker away from them (I'm a sucker for total romance), but still a great read (although very long).
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on 31 March 2010
Recently every book I have been reading seems to be a badly written, trashy novel. I decided it was time to (once again) attempt a classic. After consulting a very unhelpful librarian on where to start, I chose this book quite randomly. Having previously tried S&S after watching the brilliant BBC adaptation (but not getting further than the first couple of chapters due to the confusing way it was written) I wasn't really expecting to finish Emma - which is very long; and divided into three 'books'.
However, I instantly loved it. The language is beautiful and the characters real. Most of all, the plot is very believable - I can imagine this book being written now. The plot is one which could be very trashy - a girl trying to fix up her friends - yet the way it is written almost makes you forget this.
My only problem is that it is possibly too long a book for the amount of things that happen and some of the dialogue is very confusing. However, I think this is a great starting point if you do want to get into classic literature and I have been inspired to read other books from the era.
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on 11 February 2016
I did enjoy reading the book, but I must say I was surprised how poor the quality of writing was, but of course, like many great story tellers, she isn't a great writer as such. But she does have a gift for internal thoughts projected as dialogue, however unlikely that actual conversation would be, and that alone makes her unique. My critique comes from a prejudice created by watching the mini-series on TV before I had ever read the book. I loved Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennett, in fact, I really liked a lot of the actor's portrayals of the characters, especially Mr Bennett and of course, Mr Darcy.
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on 20 June 1999
Pride and Predujdice is a book of family life. In which a mother wants to marry off her five daughters to rich and wealthy men, because they are a family that are not very wealthy. This book is full of romance and you can barely put the book down, you cannot stop thinking about the book once you have finished it. It puts a smile on your face. The book has light touches of humour, plenty of romance and finishes wonderfully.This book is extremley interesting and light hearted. Although the the story is all about how a mother wants to get her daughters married off it is mainly about how a man changes his manners and a young lady her mind. That may sound rather boring but its not! The young lady is strong minded and opinionated but through the story you will see that change. The young man is rich and wealthy and some would say proud but also you will see this change.
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on 11 February 2014
(Reviewed by Hannah, daughter of Phil)

Pride and Prejudice is one of the books that you HAVE to read. I enjoyed reading this after watching the film as I could find the differences between the book and the film. If you enjoy old-fashioned romance novels, written in beautifully complicated English, then this is a book for you!
Take your time and savour every word - it's worth it!
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on 14 June 2012
I'm only two discs into this set yet, so I'm making my remarks 4 star - but the signs are good.

I'm enjoying the clear diction of Jenny Agutter, and as I've been reading the first chapters along with her on CD, I can confirm that it really is word-for- word.

Audio books can take a bit of getting used to. I've listened to some where the voice of the auditor is plain wearying especially after listening to it for hours. Until you find a favourite "voice" to follow it can be a hit-and-miss choice.

So - I'll look for more of J.A's unabridged work ... both Austen, and Agutter.

Downside? It may be personal thing, but I found at first that the story is narrated at a faster clip than I would have read it myself. Of course, there is a whole book to narrate, and it's 12 discs long, already! I'm getting used to the brisker pace.
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