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Thursday, May 26, 2005

Jane Austen Rocks!!

We have an account with This allows us to have one audio book a month (to keep forever, or so they say) and one subscription a month (to something like the NY Post or Wall Street Journal). One of the books we got is Emma, by Jane Austen.
I wasn't sure how I would like listening to a book. I often have a hard time listening to the radio or news, just because I can't be doing other things, if I really want to listen/pay attention. When I read a book, though, I am usually lost to the world. :)
Jane Austen has been a favorite author of mine since I was in high school. Mansfield Park was the first of her books I read. Perhaps this was the beginning of my love of Brittish humor. :) I loved that book. I read Sense & Sensibility after that, and then Northanger Abbey. Now, I haven't read Northanger Abbey in eons, but it was by far my favorite of Austen's books. I loved the heroine - she was nutty, but I felt like I understood her. I read Pride & Prejudice, and liked that one second best. With Emma on audio book, Persuasion stands as the only book among Austen's writings I have left to read. I have even read one or two of Austen's novels that are listed as juvenille writings (because they were written when she was younger).
Jef & I went to see "Emma" the movie when it came out, way long ago, in 1996. I fell in love with that movie. It was the first one of Austen's novels I felt had been justly portrayed on screen ("Sense & Sensibility" was horrid, or so I thought, in that they did not really stick to the book, or present the era of that time well). I felt the movie drew you in, and the lifestyles & era were presented very well. I had not yet read the book, though, so I tried to remind myself the movie could have been just as horribly unjust as "Sense & Sensibility" was.
This brings us, rather roundabout, to present. I thought the audio book would be good, if I could do dishes while listening. Suprisingly, I found I could. Listening to Emma made the chore of dishes even more tolerable. I am now almost completely through the second part (it came in three parts, since the book is 15+ hours [on audio book], or 432 pages long [mass-market paperback]), and I just love this book!!
Jane Austen rocks. A large part of this book is conversations. Her ability in this area is amazing. Emma was the fourth book she wrote, and the last published before her death (Persuasion & Northanger Abbey were published posthumously). I find the conversations amazing. Austen can say so much in mere conversations that you can clearly see the characters expressions & undersand their intent. It is amazing. I understand a lot more of what is said in the conversations, knowing the end of the book already. But then, most books by Austen should be read more than once.
All that to say, Jane Austen rocks. She is an amazing writer. :)


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