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AUDIO – Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

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Sense and Sensibility

Title: Sense and Sensibility
Author: Jane Austen
Narrator: Anne Flosnik
Length: Unabridged (12 h, 33 m)
Published: August 2008 (Alpha DVD)
Genre(s): Classics, Fiction
Start: ?
Finished: 15 November 2010
Source:  Own

Note: Initially, most of  the audiobooks I listen to will be based on books I’ve already read and loved .  This means that, unless otherwise noted, the review will be more about my feelings regarding the narrator than the story itself.  I originally had no intentions of  doing anything more than tracking what I listened to each month.  I  never  intended to put my opinion down in writing, until late last month, so there’s still some things I haven’t worked out.  I plan to pay more attention to audio reviews, to see what others have done, and to get a feel for what might work for me.

From Audible.com: Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen’s first novel, is an entertaining tale of flirtation and folly that revolves around two sisters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood. Elinor is thoughtful, considerate, and calm; Marianne is emotional and wildly romantic. Both are looking for a husband, but neither Elinor’s reason nor Marianne’s passion can lead them to happiness – as Marianne falls for an unscrupulous rascal and Elinor becomes attached to a man who’s already engaged. Startling secrets, unexpected twists, and heartless betrayals interrupt the marriage games that follow. Filled with satiric wit and subtle characterizations, Sense and Sensibility teaches that true love requires a balance of reason and emotion.

Why this book?
Sense and Sensibility (S&S) is one of the few audiobooks that I own. It was also that final book in my planned goal to re-read at least three of Austen’s major novels a year.

The Narrator: Anne Flosnik
Af first, I wasn’t sure I was going to like the narrator. A few years ago, I was listening to The Secret Garden, while on a trip, and she was the narrator. I wasn’t enjoying the story and I never finished the book. However, after listening to S&S, I’ve come to the conclusion that it wasn’t completely the narrator’s fault — well, yes and no. I’ll explain. You see, Mary Lennox from The Secret Garden is a spoiled little girl and Ms. Flosnik pitched her voice to be more in keeping with the character.  I should have taken that into consideration. I still have book on my iPod, so at some point, I will give the book another try.

I thought Ms. Flosnik did a lovely job with the characters in S&S. She gave distinct voices to Elinor and Marianne that suited their personalities — and it was Marianne’s drama that first clued me into why I might have had a hard time with The Secret Garden. I particularly liked Ms. Flosnik’s rendition of Mrs. Jennings and Charlotte Palmer — Charlotte had a little twittering laugh when she spoke. I thought she did a pretty good job with the men as well: Edward and Colonel Brandon were both thoughtful, quiet men; Sir John, good-natured; Robert, pompous. Willoughby, I would say, fell somewhere between Edward and Sir John — livelier than Edward but not as boisterously good-natured Sir John.

Ms. Flosnik had a pleasant reading voice when she wasn’t portraying a character. I really enjoyed this edition of S&S.

Recommendation:
Just as there are preferred movie adaptations, I’m sure there are preferred audio versions. Some time in the future, I may even listen to another version so I can compare them.  I liked this version, so I would recommend it to fans of the book.

Mini Badge

Ratings:
Story: 5 stars
(I’m still working on how to rate the narration)
Overall Reading: Pleasant and understandable
Characters: Very Good

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For 2010 “pages read”: 453 pages (Barnes & Noble Collector’s Library Edition)

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