Luann's Reviews > Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
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Aug 22, 11

bookshelves: classics, audio, 2011, fiction
Read from July 26 to August 22, 2011

I really wanted to like this! In the beginning, I thought it would be a 5-star book for me. I thought it might turn out to be my top favorite Jane Austen. But somehow it just didn't turn into the book I thought it was going to be.

Things I liked:
* I enjoyed all the talk of novels and reading - and would have liked even more of that.
* The conversations between Henry Tilney and Catherine Morland were my favorite parts of the book. I might go back and reread just those parts sometime.

Things I didn't like:
* Why is so much of the book spent in Bath? I thought I was reading Northanger Abbey, not Bath! We don't get to Northanger Abbey until well over half-way through the story.
* I really didn't like Isabella and her brother. (view spoiler)
* The narrator kept jumping in and talking to me, even though I just wanted to get on with the story.

So in the end this turned out to be a solid 3-star book for me. Really great in some parts but a disappointment in others. Definitely worth reading, but not something I plan to revisit again and again.

Note: I listened to the Librivox recording of this by Elizabeth Klett. She does a wonderful job.

Second note: Immediately after finishing this, I watched the Masterpiece Classic version of Northanger Abbey. I think they did a great job with it, even though there were a couple of parts I was sad they glossed over. I think their pacing and emphasis on certain parts of the plot actually worked out better than the book. Well worth watching.
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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Tamsen What is your favorite Jane Austen? Now I'm interested! This wasn't my favorite one either.


Luann I read Pride & Prejudice in high school and it wasn't a favorite. So I never read any more of hers. But when I started on GR, I could see she was so many people's absolute top favorite author. So I wondered if I had missed something. Maybe I wasn't mature enough to appreciate her then. So last year I read Emma, earlier this year I read Sense and Sensibility, and now I just finished Northanger Abbey. Next up is Persuasion. So far my favorite is Emma. Then when I've read them all, I'll go back and reread Pride and Prejudice.


Kaethe Have you read many gothic novels? I think her send-up of those is spot on. (I read a lot of gothic romance in high school.) This is my favorite of Austen's because Catherine isn't so very clever or pretty or special, and, like you, I love all the chat about reading. Also, I like that the villains of the piece seem so charming. They're not at all like the dark, scary-looking villains of gothic stories.


Luann I've read some gothic novels, but not a lot. I read Rebecca last year and loved it. I also read Dracula last year and quite enjoyed it. I remember really loving Wuthering Heights in high school, and plan to reread that again sometime. I've read 18 of the top 50 books here on GR shelved as gothic, but some people obviously have a different definition of "gothic" than I do. :)

Good point about the villains! They definitely weren't your typical, obvious villains. And while I didn't "like" them, as in if I were a character in the novel they wouldn't be the people I would want to hang out with, I did really like the fact that she made them interesting and somewhat sneaky. I guess that's something else I could add to my "things I liked" list. :)

I think this is a book I will like better after some time has passed, which is unusual for me. With most books I like them the most right after I've just finished reading them. I also would probably enjoy this a lot more if I read it a second time - now that I know not to expect them to get to Northanger Abbey right away, now that I know the characters, etc.


Kaethe Overall, I think Austen books are more appealing the older one gets. This one gets better the more you've read of the sorts of books she's making fun of. Another book that pokes fun at gothics is the fabulous The Ghosts Of Ashbury High.


message 6: by Linda (new) - added it

Linda I just finished PP and it wasn't exactly as I had imagined. I thought Northanger Abbey would be good, but now I'm not so sure.


Luann Don't let me discourage you from reading it, Linda! I wasn't saying I didn't enjoy reading it - just that I didn't enjoy it as much as I had thought I would at the beginning.


Helena Gouveia You liked Henry? Oh my god, I feel so weird because I think I'm the only one who didn't like him nor John Thorne u.u...I found Henry such a show off...idk :/ *sighs*


Luann Hm, it's been a while now since I read this. He must not have bothered me, but what I remember most about him is that I liked the conversations he had with Catherine.


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