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Sense & Sensibility

(The Austen Project #1)

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  14,553 ratings  ·  1,287 reviews
John Dashwood promised his dying father that he would take care of his half sisters. But his wife, Fanny, has no desire to share their newly inherited estate with Belle Dashwood's daughters. When she descends upon Norland Park with her Romanian nanny and her mood boards, the three Dashwood girls—Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret—are suddenly faced with the cruelties of life w ...more
Hardcover, 362 pages
Published October 29th 2013 by Harper (first published January 1st 2013)
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Average rating 3.50  · 
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 ·  14,553 ratings  ·  1,287 reviews

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Sep 28, 2013 rated it did not like it

Warning! This review may involve wailing and gnashing of teeth, not to mention cursing...of both kinds. Persons of a sensitive disposition may wish to look away now. And on the assumption that no-one will be interested in this who doesn't know the original, there are some mild spoilers...

The Austen project is a strange little idea to rewrite all the Austen novels for a modern age. Why? It certainly can't be because the originals are unreadable - I'd imagine they are more popular today than
Bebe (Sarah) Brechner
Dec 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
Not worthy - even in the capable hands of Joanna Trollope, this retelling of Austen's classic is just chick lit pablum. And there is no way I'd ever characterize Austen's work as such!

I've always enjoyed Trollope's work, but here, she brings none of her usual finely drawn characters and subtle commentary on contemporary life. Austen's characters come across as useless, helpless, dependent, complaining women - because you cannot bring 1811-era characters and situations into the 21st century by j
I appreciate the mission of the Austen project, but this story was not successful for two main reasons. First, the was an element of forced modernization - a mention of an iPad or Facebook seemed to exist just for the sake of reminding the reader of the time period regardless of if it interrupted the flow of the dialogue. Secondly, other than the haphazard mention of electronics, the story was not modernized. Things like a 16 year old swooning to get married or being connected on Facebook but fa ...more
I tried to write a proper review for this book, but realised I just could not be bothered.

Suffice to say that I hated it with a vengeance. The 1 star is for the nice cover, but obviously that cannot counterbalance the abysmal content.

The article Modernising Jane Austen: 10 traps to avoid [The Guardian] by the excellent John Mullan says it all, no need to add anything from my side. I just wish all authors on the Jane Austen bandwagon would read & heed it.
Kami Bee
May 07, 2014 rated it did not like it
I absolutely love this Austen Project thing. It's so much more respectful to the original books, which are brilliant, than all this cheap sea monster nonsense, and has the potential to actually introduce Jane Austen's stories to an audience who might not have the patience to wade through the very classic nature of the original writing.

I thought Sense and Sensibility would probably be one of the harder and more interesting updates, given so much of the story revolves around inheritances and moral
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Modern retellings of classic novels so often tend to lose the heart and soul of the original: the names are the same but the story only has basic plot similarities. Especially with Austen, so much of the wit and pathos of the novel can be lost at the hands of authors of lesser talent.

Not so with Joanna Trollope's very modern but also very layered retelling of Sense and Sensibility. This is a thoroughly enjoyable book
Nov 12, 2013 rated it did not like it
Sorry. I really wanted to love this but could not get past page 75. I think the author's decision to try to stay close to the storyline and even the language of the original while updating it with jeans, iPods and artsy smocks just didn't work for me. If you can't give me something sharp and clever and new, like Amy Heckerling did with Emma in Clueless, then I'd just as soon re-read Jane Austen's masterpiece. For the umpteenth time. ...more
Lee at ReadWriteWish
Wow... So... The Austen Project is well-known authors rewriting the actual books for a modern audience. Unlike some of the other Austenesque books out there, they aren't adding vampires or murder mysteries or whatnot, just writing the same story and setting in the 2010s. And... Wow... Who'd have thought that someone of Trollope's reputation could update such a wonderful story and make it so so so so bad? Really who *would* have thought, given that there must be a team of editors working with the ...more
Toria (some what in hiatus)
This wasn't the worst "modernized" version of a classic that I've read. But I didn't particular enjoy it either. Wasn't my cup of tea ...more
Nov 14, 2013 rated it did not like it
In theory, I abhor the idea of modernizing Austen: being a writer, I know I would hate people messing around with my books, throwing them in a different time period or (heaven forbid!) adding vampires or zombies or sea monsters to them or something. And why do you need to update stories I still find relevant today, anyway? However, in practice, I’ve read and watched my share of modernized Austen classics- I remember picking up Debra White Smith’s retellings a few years ago, and while I never did ...more
Jan 02, 2014 rated it did not like it
As one of the reviewers before me have asked: why? Why was this book necessary? Why was it introduced as a modern retelling, when it in reality is the exact same story with an iPod and a Facebook profile thrown in once in a while? What is the point of this book? Why does it claim to be anything new?

I have read quite a lot of Austen fanfiction over the years. It is my favorite guilty pleasure. While the books seldom are great literature or even well-written, they're always a bit entertaining. Aus
Aimee Packwood
Oct 16, 2013 rated it liked it

I'm a huge Jane Austen fan. I've read all her books hundreds of times, and the thought of anyone else taking on her work initially made me very nervous, so I'll admit that when I was asked to read Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope I was a little aprehensive. As a fan of the deeply crafted characters, and witty prose, I've never enjoyed other writers' take on Austen novels or characters. Don't even get me started on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. But Sense and Sensibility was never my fa
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Purists believe that Jane Austen’s six novels are complete in and of themselves and should never be imitated, extended or parodied. I prefer to judge each Austen spin off on its own merits. This latest addition to the sub-genre is excellent in my opinion. It is the first instalment of the Austen Project set up by the publishers Harper Collins. Well known authors are being commissioned to translate the six novels into modern settings and this is the first to be published.

I thoroughly enjoyed read
Nov 24, 2013 rated it did not like it
It is possibly true to say that I was never going to read Joanna Trollope's Sense and Sensibility with a totally clear mind. It annoys me that, rather than encouraging people to read and appreciate the wit, the beautiful prose, of Austen's novels, and to learn of and understand the social mores that existed, and which still influence some prejudices these days, it has been considered appropriate to dumb down the classics to the status of chick lit.

And dumbing down is certainly what Trollope has
Melissa Rochelle
S&S has never been my favorite Austen novel (my favorite wavers between Persuasion, Emma, and Pride and Prejudice depending on my mood), so I was hesitant about this modern day retelling. I think Trollope did a fantastic job of staying true to the Austen novel, but maybe a little TOO true to the source. I felt at times that the only thing that changed was the mention of an iPad to remind me that this was in "modern times" (I mean, I imagined it going a little deeper than that you know? Is that t ...more
Lorenzio Phillibuster Fireworks
The Austen Project is the ambitious task undertaken by six authors to recreate the works of Jane Austen. When I first saw Joanne Trollope’s Sense and Sensibility I was intrigued and it sparked a quest to either reread or experience Austen’s novels for the first time via audiobook. I have read adaptations of the Classics before – Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Mr Darcy’s Diary, and a few others worth mentioning even less – and I found them all to be pretty disappointing. With the Austen Project ...more
Nov 02, 2014 rated it did not like it
This is a modernization of Austen’s Sense and Sensibility with none of the heart, depth or wit of the original. Most of the problems I have with it can be summed up in four points.

1. Weird mixture of unnecessary slang and old-fashioned expressions that are completely inauthentic for the time period.
One of the many instances where the language is completely inauthentic and jarring is the first appearance of Mr Willoughby (or Wills). In the lead-up to Marianne being rescued by Willoughby Marian
Deborah Markus
Feb 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Twice upon a time, there were three Dashwood sisters, though no one took much notice of the youngest one. Their father died far too young, and they and their mother were forced by their cruel sister-in-law and weak half-brother to leave the home they'd grown up in.

_Sense & Sensibility_ -- the first one, that is -- is a novel many readers find hard to love. I hated it the first time through. Marianne drove me *insane.* All that screaming and selfishness! "I don't *care* what anyone thinks, I sha
Jan 11, 2016 rated it did not like it
Blergh. Boring as batshit, I couldn't finish it.

And what is the point of writing a modern adaptation which is still set in the same British aristocracy-and-military world, with the same issues of inheritances, as the original? I want to read adaptations that make an old story relatable in today's world, and Marianne playing a Taylor Swift song on the guitar isn't quite what I had in mind.
Oct 29, 2013 rated it did not like it
It gets one star just because it got published, which is something I have never done, so hooray for you. But this was just a complete pile of crap. Just don't touch Jane Austen, go stick a fork in an outlet next time you have the urge. ...more
Nothing that someone hasn't already said, but when did that stop me?

Ms. Trollope made some changes in her retelling, but not nearly enough. Switching horses for cars and somewhat speeding up the time to allow for modern travel and communication doesn't count.

When Austen's plot is enclosed in modern trappings, the setting starts to fight the plot.

Take Edward keeping his "engagement" to Lucy. Why, even in the original he said that he did that just because he was genuinely taken in by her pretend
May 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
I was more content with this book for longer than other reviewers, but by the end I was flabbergasted. I tolerated the nicknames (Ed, Wills, Tommy Palmer, Abi Jennings, Belle, Ellie, and Mags Dashwood) except for the execrable M for Marianne which is incomprehensible as written, knocks you from the story every time. The Misses Steele make no sense at all, not their language, actions, or Nancy’s speech. “Amazeballs” is the least of it, what sort of accent was THAT? I appreciated seeing how Trollo ...more
I'll start off by saying that I LOVE Austen, she makes me happy. She is one of my go to authors when I need perking up. The idea of a reworking of an Austen novel always makes me happy, and so this should have ticked all the right boxes.

I enjoyed it, alot, but not completely. I'm not sure what my problem was, I read it in under a day, hell in few hours and could not put it down, but I think I feel a little disappointed that I knew EVERYTHING that was going to happen. Which is stupid as it's a r
Jan 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Joanna Trollope has long been one of my favourite authors and I always read her books as they come out. However this one was a mistake. I hate this current need to rewrite or extend Jane Austen's original works. I should have learned my lesson after the travesty of Death Comes to Pemberley but I did not. So - this book is an adequate, mildly entertaining romance to which I will award three stars on its own merit. When you consider it is a rewrite of an outstanding five star classic it is obvious ...more
Nov 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been reading a little of the debate over the modernisation of Jane Austen's novel, which ranges from criticism of Trollope's book to readers who won't read it but don't like its existence for their own reasons, to readers who really don't like the idea of any publisher commissioning any writer to do anything that is so blatantly cashing in.

So we have Austen's original 'Sense and Sensibility,' and all her novels. Then we have their movies and TV series, some good, some bad. And then barrow l
Ann-Marie "Cookie M."
"Sense and Sensibility" is not my favorite Jane Austen novel, and Joanna Troll opens version is not my favorite modern retelling of the story.
Plain and simple, something is missing, Miss Austen's snark. She never takes her characters too seriously. She always seems to be laughing behind her fan at them.
Trollope lovers her Dashwood girls too much. She tries to make them too believable. It doesn't work for me. The men and incidental women are still caricatures, so it comes off like trying to sho
Renita D'Silva
Sep 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Wonderful, witty and fun.
Sep 25, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Full Review:

Warning! Spoilers, snarky words, and anguish. Ye be warned.

Plot: You won’t get a plot summary from me, because it’s THE SAME AS THE ORIGINAL. Of course, with a few “modern” updates.

- The reason step-brother John gets Norland and the Dashwood women don’t? Because HENRY DASHWOOD DECIDED NOT TO MARRY THE MOTHER OF HIS CHILDREN IN A FIT OF ARTSY, FREE-LOVE HIPPINESS. And then died, and allowed for his home to be willed away from them. Flimsy, you
Dana Al-Basha |  دانة الباشا
So, when I moved to Kuwait, many of my dear books stayed behind, I just had to buy another copy from this book until I could reunite with my previous one.

Dec 24, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'll come right out and say that S&S is my least favourite Austen novel, but I was interested to read this to see how it worked as a modern adaptation. (I love Clueless and The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, for example.) But this... was just S&S transplanted into the modern era. There were no clever touches, and Joanna Trollope never strayed from the source material. She just rewrote it in her own style -- which seemed to involve an overly-generous use of commas. It's no exaggeration to say that I near ...more
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Joanna Trollope Potter Curteis (aka Caroline Harvey)

Joanna Trollope was born on 9 December 1943 in her grandfather's rectory in Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire, England, daughter of Rosemary Hodson and Arthur George Cecil Trollope. She is the eldest of three siblings. She is a fifth-generation niece of the Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope and is a cousin of the writer and broadcaster James Trol

Other books in the series

The Austen Project (4 books)
  • Northanger Abbey (The Austen Project, #2)
  • Emma (The Austen Project, #3)
  • Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride & Prejudice (The Austen Project, #4)

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