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Northanger Abbey

(The Austen Project #2)

3.07  ·  Rating details ·  7,058 ratings  ·  1,233 reviews
Internationally best-selling crime writer Val McDermid has riveted millions of readers worldwide with her acutely suspenseful, psychologically complex, seamlessly plotted thrillers. In Northanger Abbey, she delivers her own, witty, updated take on Austen’s classic novel about a young woman whose visit to the stately home of a well-to-do acquaintance stirs her most macabre ...more
Hardcover, 343 pages
Published April 15th 2014 by Grove Press (first published March 10th 2014)
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Average rating 3.07  · 
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 ·  7,058 ratings  ·  1,233 reviews

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Nov 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
Okay that does it! I vow to never ever read another Jane Austen rip off for the rest of my life. I have said this before but this time I mean it. It is time we all accepted that no one can write the way Austen did and no one should try. Val McDermid is a good writer but in her own style and around her own characters. She does a very poor job of rehashing the characters from Northanger Abbey and as for the story - ouch! The silliness about vampires, the badly expressed attempts at young people's ...more
You are going to thank me for reading this book so you don't have to. Apparently, there is something called the Austen Project where writers update Jane Austen's novels to make them more accessible to teens. Imagine any Austen novel without the zing, without the humor, without the beautiful language. That's this book! You're welcome!

To give Val McDermid credit, I'm sure she produced exactly the novel she was asked to. Having just reread Northanger Abbey, I was pretty familiar with the text. It s
This is a sweet and charming tribute to Jane Austen's book. It follows the original story line very well, but places the young lovers in a modern setting. The only drawback I would venture to say is that a seventeen year old girl and a 21 or older young man don't have as much in common as they would in Austen's day. A college degree and time serving as a lawyer would have placed these two so out of touch with each other that I don't know how a common attraction could develop into marriage in our ...more
I was so excited & full of anticipation when I first heard about The Austen Project, but my hopes were doomed after the fiasco the modern Sense & Sensibility & Emma turned out to be. As a consequence, I was wary of this book at first, but after getting through the first chapters, I quickly realised that it would be an exception.

Kudos to Val McDermid for translating the plot so nicely into 21st century (ridiculing vampire-obsession, like Jane Austen did the gothic novels) & keeping it entertainin
Alisha Tarran
Apr 01, 2014 rated it did not like it
This edition of Northanger Abbey is an updated take on the classic tale by Val McDermid, bestselling crime writer. In it, Cat Morland leaves her quaint hometown and home-schooled life to go to the Fringe festival in Edinburgh courtesy of friends of the family. Cat quickly takes the place by storm and is welcomed in to the bosom of the Thorpe family, made up largely of bratty children. When Cat makes friends with Henry Tilney and his sister Ellie, she is invited to their stately family home, wher ...more
Mar 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Almost totes amazeballs!

This may be the most disappointing thing I will read this year. After the abomination that was Joanna Trollope’s version of Sense & Sensibility, I was confident – oh, so confident – about the inevitable direness of Val McDermid’s Northanger Abbey. There I was – poison pen at the ready, sarcasm ready to drip like venom, scalpel sharpened to rip the very heart out of it – and dang me if it doesn’t turn out the book’s not too bad at all! In fact – and you’ll never know how m
Jun 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What better place for an imaginative, book-besotted girl than the lively cultural joys of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival? That’s where author Val McDermid sends Catherine, aka Cat, Morland instead of Bath in this Austen Project update of Northanger Abbey. This is the second book in the series, Joanna Trollope’s modern take of Sense & Sensibility was first, and like its predecessor this Northanger Abbey sticks very close to the original, just reimaging the setting and circumstances, though in this ...more
Aug 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
‘General Tilney?’
She spoke with some diffidence as Mrs Calman cleared away the soup dishes and placed a selection of curries and side dishes in the middle of the table.
‘I wonder whether it might be possible for me to use your wifi?’ She caught the look of alarm shared by Henry and Ellie.
‘The wifi?’ The General frowned. ‘Is that entirely necessary?’
‘I wanted to check my email.’
‘My dear girl, why? Your parents and the Allens know precisely where you are and have the telephone number, so if there w
Mar 21, 2014 rated it liked it
In the second installment of The Austen Project, bestselling Scottish crime writer Val McDermid takes a stab at a contemporary re-imagining of Jane Austen’s most under-appreciated novel, Northanger Abbey. Written in the late 1790’s when Austen was a fledgling writer, this Gothic parody about young heroine Catherine Morland’s first experiences in Bath society and her romance with the dishy hero Henry Tilney is one of my favorite Austen novels. Fresh and funny, the writing style is not as accompli ...more
Abigail Bok
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
I derived little pleasure from the first adaptation in this series (the Sense and Sensibility one), but this was a happier experience. Val McDermid did a good job coming up with modern analogues for the original story (e.g., homeschooling to account for Catherine Morland’s extreme naïveté). The dialogue was very well done; I especially appreciated Henry’s wit, which was clever without meanness. And Bella was totally hilarious; she dominated every scene she was in.

Henry Tilney is my favorite JA h
Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)
Modern-Day Carbon Copy

TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Modern Adaptation of Northanger Abbey

SETTING: Dorset, England and Edinburgh and Borders in Scotland


- It’s the Austen Project!: 6 best-selling contemporary authors are tackling and updating the 6 major works of Jane Austen! And I haven’t read any of them yet!

-NA Won: In the vote I held at the beginning of the month, Northanger Abbey was the most voted for option, over Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope. But asi
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
For more reviews, Cover Snark and more, visit A Reader of Fictions.

One of my many weaknesses as a reader of fictions is my inability to resist a novel that purports to have anything to do with Austen. A retelling, a continuation, or anything of that sort, and I want it desperately, no matter how terrible it looks. In this case, though, I was hopeful. I enjoyed the Austen Project Sense and Sensibility fairly well and the cover of Northanger Abbey is gorgeous. Plus, Austen’s Northanger Abbey is on
First off, I should say I like Jane Austen. I like her books a lot.

However, the only two I've actually re-read in the last 20 years or so are Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility. The others... well, I keep meaning to, but with so much else to read, I've not yet got around to it.

This means I've only read the original Northanger Abbey once, about 18-20 years ago, and ... well, frankly, don't remember much at all about it. Nothing, really.

So unlike with Joanna Trollope's version of Sense & S
Bravo Val McDermid! Having just completed reading Jane Austen's original Northanger Abbey I felt that this contemporary re-imagining was a very faithful adaptation; certainly with changes but keeping with the feel of the original.

Val McDermid does a sterling job of re-imagining Northanger Abbey as a contemporary coming-of-age story. She keeps all the same characters: the shopaholic Susie Allen, Cat's new friend Bella Thorpe, who shares her passion for supernatural novels; Bella's obnoxious broth

This is volume two of the Austen Project, where the six completed novels of Jane Austen are being transported to modern times by six different authors. This is the first of the three published so far that I've read and also the first book by Val McDermid I've ever read.

It's pretty faithful to the original for the vast majority of the time. Catherine (Cat) Morland is taken to the Edinburgh Festival, rather than Bath, by Mr. and Mrs. Allen and the titular Abbey is
Kaethe Douglas
It's really hard to effectively update a Jane Austen story. Clueless is the only contemporary version that works for me. I enjoyed Bridget Jones, but not as Austen, just as a story that used some Austen character names. I'm also a fan of the gothic, and read way too many gothic romances in my teens, so I feel like I get what Austen way saying in Northanger. It is, in fact, my favorite. McDermid's version is really pleasant as a modern novel, and I loved the stuff about The Fringe Festival, but t ...more
Colleen Fauchelle
Jul 14, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Although I found this book a quick read. I didn't like some of the teenagers in this book. They were selfish and horrible. Even the main character Cat needed to grow up a lot. She lived in a story world and not in the real world. She was annoying at times.

Here a some of the quotes from the book I liked:
'I've never begrudged a penny spent on books' the General said 'A book is the means by which a man can better himself'.

Her father rolled his eyes. 'Spare us the melodrama, Cat.

..., it is not the f
Mar 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Whether or not people like sequels, prequels, spin offs or modern retellings of classic literature is always going to be a personal thing I think. I find them interesting and like any other genre there are good and bad amongst them. In ‘Northanger Abbey’ Val McDermid has done a good job of setting the story in twenty first century Edinburgh at the time of the Festival. I think she has captured the atmosphere of the Festival extremely well.

I was less convinced by some of the characters though I d
Margaret Sullivan
May 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014, jaff
Liked it, didn't love it, much like the Trollope S&S (I liked this a little better). Things that bugged me: Henry too old and Catherine too young. It was fine in 1798 but in 2014, I would have been happier if she were, say, 19 and he 21 and still at university. Like the Trollope S&S, this was a nearly scene-by-scene recreation and while one imagines the suits at Harper saying, "Don't leave anything out or Those Austen People will be at the gates with torches and pitchforks," it is frankly a litt ...more
As part of the Austen Project series, Val McDermid has rewritten Northanger Abbey into a 21st century setting. Catherine Morland, daughter of a minster and homeschooled, is happy to escape Piddle Valley to accompany the Allens to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. There she makes new friends - the lively Bella Thorpe and the more refined Ellie (Eleanor) and Henry Tilney. Catherine is an avid fan of Twilight and on Bella's recommendation, begins devouring Morag Fraser's Hebridean Harpies and other (i ...more
Sophie Narey (Bookreview- aholic)
Dec 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of the original northanger abbey and young adults
Published: 15/04/2014
Author: Val McDermid

This was a brilliant twist on a classic story! It kept my attention all the way to the end, it was hard to put it down to even eat or sleep. It doesn't mock the original, neither is it better than the original they are both brilliantly written by outstanding authors. I would recommend for anyone who has read the classic already and anyone who thinks the orignal is 'too old' for them to
read, this book will change your mind about that and make you want to
Apr 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I like Val McDermid. Well, I like her crime novels and I love Northanger Abbey but whoever put these two together obviously was having a bad day. I did not like it at all and I'd like back the four hours I spent reading it please.

It's a fairly straight forward retelling of the original but written for teenagers? Twilight addicts? I don't know who but it definitely wasn't me. The only major change was the excuse for General Tilney to throw Cat out of the house and when I read that? I had a total
Aug 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, fiction
If you know Jane Austen's original story, you know the plot for this book. The differences being a modern setting, in which Cat Morland, a home-schooled vicar's daughter, goes with neighbors to the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland. She's excited to her boring village and finally have adventures. At first she finds herself being dragged along with Susie Allen into the exhausting and not super fun social whirl, but when she meets Henry Tilney at highland dance lessons, she finally begins having fun. ...more
Katy Noyes
Feb 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
I've never read a Val McDermid. I have though, read every Jane Austen. The Austen Project fascinates me, as I've loved many of the cinematic adaptations created from her novels (Clueless being my favourite) and love seeing how contemporary writers/directors use her words and stories. Without any knowledge of McDermid's work though, if her fans are expecting her usual voice and style to shine through, I think you may be disappointed. It's not a McDermid book.

By that, I don't mean that this book i
Janet Emson
Mar 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I received a copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.

I'll start by saying I love Austen's Northanger Abbey. It is in my top three favourite books of hers and one I often re-read. I am always wary of re-workings of Austen novels as there have been mixed successes in the past.

I enjoyed Val McDermid's modern day re-working of this classic. Moving the story to Edinburgh works well. The Gothic atmosphere of the old city is an excellent backdrop to fuel Cat Morland's vam
Jul 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
I have to say that I don't entirely get the point of this Jane Austen rewrite project - I haven't tried the Joanna Trollope version of Sense and Sensibility, and on the strength of this outing, I probably won't. In this book, Val McDermid attempts to bring the story of Northanger Abbey into the 21st century, replete with texting, Twitter feeds and Facebooking. However, this sits oddly with the somewhat Victorian behaviour of some of the characters, especially the heroine, Cat Morland. Sure, she ...more
Julie Cohen
I enjoyed this, but I couldn't help thinking I would have enjoyed it even more if McDermid had really gone to town on the satirical aspects of it, as Austen did with Gothic novels. The bits I enjoyed most were when Cat was thinking about paranormal YA vampire romance, and I kept thinking about how a YA writer, or a writer who really really loved YA romance, would have written it instead. It would have been *hilarious* and we could have had some really interesting social commentary. Instead I thi ...more
If I could I would give this 3.5 stars, but definitely could not give it 4. I enjoyed it but it was superficial with a lot of time the main character obsessing about Ffacebook, twitter, texting, with an underlying Austen storyline happening. The ending was cute, but somewhat incredible in parts. I am not sure what Henry saw in Cat after all.
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
We have yet another retelling of a Jane Austen novel. Val McDermid creates a version of "Northanger Abbey" as set in the 21st Century. The book broadly follows the plot and recreates the characters of the original. It is certainly not as good as the Austen original but is a pleasant bit of fluff with some funny as well as silly moments. ...more
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Val McDermid is a No. 1 bestseller whose novels have been translated into more than thirty languages, and have sold over eleven million copies.

She has won many awards internationally, including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year and the LA Times Book of the Year Award. She was inducted into the ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame in 2009 and was the recipient of the CWA Cart

Other books in the series

The Austen Project (4 books)
  • Sense & Sensibility (The Austen Project, #1)
  • Emma (The Austen Project, #3)
  • Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride & Prejudice (The Austen Project, #4)

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“Father, everybody has mugs these days. It's not a sign of debauchery and disrepute to drink tea from a mug.” 4 likes
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