Rachel Brand's Reviews > Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
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Dec 17, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: jane-austen, audiobook, classics, 2011, romance

If you're looking for a free and well-read audiobook of this novel I'd definitely recommend this one from LibriVox: http://librivox.org/pride-and-prejudi... The reader, Karen Savage, does an excellent English accent, doesn't read too fast or two slow and manages to give each of the characters a slightly different voice so as to avoid confusion when listening.

My aim for 2011 was to read 'Pride and Prejudice', as I felt like I'd failed as a woman and an English Literature student if I hadn't read Jane Austen's most famous novel by now. While I read 'Northanger Abbey' in my first year of university, it isn't exactly representative of her typical work. But it came to September and I hadn't yet read P&P as I'd planned, so I started reading on my Kindle. Sadly, this didn't get very far as I had a lot of work to do for university in September and I completely forgot that I'd been reading P&P. Eventually, in November, I checked out LibriVox.org and found an audiobook that sounded nice and downloaded it to my Blackberry, determined to listen to the entirety of the book before the end of 2011.

I'd enjoyed 'Northanger Abbey' back when I read it in February 2010, but that was it; I didn't love it. Since I'm a fan of romance novels I feel like I should adore Austen, but I don't. But there's nothing wrong with simply enjoying listening to a nice, easy story while you do the ironing or wash dishes, is there? I know that most of my romance-reading or even just classic-reading friends on GoodReads have loved this book and given it five-stars, but I'm afraid P&P is getting a solid but slightly lower 8 out of 10 from me.

One of the things I enjoyed about NA was the witty dialogue and banter between the characters, and I was not disappointed in this when I started P&P, particularly with the hilarity of all the things that Mrs Bennett and Caroline Bingley came out with. That said, nothing really seemed to happen in the first twenty chapters of the novel and I found myself thinking that if I'd been reading the book and not listening to it then I might have put the book down and moved on to something else. As it was, I kept listening and around a third of the way into the book it began to pick up, particularly as Elizabeth and Mr Darcy actually interacted with each other during this part of the story! For a book that is generally regarded as a "classic romance" there was surprisingly little interaction between the hero and heroine, and while Darcy later proved himself to be a rather admirable gentleman, Elizabeth was rather passive, except on the few occasions when she became quite judgemental. I found that the book got far more interesting when Lydia ran off. As immature and flighty as Lydia is, she seemed to have a bit more personality than Elizabeth, dare I say it? I just wish I'd got inside Elizabeth's head more, as there were a few times when she really showed her personality around the middle of the story and then again at the conclusion of the novel, but to begin with she was too passive for my liking.

All in all, I was satisfied with the ending of the novel and enjoyed the direction that it took after Lydia's escapades. There isn't a distinct plot structure in this book, so perhaps this explains my difficulty with it and why I was slightly uninterested to begin with. This has in no way become one of my favourite classics but it did provide entertainment and after the initial slow start I truly came to enjoy it. I have to read 'Sense and Sensibility' and 'Persuasion' next semester for English so I'm looking forward to seeing how those compare. I've not become a die-hard Janeite, nor am I pining for my own Darcy (my Simon will do just fine, thank you very much) but I'll admit that Jane Austen does write an engaging story and provides entertaining insight into the lives of the early nineteenth century nobility and privileged classes. 8/10
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Quotes Rachel Liked

Jane Austen
“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! -- When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice


Reading Progress

December 17, 2010 – Shelved
January 25, 2011 – Shelved as: jane-austen
September 4, 2011 – Started Reading
September 4, 2011 –
7.0%
November 14, 2011 – Shelved as: audiobook
November 14, 2011 –
7.0% "Started reading this on Kindle but then decided to listen to a free audiobook from Librivox.org. On chapter 8."
November 15, 2011 –
18.0% "I may get shot for saying this, but this book has a rather boring start. Miss Bingley is a hilarious character, though, so that makes it worth listening to."
November 15, 2011 –
24.0% "This is finally become somewhat more interesting."
November 18, 2011 –
37.0%
November 19, 2011 –
42.0%
November 19, 2011 –
50.0%
November 21, 2011 –
55.0%
November 21, 2011 –
60.0%
November 21, 2011 –
62.0%
November 22, 2011 –
68.0%
November 22, 2011 –
75.0%
November 23, 2011 –
81.0%
November 23, 2011 – Shelved as: classics
November 24, 2011 –
91.0% "Nearly finished, only five more chapters to listen to :)"
November 25, 2011 – Shelved as: 2011
November 25, 2011 – Shelved as: romance
November 25, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Beth (new) - added it

Beth How are you liking this one, Rachel? I really liked it, but then I read Sense and Sensibility and liked it more, ha!


Rachel Brand It took a while for me to get into it but I'm quite enjoying it. I'm listening to an audiobook as my goal for the year was to read P&P and I realised it was November and I had no time to read it while doing Uni. work so an audiobook while doing housework seemed like the best plan! I read Northanger Abbey last year and quite enjoyed that, not sure yet which is going to be my favourite :)


message 3: by Beth (new) - added it

Beth Yeah, that's how it was with me too. I've only read this one and Sense and Sensibility, and when I read an Austen next, I think it will be Emma, but I'm not for sure yet.


Rachel Brand I have to read Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion next semester for my English module so I'm interested to see how all of her works differ. Everyone always says P&P is their favourite but I'm not sure if it will be for me. But I felt like I'd kind of failed as a woman and an English student having not read P&P until my third year of my degree, definitely something I should have done early! I'm looking forward to watching one of the film adaptations when I'm done with this.


message 5: by Beth (new) - added it

Beth Ha, that is exactly how I felt! I didn't read it until my second year of college and was a little ashamed about that ;) I like all of the film version I've seen. The A&E mini-series with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy is awesome, but then again, Colin Firth is great in everything. It's a super long version because it was a series, but it's perfect for when you want to lay around the entire day or want to watch something while sick. I have it on DVD, hehe.


message 6: by Beth (new) - added it

Beth Most people I know favor P&P as well. I'll be curious to see if you like the next ones you read better than it.


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