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Northanger Abbey
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Archive: Other Books > Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen - 2*

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Elise (ellinou) | 524 comments "Contains some spoilers*

Catherine Morland is a 17-year-old girl who goes to summer in Bath with a couple of friends. They go to balls a lot and complain about not knowing anybody, and then Catherine makes friends and meets love interests. She gets invited to spend time at Northanger Abbey, the home of one of her friends and her love interest, and there she imagines an entertaining mystery for about three pages before returning to her days where nothing interesting ever happens. Then she gets kicked out unceremoniously, but her love interest follows her home and proposes. The end.

You know how some books are so bad they're actually good? This one was so boring it was actually fascinating XD My mom had warned me about it, but I needed to read a book published posthumously for Popsugar and this one was short (and free on Gutenberg), so...

She only showed up at the titular abbey about two-thirds through the book, and the Victorian mystery I was expecting lasted like three pages before ending in embarrassment and tears (from Catherine, not me). So there wasn't much of interest in the book, but I somehow stayed captivated by all the happenings at the multiple balls?

I haven't read much Jane Austen but I now believe my mom when she says this was definitely not her best.


Jgrace | 2713 comments :) Mom's don't lie.


message 3: by Karin (last edited Sep 11, 2019 02:18PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Karin | 6884 comments I liked this better the second time I read it when I realized it is metafiction and poking fun at gothic novels. I doubt that it would have garnered 4 stars from me the first time I read it (probably 3, though).

That said, this isn't her best novel by any stretch of the defnition. However, the one I liked the least was Emma.


message 4: by Hebah (last edited Sep 11, 2019 03:48PM) (new)

Hebah (quietdissident) | 675 comments Having the context of the gothic novels she's making fun of definitely helps with this one. (I did an independent study in my master's degree of gothic novels, and they were so much fun.)

If you want to try another actual gothic novel, might I recommend The Mysteries of Udolpho? It wraps up a bit Scooby-Dooish, as many of them do, but it had some wonderful unsettling atmosphere that made me not want to read it alone at night.

And on the subject of least favorite Austen, that distinction goes to Mansfield Park for me. Total snoozefest.


LibraryCin | 8029 comments I quite liked this one, actually!

If we are voting on least favourite: Emma.


Jgrace | 2713 comments I loved Emma. She was just so Clueless.


Jenny (jennywilliams88) | 674 comments This is my absolute favourite of Austen's & led to my MA dissertation on Ann Radcliffe's gothic novels.

Least favourite is Emma.


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 5539 comments Jgrace wrote: "I loved Emma. She was just so Clueless."

HaHa .... I liked Emma, the novel. Though I admit that Emma, the character, is rather exasperating at time.


message 9: by Jgrace (last edited Sep 12, 2019 08:10AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jgrace | 2713 comments Actually, I think I loved Emma because it was the first Austen that I read. It was part of a summer inservice training run by a colleague and friend. She was a reading specialist and was training us in dynamic techniques for using literature with elementary children. But, unlike many inservice leaders, she didn't ask us to role play children between the ages of 6 and 12. We all read Emma and had a great time discussing the book like grownups. Emma is a fun character to discuss because she is sooo exasperating.


message 10: by Hebah (new)

Hebah (quietdissident) | 675 comments I think Emma was actually my first Austen too. There was a phase when I was a young teen and still reading Babysitters Club books that my mom despaired of my ever reading "good books" so she made me read classics between other books. I remember complaining about Emma a lot and then gradually (though I didn't admit it to my mom) finding it kind of hilarious in places.


Karin | 6884 comments Jgrace wrote: "I loved Emma. She was just so Clueless."

hardy hard har ;)--well done, indeed! I liked the movie Emma with Gwyneth Paltrow better than the movie Clueless.

For those who don't know, Clueless was a modern retelling.


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