Customer Reviews


551 Reviews
5 star:
 (320)
4 star:
 (120)
3 star:
 (48)
2 star:
 (32)
1 star:
 (31)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


128 of 133 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting character study
Emma Woodhouse is priviledged. Very priviledged. She comes from the richest, most important family in her small town. Everyone looks up to her, including her indulgent governess and even more indulgent papa. The theme of her life, from the time she was small, has always been "Emma knows best". Emma takes this to heart when she takes an interest in young Harriet...
Published on September 22, 2010 by Shelby Miller

versus
50 of 57 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Hard Read
Of all of the books by Jane Austen this was my least favorite. The central character is not likeable and you can't sympathasize with her. It is a long and tedious book and it was constantly set aside to read something else when a new book arrived. If you are truly a fan of the 18th century period writings yes go ahead and read it but Pride and Prejudice, Sense &...
Published on October 30, 2010 by James Schwartz


‹ Previous | 1 256 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

128 of 133 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting character study, September 22, 2010
This review is from: Emma (Kindle Edition)
Emma Woodhouse is priviledged. Very priviledged. She comes from the richest, most important family in her small town. Everyone looks up to her, including her indulgent governess and even more indulgent papa. The theme of her life, from the time she was small, has always been "Emma knows best". Emma takes this to heart when she takes an interest in young Harriet Smith, the beautiful, empty-headed daughter of, well, someone. The book follows Emma's misadventures as she tries to marry Harriet off to the local parson and meddles in the lives of her friends and neighbors, eventually learning that perhaps she doesn't always know best.

This is, I think, one of Jane Austen's less popular works, perhaps because there isn't a great deal of romance in it. It is, as I titled the review, more of a character study, as well as a study of society at that time. On first reading, I didn't care for the book or for Emma's self-centered goodness. After reading it again, I grew to enjoy the book as much if not more than her more popular works, like Pride and Prejudice. The wit is sharp as usual (and maybe slightly more ascerbic), and more thought seems to have been put into the secondary characters. Definitely worth a read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


60 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful story about relationships, June 27, 2000
I definitely recommend this book to first time Jane Austen readers, and especially to young girls, for it is so cute and so amusing. I wish I were "forced" to read this in High School for I would have surely written good papers on it. I can't see how anyone can dislike this classic. Jane Austen's character "Emma" has her faults of course, be she is a true character that is amusing and utterly charming, unlike those characters in Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, which by no doubt are wonderful books, but Emma truly has to be my favorite Austen work. It is predictable, even without having seen the movie that was based on this work (that mind some of you was written over 200 years before Alicia Silverstone existed...gosh!) but the predictability of it made it all the more enjoyable, like a sort of mystery in romance. I definitely recommend this book to anyone over the age of 11 or 12. I know I'll make my kids read it some day. It is superb!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite Pride & Prejudice but Close, March 7, 2000
If I could do it over again, I would read Jane Austen's Emma before I read her Pride and Prejudice. Unfortuanately that was not the case. I loved it nonetheless. Emma combines witty humor and a fun cast of characters that makes for very enjoyable reading. It does not read as quickly or as easily as Pride and Prejudice, but it is still great fun!
If you have seen the movie Clueless starring Alicia Silverstone, then you know the basic plot. The 1995 movie was adapted from Jane Austen's novel, which was published in the 1800s. The Miramax version of Emma is done very well and should be viewed after reading the novel, not before. It would make the reading even slower.
Emma Woodhouse is a young woman who is the socialite of her small English town of Highbury. She is beautiful and wealthy and popular; everything that girls nowadays want to be or imagine themselves to be, so she is not terribly hard to relate to. She is not terribly smart but humorously clever and witty.
This novel displays this young woman's journey to self-discovery and love; along the way she humorously meddles in everyone's lives. Her romantic blunders are extremely fun to read about. I recommend this novel to any avid reader, but I should caution you against reading Pride and Prejudice beforehand, but if it is too late, do not hesitate to read it. And even though it may drag a bit, bear with it; the ending is reward itself!
Needless to say Emma will always have a place in my heart and on my bookshelf.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Aunt Jane, Georgian Spinster Queen of English Prose, October 25, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I'm reading Emma again for the third time. It happened like this: I thought I'd try an audio book on CD for the first time, something to listen to in the car besides music. Scanning the shelves at the local bookstore, I saw loads of contemporary best sellers, self and financial help, new age and evangelical Christian spirituality, and Jane Austen's Emma in MP3 format, all on one disc. Austen! Water in the desert! I scooped her up.

For the last week I've been listening to her in my car. At the beginning it was without much concentration. Over the next few days my attention gradually increased. Now I'm hooked. Down the throat. Through the gut. Again. It happens to me every time I return to Jane. I just can't get enough. The last two nights I've gone to bed reading ahead of where I've listened. Even though the story is coming back to me, I'm still taken by it, hook line & sinker. Jane's reeling me in, and the line is utterly slack.

Now, I am a guy. I break out in hives if I happen to accidentally brush a romance novel. As far as I am concerned, bodice rippers where the tall olive skinned duke inevitably has his forceful yet gentle way with the heroine are good only as ammunition with which to tease the women in my life who enjoy such tripe. Having said this, I realize a lot of people also refer to Jane Austen as "Chick Lit," equating her with the likes of Nicolas Sparks. For the record, those people are on crack.

Austen is much more a comedic writer than a writer of what we call romances. She is simply a hoot. Subtle disjunctures and ironies build to exquisite crescendos. She has me laughing every other page. Her characters, even her unpleasant and ridiculous ones, tend to breed sympathy. Like most of my favorite books, she creates worlds, or a world, really (all of her books are set in the same historic and geographic milieu,) which comforts and gladdens. The feeling I get from her is much like the feeling I get when I read Tolkien describe the Shire or Last Homely House, or something like the children's book Frog & Toad to my niece.

It's an eating poached egg on toast snuggled up inside under a quilt on the couch with a cup of tea on a rainy day kind of feeling. (Don't you just love English prepositions and phrasal verbs? Try doing that in French! Austen and phrasal verbs: two of the many reasons English speakers ought to rejoice in their language, I say!)

Anyway, during all of her stories, including Emma, Europe was being blown apart by the Napoleonic Wars, and the only oblique references in any of her stories to that maelstrom is that Great Britain has a mobilized Army (Pride & Prejudice) and an active Navy (Persuasion.) The reason the military is important has nothing to do with Austerlitz, Waterloo, Trafalgar or any of that nonsense. Rather, it is that both services have officers which make very suitable suitors for women of her heroines' social positions (Lt. Wickham & Capt. Wentworth, for example.)

Some brand this awful: elitist, sexist, parochial. I, for one, find it beautiful. Small, intimate, ordered, secure, anchored. Very human and sane, that is.

What matters most is not what some silly diminutive one armed Corsican with maniacal delusions of world conquest is doing; no. What really matters is whether and how Mr. Woodhouse takes his gruel, or if Mr. Elton will propose to Harriet. Or if Mr. Knightly and Mrs. Weston have come to visit yet, today. Will Mr. Frank Churchill come, and what is he like? Has Emma truly foiled Mr. Martin's advances on her friend, he being an entirely unsuitable yeoman farmer? Harriet must marry a gentleman, you see.

Just so. Indeed, these are truly the things that mattered- and still matter- most. Don't let the history books and the reverse snobbery of some critics fool you.

Instead go read this book, and every other that Jane wrote, and prepare to be enchanted.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


50 of 57 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Hard Read, October 30, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Emma (Kindle Edition)
Of all of the books by Jane Austen this was my least favorite. The central character is not likeable and you can't sympathasize with her. It is a long and tedious book and it was constantly set aside to read something else when a new book arrived. If you are truly a fan of the 18th century period writings yes go ahead and read it but Pride and Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility and Northlanger Abbey are far better reading.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'll try not to give away the ending..., March 1, 2000
By A Customer
Emma is Jane Austen at her best, the work of a writer in her prime. While earlier novels such as Northanger Abbey and Pride and Prejudice are extremely witty and well-plotted, none are as clever, interesting or satisfying as Emma, in its depiction of the frivolous preoccupations of the landed gentry in eighteenth century England.
The plot centres around Emma Woodhouse, the young, beautiful and clever daughter of a hypochondriac father, who amuses herself by attempting to play cupid to her friends and neighbours - with predictably painful results. Austen's characterisation is delightful: characters such as Mr Woodhouse and Miss Bates are brilliant comic creations but are never in danger of becoming caricatures, like Dickens' characters sometimes do. Meanwhile Emma herself is a complex mixture of intelligence and thoughtlessness, kind-heartedness and self-satisfaction, and is superbly realised. Austen's dialogue is as delicious, and frequently hilarious, as ever - she reveals the finer nuances of her characters through the things they say, intentionally or otherwise - and shows how intuitively insightful and compassionate she was.
As in most Jane Austen novels, all situations resolve themselves into a happy ending, though whether this tendency was prompted by a genuine positivity and warmth of feeling or a playful sense of irony, nobody is sure. Regardless, Emma is a tremendously satisfying read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Austen's Emma is unusually attractive!, November 18, 2005
By 
Jane Austen wrote some of the most remarkable romantic novels in English, and Emma is said to be written at the height of her powers. Like all her novels (Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility), the narrative is simple, straightforward and the story develops through seemingly commonplace conversations and events. Emma is twenty one year old daughter to rich Mr Woodhouse, "full of trivial communications and harmless gossip." The story captures how Emma comes to terms with her own errors of judgement, and how she discovers her liking and love for one of the chief characters of the novel. (Perhaps giving his name away here would be sacrilage on my part!!). The cast, the locations, the conversations are set in distinct Austen style, rooted in rural English counties. The romances are Victorian, and progress through delicate, slow developments that a through, diehard romantic is bound to like. Emma's actions are governed by her own romantic fantasies, where she tries to bring people together playing a matchmaker, and her failures as well as successes make this novel an interesting read. A treat for Austen fans!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Be Advised, August 30, 2005
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Emma (Audio CD)
Buyers be advised that, though this page as of 08/30/2005 does not specify, this is ABRIDGED. So for those of you that cannot stand the thought of missing out on something that should have been left in (like me), just keep browsing for a different edition. I found out the hard way.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I seem to have been doomed to blindness.", June 21, 2004
Emma Woodhouse, "handsome, clever, and rich," is the 21-year-old daughter of the elderly owner of Hartfield, the largest estate in Highbury. Though only a couple of hours away from London by carriage, Highbury regards itself as an isolated and virtually self-contained community, with the Woodhouse family the center of social life and at the top of its social ladder. Emma, doting on her hypochondriac father, whom she represents to the outside world, has grown up without a mother's softening influence, and at twenty-one, she is bright, willful, and not a little spoiled. Having too little to do to keep out of trouble, Emma's hobby is matchmaking, "the greatest amusement in the world,." Unfortunately, her sophistication in the social graces does not extend to much insight into human beings.

Taking Harriet Smith, a young woman of "questionable birth" under her wing, Emma makes Harriet her "project," educating her in the social graces, convincing Harriet not to marry farmer Robert Martin, who has courted her, and ultimately persuading Harriet, wrongly, that the vicar, Mr. Elton, is falling in love with her. Bored and without a large circle of "suitable" friends, Emma is an incorrigible meddler, playing with the lives of those around her, snubbing those she considers inferior, gossiping about others in an attempt to divert attention to herself, and misreading intentions. Only Mr. Knightly, sixteen years older than Emma and a friend of her father, stands up to Emma and tells her what he thinks of her behavior, and it is through him that she eventually begins to grow.

Love and the formal protocol of marriage are a major focus here, with marriage more often a merger of "appropriate" families than the result of romance or passion. Class distinctions, acknowledged by all levels of society, limit both personal friendships and romantic possibilities, and as Emma's matchmaking fails again and again, causing grief to many of her victims, Emma begins to recognize that her pride, willfulness, and love of power over others have made her oblivious to her own faults. Austen shines in her depiction of Emma and her upperclass friends, gently satirizing their weaknesses but leaving room for them to learn from their mistakes-if only they can learn to recognize the ironies in their lives. Though Emma may be, in some ways, Austen's least charming heroine, she is certainly vibrant and, with her annoying faults, a most realistic one. Mary Whipple
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


49 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Romance Junkie, February 13, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Emma (Kindle Edition)
I don't know which book of Jane Austen, I love more. Sense and Sensibility is just so romantic. Pride and Prejudice is awesome and Emma is just fabulous. To think that Jane Austen wrote those books so long ago just goes to show that women have felt pretty much the same about love for always.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 256 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Emma
Emma by Jane Austen (Paperback - June 7, 2011)
$15.99 $6.40
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.