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The Complete Novels (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) Paperback – Deckle Edge, March 28, 2006
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"Together for the first time, the complete and unabridged audio recordings of Jane Austen s novels handsomely presented in a boxed set. Counting 69 CDs and running over 83 hours, this is the Holy Grail of Austen audio book recording as only Naxos could present with superb readings by Juliet Stevenson, Emilia Fox, and Anna Bentinck. Included are Austen's six major novels, the novella Lady Susan and her unfinished novels Sanditon and The Watsons. This is definitely the essential collector s item. 'Nuff said!" --Laurel Ann, Austenprose.wordpress.com --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
By contrast, the Modern Library hardcover edition (which I compared in person at the bookstore) has such a narrow inside margin that the reader must strain to read bent text or to force the binding to open more and the paper to lay flatter. Otherwise, it was a nice edition. For me, they ruined it by this simple mistake.
The leather bound edition from the Library of Literary Classics is a nice idea, and I have not seen it in person. I did notice, however, that the table of contents shows how little space they manage to squeeze Austen's novels into. It has far fewer pages than the Penquin Classics Deluxe Edition. When previewing the pages of text, this seems apparent in the very small type. As I said, I have not seen it in person, so I may be wrong, but it looks like it might be a strain to read, whereas the Penguin is quite comfortable. Hopefully Penguin will provide preview images soon so potential buyers can "Look Inside" and compare for themselves.
It is wonderful that there are so many editions of Austen to choose from. The choice is personal and subjective. I will spend many, many hours reading mine, so I chose the one that I thought would be the most comfortable. I do not want to fight the book -- I want it to disappear so that my imagination may wander unhindered with Jane's characters. I hope you enjoy the novels, whichever edition you choose.
The heroine of the book is Fanny Price, a powerless and socially marginal young woman. To almost everyone she knows, she barely exists. As a child, she is sent to live with the family of her wealthy uncle. Her parents give her up without regret, and her uncle only takes her in because he is deceived into doing so. Fanny's wealthy relations, when they deign to notice her at all, generally do so only to make sure she knows of her inferiority and keeps in her place. Fanny is thus almost completely alone, the only kindness she receives coming from her cousin Edmund. Forced by circumstances to be an observer, Fanny is a faultlessly acute one, as well as the owner of a moral compass that always points true north.
Those who dislike "Mansfield Park" almost invariably cite Fanny as the novel's central fault. She is generally accused of being two things: (1) too passive, and (2) too moral.
The charge of passivity is perplexing. Surely it is evident that for her to challenge those in power over her is extremely dangerous - in fact, when she finally does challenge them, on a matter of the greatest importance to her and of next to no importance to them, she is swiftly reminded of the weakness of her situation by being deported back to the impoverished family of her parents, who receive her with indifference.
The charge of morality is easier to understand - many readers feel themselves being silently accused by Fanny, and they don't like it. The interesting thing is that those same readers often enjoy "Pride and Prejudice", even though it is evident that the same moral standards are in place in both books. So, why do readers feel the prick of criticism in one and not the other?Read more ›
But there are some details in this book that can become quite bothering. As I read Pride and Prejudice, I noticed that an entire line of a dialog between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet (the main characters) is omitted, and frankly, it is difficult to follow the conversation without that particular line. There are also many other mistakes in the text (i.e. 'becausee'). If you are too particular about this kind of errors (like me), maybe you should choose another book. If you don't really care about these things, it is a good choice.
However, I would also like to make a recommendation. After returning the book, I was still looking for collection of Austen's works and happened to find a 1995 hardcover edition of this exact book by Grammercy. The edition costs five dollars more but the quality is ten times better. The book has a faux leather cover with gold trimmed pages and a ribbon bookmark. The paper quality in thin but polished, smoother and more refined. The binding is very durable and I have noticed no deterioration yet after a week of use.
If I had to a chance to redo my purchases, I would have skipped this edition completely and ordered the 1995 edition. If your interested in this edition, it can be found using search under ISBN # 0517147688
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I don't care for a read where the author goes around the world and back again to tell you what should've been said in less than one paragraph. Boring!Published 6 days ago by Amazon Customer
It sounds sexist, I know, but Jane Austen's books are simply not for me, a middle-aged married guy. I have seen a couple of movies based on her books, and sometimes they're OK. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Paul Mastin
Austen at not her best. Fanny is too submissive and self-effacing to be truly relatable. Everyone else is basically a jerk for various reasons. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Finn B.
If you like other period novels by Jane Austen, I would recommend this one as well. I liked the strong female characters and the story telling.Published 24 days ago by Lora C
Absolutely riveting. Author wrote it that in the mind's eye I could see the places and people he wrote about. Great book!!Published 28 days ago by sanbart
This is a wonderful read. Takes a while to get used to some of the language, but that is part of its charm. Kept me engaged and waiting to see what would happen next. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Grammy
I have enjoyed many of her books, but this was my least favorite.Published 1 month ago by M. Paravia