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  • Emma
  • Customer reviews

on June 13, 2014
So I just wanted to let others know that this collection is one giant book of all Austen novels combined. You can't tell from the picture, but I was actually expecting (and hoping for) individual books packed in one box like other book collections I have. So I was definitely a bit disappointed when I received this book. And while I am used to reading large books like David McCullough biographies, this compilation is by far the heaviest I have in my possession. I'm not sure I will be able to read this in bed or even hold it up in my arms for any long period of time. So beware. I would have chosen differently if had this information when I was contemplating purchase.
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on December 13, 2017
I was kind of torn when I was thinking of what to rate this book. On one hand, the writing consistently annoyed me but I couldn't really blame that on the book because it was written a couple hundred years ago. And it did amuse me a fair amount, so there's that! The book itself is basically a commentary on novels, gothic themes, and the shallowness of the upper class. I found it increasingly funny as Jane Austen would cut into the narrative of the story to deliver a rant on why novels are just as good as any other literature. The story itself is full of naivety and slights which also made reading this quite hilarious. The ending in particular is lovely with it's wrap-up and how Austen chose to pull back and end it like a fairytale. If you haven't read any Jane Austen yet, don't be worried that you won't understand it! It does take some getting used to at the beginning, but all the concealed humor and the less than concealed maneuvering by upper class characters will keep you amused.

The Final Verdict:
While notoriously difficult to read because of it's age, the built in humor and slights will keep even an impatient reader entertained. This is as good a place to start as any if you're looking to read up on some classics.
4 stars
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VINE VOICEon September 13, 2016
A lot of water under the bridge since first reading this book many years ago. I do not know why I liked it so much them...possibly I was blinded by adolescents and want everyone to have a loving mate and played match maker myself thinking also I was above others..shame on me!! This book the second time around was so frustrating I could have screamed in parts. How dare Emma feel so superior in her small town and looked for others to make over in her image. How dare she play match maker with every eligible bachelor and made in the area thinking she knew best. Was she a true friend visiting all the families and offering her solicitations as if she were the queen and it being a big gift to shower her presence with others (all of whom she felt were inferior) on a regular basis.

Glad to have revisited this book and will revisit others but don't think they will be by Jane Austen. My book was downloaded onto my Kindle from Amazon.
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on June 15, 2015
This is the first book I've read by this author; the Jane Austen theme notwithstanding, the book is good enough to interest me in reading more of Mr. McCall Smith's other books. This modern retelling of "Emma" is well-written, very funny, and overall enjoyable; the only down part is coming to the end of the story. I marked several passages as particularly fine. I especially liked the development of many of the characters in addition to Emma, like Mr. Woodhouse, Miss Taylor, George Knightley, Isabella, Frank Churchill, Miss Bates, and Harriet. McCall Smith's Emma seems more pointed and colder than the original, but no less capable or confident in her own intelligence and meddling for the good of others. I have to admit that I did enjoy it when Mr. Woodhouse told Emma off at one point. I marked "No sexual content," since intimacy was basically hinted at, or thought about/remembered by some of the characters as one might expect, but there wasn't anything I would consider explicit. In all, a great read!
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on August 15, 2014
Fanny Price is one of Austen's most sympathetic heroines. Pulled from poverty to become assistant to her penny-pinching aunt Norris in the estate of her richest, and most clueless relations, she is neverless befriended by her wealthy cousins, and becomes a tentative part of the household. If only her aunt Norris would stop reminding her of her "station in life," and her cousin Edmund would learn to close his mouth when the pretty, but unscrupulous neighbor girl comes to visit.

I recently reread this again - courtesy of a series of long airplane ride, and watched the two recent BBC adaptations because I like seeing how different playwrites and directors adapt classic works. I like the older, darker one better - the blond in the newer one pouts her way through every scene. Scene one - she is perturbed. Scene two - she is perturbed. Scene three - she is perturbed. You get the idea. In the older one, Fanny grows from being unsure of herself to a woman of confidence, as she should. Plus the excruciating interaction with Mrs. Norris reminds the audience of Fanny's uncertain role in the household again and again. Don't worry, everybody except the rake gets what they deserve eventually, even Mrs. Norris (after whom Filch's cat is named in the Harry Potter series).
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on December 7, 2017
Emma Woodhouse is a young girl growing up in a family of wealth and high class. Throughout the story, Emma becomes what some would call a matchmaker. Its starts off Emma becoming good friends with a girl named Harriet. Harriet doesn’t know her parents therefore she doesn’t have money or a high social ranking. Emma attempts to set her up with two different men and both come crashing down miserably. Emma attempts to help everyone Emma falls in love with a man by the name of Frank Churchill. She thinks they will wed, but later on you find out he’s already secretly engaged to a woman by the name of Jane. Emma is devastated by this but begins to reflect upon her feelings. She ends up confessing her love for her brother in law Mr.Knightley who has been guiding her throughout the story and Harriet marries Mr. Martin.

Jane Austen’s writing style was very witty, short, and sweet. She used clever wording that packs a punch in short sentences. The sentences could be unfinished and have dashed, which was used for emphasis on the urgentness and feeling of the character talking. The mood of the story is somewhat ironic. The author seems to have a deep connection with the characters, but likes to show their flaws and insecurities by making fun of them. All the characters seemed believable. I could relate them to people in my life. Their actions and such would be different considering it was written in the 1800s, but if I just changed some things around it made me think of my friends and family. The place was believable. It was based in a tiny town in England called Highbury. The setting of a small town gave you a closer look into the lives, funny quirks, and personalities of the characters presented. In small towns everyone knows everyone, so it shows us a look into the ordinary people's lives with a twist because you’re getting such a zoomed in view.

This story teaches young people about how to find themselves and focus on what really matter. Emma was a novel that I wouldn’t pick up at first sight and be excited to read. Emma learned by the end of the story that she needed to learn to not meddle in everyone else's love life and try to make connections, but rather come to terms with her own feelings. This changed her as a person. She found the love of her life and got married. She finally came to terms with who she was and who she actually had feelings for all along.
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on February 21, 2015
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )|Verified Purchase
This book is the latest installment of The Austen Project, which "pairs six bestselling contemporary authors with Jane Austen’s six complete works: Sense & Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, Pride & Prejudice, Emma, Persuasion and Mansfield Park. Taking these well-loved stories as their base, each author will write their own unique take on Jane Austen’s novels" (Google "Austen Project" to check out the website for more details.)

I find McCall Smith's style very enjoyable, and it comes through splendidly here in his modern retelling of Emma. I've read almost all of his other books - No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Scotland Street, Professor Dr. von Igelfeld books - and this one was like putting on a comfortable old pair of boots. If you've read McCall Smith's Scotland Street or Isabel Dalhousie books, the content of Emma is quite similar - It's easy to get drawn into the stories of everyday people and their everyday problems. If you're not familiar with his work and are just enjoying the different retellings of classic Austen works, then I think you're in for a pleasant surprise in discovering the work of Alexander McCall Smith!
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on October 19, 2015
When it came to Thackeray's Vanity Fair, I made the comment that this was a bad time in history for both men and women without money. In the world of Sense and Sensibility there are some modifiers. A man with no money but possessing good looks, and manners may marry a woman of means. Society looks at this as the man having made a good match. Unfortunately the prospects for women possessing similar attractiveness of beauty and manners aren't equally good. Austin once again examines the unfairness of family wealth bypassing the women in the family to be awarded to the closest male relative. Women of good family but little means could wind up with no marital prospects, living at the sufferance of the male heir, or becoming the governess to children of her former schoolmates. Once she was an equal, now she is an employee. In this story there is a happy ending for most, and a fitting ending for those who deserve it.
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on January 21, 2016
As with Austin's Pride and Prejudice, this book contained a very good storyline but was very difficult to read. An example of my difficulty is on page 123. "...but a sanguine temper, though for ever expecting more good than occurs, does not always pay for its hopes by any proportionate depression." What?!!! It is difficult to figure out just what she is saying in many instances. Also, she is VERY wordy and gets bogged down in unnecessary details. Nevertheless, I still come away with the feeling that it was a good story and I'm glad I finished reading it.

This book contained the story of Emma and several of her friends in her small town near London. There were so many twists and turns in the plot that it kept the reader guessing just who would end up loving whom.
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on June 22, 2015
I've been a fan of Jane Austen since middle school, however, it's been quite difficult for me to get past most of the beginnings of her works. Northanger Abbey isn't a title commonly heard of, but after my desperate need to collect all of Austen's works, I stumbled upon the vintage classics edition of this beautifully and wittily written book. From the beginning, this piece was a page-turner. I adored Catherine, the heroine of the book, as she is one of the most underrated Austen main characters. Not only does she have spunk, but she is very much a person who wants to do the right thing and be true to who she is. This storyline is very different but also very similar to the later works that Austen has written, in that it has a lot of wit and humor unlike most of the other works, however has a very similar setting and writing style. All in all, I adore this book and what makes it even more enjoyable is the beautifully illustrated jacket. I am a fan of this newly done series and am keen on getting all of her works in this vintage classics edition.
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