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Austenland: A Novel Kindle Edition
Audio CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
In this addictive, charming and compassionate story, Shannon Hale brings out the Jane Austen obsessive in all of us.
"Funny, moving, and a real surprise." - USA Today
"Gloriously satisfying." - Glamour
"Adorable! This is the best tribute to obsessed Austen freaks (like me) that I’ve ever read." - Stephenie Meyer, New York Times bestselling author of the TWILIGHT series
"An utterly enjoyable tribute." - Miami Herald
"An homage to Austen… Austenland offers hope that after years of fruitless searching for a companion, just when you’re ready to give up on love, it will find you on its own." - Houston Chronicle
"Allow me to direct you to the best Austen tribute since Karen Joy Fowler's The Jane Austen Book Club: Shannon Hale's clever and imaginative Austenland... Hale's charming first book for adults is chick lit with soul. Though there's a laugh on nearly every page--Hale, like Austen, is adept at subtly skewering the ridiculous―there's also the more serious story of a woman learning the difference between fantasy and reality, and discovering that real life can be better than your dreams. Is there a better message for a summer read?" - Bookpage
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- ASIN : B00ATLUIPW
- Publisher : Bloomsbury Paperbacks; 1st edition (28 February 2013)
- Language : English
- File size : 800 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 209 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #444,728 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- #5,664 in Regency Historical Romance eBooks
- #6,121 in Romantic Comedy eBooks
- #16,916 in Historical Romance (Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from India
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The fabulous concept of the novel is that there's a Regency-era mansion in England that hosts an exclusive vacation experience for wealthy customers. Visitors dress in period clothes and live a period life for three weeks, interacting with actors and (they hope) having a little Austen-style romance.
In Austenland, a wealthy and eccentric relative sends Jane Hayes (our hopeless Janeite with love for all things Colin Firth) to Pembrook Park, hoping it will cure her of her Darcy-lust and enable her to get on with her life.
Enjoyable and lovely, I'd recommend to anyone looking for some cozy romantic read.
This is a pretty good story. Anyhow, I could not like it.
It's missing something- something that would make it more delicious.
Top reviews from other countries
"Austenland" the film is somewhat enjoyable, and occasionally funny. The book, while being different from the film (not so funny, I thought), still provided light entertainment (alas, there was no Jennifer Coolidge). The whole Jane Austen and Mr Darcy obsession of the main character felt completely believable to me, yet the flimsiness and silliness of heroine when it came to men in her life spoiled the book for me. Same with the romance - there was really no believable chemistry between the leads, but a lot of sentimental gibberish sprinkled with weak attempts at regency. I think the idea of "Austenland" retreat sound good when thought of and discussed, but was not executed to its full potential. The whole actors playing falling in love with rich ladies who pay money to wear Nineteenth century dresses felt somewhat surreal to me...
It is not a classic, it's not Jane Austen, it's not an attempt at a regency novel, but a typical chicklit book sprinkled with regency drama, a very light entertainment. Do not expect a vivid historic drama or a heart-breaking love story. That said, it's only 208 pages long and the cover is exquisitely designed. I would not mind checking out the second book of the series.
It's all very proper, but also quite fake, and mildly comic. A good deal of the fun and confusion comes from not knowing when characters are acting and when they are sincere, and from the reality of the present day continuously showing through the Regency veneer. But it's an escapist romance within an escapist romance, so the ultimate payoff of the book isn't too hard to imagine. It's frothy and light, and good fun without being at all taxing. I'm not sure I'd want to read any more of the series (yes, there are sequels), but as a standalone novel, it was good fun.
I listened to the American audiobook version , which comes on 5 CDs in cardboard packaging. It's read by Katherine Kellgren, who is a New Yorker but who studied at RADA, and who manages to switch between American and British accents without any apparent trouble (although Martin's Bristol/Sheffield working class accent is more than a bit of a pastiche). It's a spirited reading, giving about 6 and a half hours of listening - more than enough to keep you amused on a trip from London to Edinburgh.
The idea of a Jane Austen immersion experience, like an extended murder mystery weekend, is a clever one, from which evocative scenes flowed, full of supressed desires and battles of wit between well-drawn and often conniving characters. I loved Mrs Wattlesbrook, and her harsh dictatorship style of management, it was the anchor which made the rest of the book believable. Miss Charming was a great comic character who could have been incredibly annoying, but instead was funny and engaging.
The main character Jane, whilst somewhat stereotypical of the Thirty-Something-Girl-About-Town-Addicted-To-Chocolate-But-Oh-Dear,-Still-Can't-Find-Mr-Right cliche, manages to be very likeable with a wit which sometimes indeed could match Elizabeth Bennett. I get so tired sometimes of the same old neurotic heroines who panic hourly over men and shoes, but was surprised to find I really liked both the real Jane and Jane Erstwhile, her Austen alterego.
It takes great skill to make a vastly entertaining book out of three weeks of doing ostensibly nothing, but Shannon Hale manages it with aplomb and without too much repetition. The details of dress and food etc. were interesting, especially for Austen fans, as those books have little or no such information.
This is chick lit as it should be. The characters might be instantly recognisable, but the idea is fresh and it's well written. True, there are one or two things that might jar the reader briefly out of the story, but they're minor, and the vast majority of non-UK readers wouldn't notice them at all.
I look forward to seeing the movie later this year, although I'm aware that some of the sparkle of the novel, running like a seam through the narrative - sometimes just in the way words are beautifully put together - will likely be lost.
You will have to know a bit about Austen and her books to get all of the references that are continually thrown out (Although if you’re not an Austen fan why would you be reading this?).
Certainly worth a read though.