Thursday, November 3, 2011

Northanger Abbey

Title: Northanger Abbey
Author: Jane Austin
Format: Audio
Genre: Fiction
Source: Library

To be honest I have never read a Jane Austin book prior to this and from the beginning, I found myself trying to play catch up. I vaguely connected with the characters and the overall plotline but as the story slowly progressed, all the little parts seemed to somewhat come together. Unfortunately, I did find my head wandering off until I came to a funny expression or banter and my head would be whipped back into place hoping to find another something that would keep me engaged in this storyline. Maybe I am just dense and needed to watch the Masterpiece Theatre version to get the visual that was not fully drawn for me with the audio.

Ok, from what I got, Catherine Morland was rather nondescript. She was not pretty nor plan, was not rich nor poor, she was just there, very middle class by our current stands which I think was my first problem since I was trying to relate to her in modern day circumstances when in fact this book was written about 200 years ago.

At the age of 17, Catherine is invited to Bath for the waters by her neighbors the Allen’s. Once there, she meets the Thorpe’s and the Tilney’s and this seems to be where all the problems start. Triangles and romances seem to abound and once again, this is where I began to wander. How to keep the who’s and the what’s straight was a bit vexing.

From digging a little deeper, I come to find out that this was Ms. Austen’s jab at the norms of the day. Well, ok, but I was still lost. Maybe after reading some of her other works I could come back to this one and appreciate it more, but to tell you the truth, that just seems like too much work.

The character interaction was just too lackluster and the wittiness was too sparse for me to keep fully engaged. I know that this author’s work appeals to a wide audience, I just do not happen to be her target audience.


katknit said...

Sorry you didn't enjoy this more. It's one of my all time faves- a spoof, really. Good review explaining why, tho.

KarenJoan said...

I might give this a try. Thanks for the honest review, Nancy.