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Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
By: (1775-1817)

Two sisters, one practical and full of commonsense, the other a passionate and emotional creature, an uncaring brother and his avaricious wife, a handsome rake and a faithful gentleman – these are some of the unforgettable characters who make Jane Austen's first published novel, Sense and Sensibility such a delightful, witty and timeless classic.

The novel was published under the pseudonym “A Lady” by its shy and retiring nineteen-year-old author, Jane Austen, in 1811. She was the daughter of a country rector and lived all her life in the circle of her large and loving family in a little village in Hampshire, England. There is very little autobiographical material available about her, as her well-meaning relatives burned and destroyed most of her diaries and letters after her death.

Sense and Sensibility is a charming story of two sisters who see life from two very different viewpoints. When their father suddenly dies, leaving his entire estate to their half-brother John, the sisters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood, their mother and youngest sister Margaret are thrown at the financial mercy of John and his mean-minded wife, Fanny. Mrs Dashwood and her daughters soon realize that they are not welcome at their former home Norland Hall. Fanny's brother Edward Ferrars, who is quite different from his greedy and graceless sister, arrives and begins to form an attachment to Elinor, which is violently opposed by Fanny. Mrs Dashwood is hurt and bewildered, but finally realizes that they have no option but to leave. They move to Devonshire, where Mrs Dashwood's cousin, Sir John Middleton welcomes them and helps them to find suitable lodgings. While out walking one rainy evening, Marianne suffers a small accident and is rescued by the suave and dashing John Willoughby. She falls passionately in love with him.

The story takes several interesting twists and turns, driven by the opposing natures of the two sisters. More than two hundred years after publication, this delightful tale still manages to capture the reader's imagination as it echoes universal truths of passion, love, social status and ethics. Sense and Sensibility is a coming of age novel, marked by Jane Austen's deliciously ironic and sharp wit and famously under-stated style that will certainly appeal to modern-day readers.

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Reviews (Rated: 4 Stars - 34 reviews)

Reviewer: - February 14, 2021
Subject: Highly recommend
The mother’s voice is grating (so giving 4 stars instead of 5), but if you suffer through it and laugh it off, the book as a whole is great. Luckily she isn’t one of the most prominent characters. Thanks to all the volunteers who made this happen, including you-know-who!
Reviewer: - August 2, 2020
Subject: Sensibility
I enjoy the story, but some of the readers are too flat. Mrs. Dashwood's sing-song reading is absolutely awful. I'm not sure why the reader is doing that.
Reviewer: - February 16, 2019
Subject: Voice
Enjoying the book however the mother’s voice who is doing the reading is spoiling it for me, compared to the other readers who portray their characters beautifully and interestingly.
Reviewer: - September 10, 2018
Subject: Voice
I hate to give a bad review, because I love that this service exist and there's so many good readers, however I couldn't get passed chapter 3 of this one. The mother's voice is the same voice of a small boy in Anne of Avonlea. It was annoying then, but I let it go, however as a grown woman in this I can't get passed it.
Reviewer: - August 13, 2018
Subject: Yikes is right!
I cannot get past chapter 5 of this recording, despite trying multiple times! The reader for Mrs. Dashwood is ridiculous! I thought that surely it would get better but I just can't deal. Definitely agree with "nails on a chalkboard" likeness on this one. Ugh!
Reviewer: - July 27, 2018
Subject: Cringe worthy narration
Mrs Dashwoods awful American accent. Had to stop Listening
Reviewer: - May 27, 2018
Subject: Don't like it, pay for it
It saddens me so much that so many people give such a hateful review to these volunteers. Honest critique is one thing (and I found those critiques very useful before listening), but the hateful yammering of those so entitled as to assume that they should get for free the work of others and have the audacity to say that that work isn't good enough, is indicative of their character. Thank you all so much for taking the time to put these works together. I do agree with some of the more honest reviews, but going in prepared made those issues a non-issue. I was able to listen and enjoy as it was intended, as a work of well-meaning passion. I reserve 5 stars for those times when the volunteers nail it, but this is very easily above average and worth so much more than the $0 price tag!
Reviewer: - May 18, 2018
Subject: Marianne
I swear Marianne was played by Emma Watson
Reviewer: - January 10, 2018
Subject: Mrs Dashwood
I can not get over how terrible Trish G voices Mrs Dashwood. Her pitch almost always crescendos at the end of almost every narrative. She makes it sound as if every passage is a question. Makes me crazy to the point I almost couldn't continue listening to the story. I am only at chapter 8, hopefully she gets better.
Reviewer: - November 12, 2017
Subject: wonderful job!
well I think its excellent, I thoroughly enjoyed it, hats off to the all the people who worked very hard portraying all the characters in such a brilliant way!!! I loved it and I'm not that keen on audible! so very well done all of you! thankyou very much indeed! x
Reviewer: - March 3, 2017
Subject: Voices
I can't get past Mr. Dashwood sounding so much older than his wife. The reader for his part also reads with little or no variation or feeling. I would prefer just the narrator if the characters are not "in character."
Reviewer: - May 26, 2016
Subject: Thank you!
I appreciate you hard work to make this book available at loyalbooks. I am glad I can listen to it while I drive to work. Many thanks to you all!
Reviewer: - March 16, 2016
Subject: bad narration
I'm grateful for this free service (Thank you!) and I presume that the narrators are all volunteers. I also appreciate the experimental nature of this audiobook (different people voicing different characters), but some of the cast voices are awful. The Siri-sounding Mrs. Dashwood, the aged-sounding Col. Brandon, and a few others just not good. A few good voices (e.g., Marianne), but some of the characters have American accents, and there's even an Aussie or Kiwi accent in there. I plan to find another audio version out there in free-audio-book-land. I know of at least one other, and there might be more.
Reviewer: - September 13, 2015
Subject: Mrs. Dashwood
Oh My!!! I couldnt wait to review this :0 I love this book and I am familiar with the movie, as I've seen it numerous times. I could not get past Mrs. Dashwood's voice however. It sounded like she was always asking a question when she spoke! Everyone else was pretty good! I especially liked Marianne. I thought she was amazing. There really needs to be some quality control; although, I do understand this is all volunteer! But like another reviewer, I busted up laughing every time I heard Mrs. D speak! Thank you for allowing an honest review!
Reviewer: - June 24, 2015
Subject: Oh my god the voices.
Mrs Dashwood's robotic Siri voice made me turn this off many times. Colonel Brandon sounded like an 80 year old. John Middleton's was almost as bad as Mrs Dashwood's. And Mrs Jenner - I almost died laughing at the description that she recorded it into a potato. So spot on. Even the narrator sounded tragic and tired for most of it. I found some of the accents a bit distracting, but it was the other voices that really made this hard to get through. I would rather have it all read by one person with no voices than to have this.
Reviewer: - January 1, 2015
Narrator mispronounced "pianoforte." Every. Single. Time.
Reviewer: - August 7, 2014
I laughed so hard whenever Mrs Dashwood spoke, first I thought it's me but then I read other comments about her and tears come down my eye. Almost broke my ribs laughing.
Reviewer: - July 18, 2014
Thank you for this service. Perhaps some quality control should be put in place. Mrs. Dashwoods voice make it difficult to listen. Col Brandon come across as much older than 35 years. These narration have ruined this. I'll get a CD set from the public library.
Reviewer: - May 7, 2014
Wow. I love this book. My few complaints are that Mrs. Dashwood sounds like a badly programmed robot; Colonel Brandon has a really old-sounding voice; Mrs. Jennings sounds like she used a potato as a recorder; and Willoughby has a strange accent. But the rest, like the narrator and Marianne sound great. Love this book soooo much.
Reviewer: - February 5, 2014
Subject: Sense and Sensibility
Mrs. Dashwood's voice is VERY odd. I can't listen to what she's saying because all I think about is how irritating her cadence and inflections are.
Reviewer: - October 2, 2013
Subject: Sense and Sensibility
I can no longer listen to this book. Oh My Goodness!! Mrs. Dashwood and her odd inflections at the end of a sentence. There are some characters who are easy to understand and others who are so difficult. I made it to chapter 17 and had had enough. The only redeeming quality is I love the Book. Not this reading of it.
Reviewer: - September 30, 2013
Subject: Sense & Sensibility
Why is Mrs. Dashwood's voice like this!! Horrible reading for Mrs. Dashwood :( Love the story but her voice is ruining it for me.
Reviewer: - September 20, 2013
Subject: Sense & Sensibility
Thankful for this service, but Mrs. Dashwood sounds like Mrs. Stepford - so weird!
Reviewer: - September 15, 2013
The reader for Mrs. Dashwood (the girls' mother) uses strange intonation, and Colonel Brandon's voice sounds much older than 35 (maybe 75), which I had to consciously ignore. However, it wasn't too difficult to get past this, and the narrator and other readers are excellent! Overall, fantastic version. Thank you all so much for recording this!
Reviewer: - September 8, 2013
Mrs. Dashwood's narrator makes me want to punch kittens. I'm baffled by it. She ends every statement with the same cadence and is unnatural throughout.
Reviewer: - August 27, 2013
Oh my goodness...I may not be able to get through this! The mother's voice is driving me NUTS! The story, of course, is fabulous.
Reviewer: - August 6, 2013
I agree. The narrator is perfect, and most other readers are great, but Mrs. Dashwood's voice is irritating.
Reviewer: - July 9, 2013
The narrator is perfect along with some characters of the novel except Mrs. Dashwood and Colonel Brandon. But the most artful reader is the one who reads the lines of Mrs. Jennings. I was all pleasure to hear her voice.
Reviewer: - July 8, 2013
It took me a while to get used to the voices, but after that I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Reviewer: - June 26, 2013
I agree with the mothers voice but otherwise its amazing that this site is free.
Reviewer: - June 20, 2013
The American accents for some characters are ridiculous; they should all be English in this novel.
Reviewer: - June 9, 2013
Subject: Sense and Sensibility
The reader of the mother is dreadful. Ruins it.
Reviewer: - May 18, 2013
Karen Savage narrates another Austen novel perfectly - very entertaining.
Reviewer: - May 17, 2013
Karen Savage narrates this novel perfectly.

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