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Topic: Sense and Sensibility

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Subject: Sense and Sensibility
Date Posted: 3/22/2008 12:14 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2007
Posts: 702
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I'm reading this since I made a New Year's resolution to read one classic a month--one that I've never read before.  I'm an English teacher; however, since reading many of the classics on my own (as a child, teen-ager, etc.), plus having to read many of them in college, I'm surprised that I am not enjoying S & S more.  It's more like a chore that anything else.  In fact, I would put it down if not for my self-imposed resolution.  At best, I only consider it mildly interesting.  I want to squeeze each character and make them say what they are really thinking!

Any other opinions on this book? 

Date Posted: 3/22/2008 11:57 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,931
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I loved it.  It's my number 3 favorite Jane Austen (tied with Northanger Abbey).  My ranking for JA goes like this:

1. Pride and Prejudice

2. Persuasion

3. Sense & Sensibility/Northanger Abbey

4. Emma

5. Mansfield Park

Date Posted: 3/23/2008 6:53 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2007
Posts: 702
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I liked Pride and Prejudice years ago when I read it, but I just was not thrilled with S & S.  Maybe it's me and I should stop reading all the best-sellers.  They're so much fun, though!

I'll give Austen another try another time.  Thanks for the reply.  I was beginning to think that no one had read S & S.


Date Posted: 3/23/2008 7:08 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2008
Posts: 389
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It's been a while, but I think I liked it!  I've watched the DVD so many times the book might seem less interesting now.

I know what you mean about wanting the characters to say what they really mean.  But I guess if they did that too early in the book, it would be a really short story! LOL! 


Date Posted: 3/30/2008 2:59 PM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2007
Posts: 2,461
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I would say S and S is number 2 on my list with P and P being number one.  I have a hard time with books where the protaganists do not say what they want to or are very easily influenced by others.  Persuassion was a KILLER hard book for me to read.  LOL


Date Posted: 3/30/2008 3:19 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2008
Posts: 389
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I think Persuasion will be my next Austen novel.  I've read P&P, S&S and Northanger Abbey and I've heard a lot of folks say that Persuasion is their second favorite.  I don't mind so much if they're a challenging read, as long as they're not BORING! LOL

But, it'll probably be a while 'til I can start anything new.

Date Posted: 3/31/2008 9:10 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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I decided to read Sense and Sensibility before Masterpiece showed it on Public Television.  (It seems to be a somewhat lengthier version than the Emma Thompson film version.  I'm a little embarrassed to admit I hadn't read the works of Jane Austen earlier in my life, but hey, well, some things such as learning a trade, serving in the military, getting married, having children, raising them, etc. got in the way for a while!

Once one falls into the rhythm of Austen's very readable prose, and sort of into the mind-set of the early 19th century in rural England, an Austen novel proceeds very nicely.  You can't gallop along, really, you have to slow things to a canter.  It's the same old problem---one can't read something from an earlier century with a 21st century 'sensibility'.

I find that, after shifting gears, so to speak, I AM enjoying this novel "by a lady."   Also, the Penguin Classics edition, with its footnotes, enhances the reading experience.

Date Posted: 4/1/2008 3:43 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2007
Posts: 87
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I adored S&S. I've read P&P, Persuasion, and S&S so far (in the middle of Northanger at the moment). While I do hold a torch for Darcy (who doesn't?) and I loved Persuasion, S&S just might be my favorite. I really liked how both Elinor and Marianne get an equal amount of "screen time," so to speak, whereas in P&P the romance between Jane and Bingley was more of a sidebar. I also liked Marianne's character quite a lot.

However, I tried to start S&S after I read P&P at first, and I couldn't do it-- I tried again months later with an audiobook and found it much easier (and more fun!) to read. That could be an option!

Date Posted: 4/11/2008 8:16 AM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2006
Posts: 4,325
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I've got one chapter left of my current book and I get to start my JA series!  I'm just going to read them in the order of the book I have.  SS is first!

Subject: S&S
Date Posted: 4/21/2008 9:28 PM ET
Member Since: 2/3/2008
Posts: 32
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It's one of her earliest novels (the first one published, I think), and probably not as well developed as the others. It also might suffer from the fact that it was revised from an earlier version which was in epistolary form, although as people have said, the earlier one must have been quite different if the letters were between Elinor and Marianne, since in the finished one they're never apart long enough to write to each other. Obviously being revised from an earlier version isn't the whole problem, since _Pride & Prejudice_ had an earlier incarnation called _First Impressions_. What wouldn't I (and a lot of other people, I'm sure) give for a time machine and a chance to check those earlier versions out, since they didn't survive.
Subject: S&S
Date Posted: 6/20/2008 3:44 AM ET
Member Since: 12/23/2004
Posts: 254
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I think S&S is Austen's weakest novel. Surprisingly I found Northanger Abbey, which she also wrote when barely 20, is much better. S&S lacks the character development of Pride and Prejudice, as well as the witty dialogue, and the ending is so condensed and seems hastily written and a bit unbelievable (Lucy with Robert Ferrars?) . It is also difficult to really feel for Edward; he is too weak a character.

However there are some great scenes in S&S - especially the one near the end when Edward comes to talk to Elinor and doesn't know that Lucy is there. That scene has masterful subtext and is so well played by Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant in the 90s version.

I teach S&S and P&P and always spend four weeks on P&P and only two on S&S.......I'd like to drop S&S and do Persuasion instead but S&S and P&P  are good to do together in regard to focusing on two sisters who suffer disappointment in love and how they handle their experience.....


Date Posted: 9/29/2008 8:40 AM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2008
Posts: 149
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This was the first book I picked up at the library because I just had to know what the big deal on Austen was.  I started to read it and it took me a cuople of chapters before I was unable to put it down.  I love Austen and have read all her books.