Austenland - Audio CD - Unabridged Author:Shannon Hale, Katherine Kellgren (Narrator) Jane is a young New York woman who can never seem to find the right man -- perhaps because of her secret obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Predjudice. When a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-obsessed women, however, Jane's fantasies of mee... more »ting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become realer than she ever could have imagined. Is this total immersion in a fake Austenland enough to make Jane kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr. Darcy of her own?
Anyone that has drooled over Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy in the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice will relate to this book! It was a fun, light read with enjoyable characters, written quite well. I just wish that it was longer. I read a library copy, but would very much like to have a copy of my own for my library.
This review is about the audio version, not the book itself. The woman reading the book does some serious British accents, and a couple of them are so cringeworthy, I had to turn the sound down. It made my teeth crunch. Pretty awful to listen to, and I LOVE British accents. Just a word to the wise.
This was a fun read. I found it a bit short though, only 194 pages in my copy, which is more of a young adult length, but it was still a good read. Jane is an amusing character - very forthright with her feelings and quite quick on her feet. Some of her dialogue made me laugh. The book was segmented by short paragraphs about boyfriends Jane has had in her life (13 so far), which added to the amusement and explained some of Jane's character. Because her love interests in this book were both actors (a Mr. Nobley who finds her "impertinant" and Martin Jasper, who breaks role and secretly watches basketball with her in his room), we don't see very much about their backstory, except for a bit when Jane uses her journalist friend's connections. I think that adds to the surreal feeling of - is she really doing this? Pretending? And the oddity of a whole household of people pretending to be in the Regency era for a few rich people's amusement. Jane struggles with this throughout the book, but manages to still be herself while in the ridiculous surroundings.
A complaint I see a lot from people when reading this type of book is how cliched it is - repetition of the same stories created by Austen in the modern world, or trying to continue her books in a bad fan-fiction way. I admit, if that's not your thing, you may not like this book, because this had a lot more references to the BBC adaptations than to the actual books. I'm not sure that accuracy is the point though. This is just a fun story, and I think it does point out the value or real life over fantasy. And while Jane she does meet someone who she at first considers rather Darcy-esque, we don't have an as obvious Lizzy/Darcy parallel as in other books. OK there is one, but it's not bad. It was a fresh spin and I enjoyed it.
I am a huge Jane Austen fan, and found this today while in Barnes and Noble. I read it within 2 hours because I just couldn't put it down. Would love it if a place like this really existed somewhere, especially here in America and at an affordable rate lol. Jane is a wonderful character and is down on her luck with men, and her aunt left her this 3 week vacation to "immerse" herself in Austen's times. I love how in the book she describes each of her "boyfriends" before each chapter. I can really relate to the character, and hope there will be a sequel.
Jane Hayes is the envy of every Austenphile. Her aunt offers her the chance to visit Pembrooke Park where she is thoroughly immersed in Jane Austen's world. She lives the lifestyle, meets the men, and even (dare we hope)falls in love. All in hopes of curing her Austen obsession. The book is well-written, witty, and wonderfully enchanting. It is Hale at her best and it leaves the rest of us wondering... Any chance we can go?