Sunday, August 31, 2014

Audiobook: Austenland by Shannon Hale

Read by Katherine Kellgren

Synopsis: 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 Prejudice. When a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-obsessed women, however, Jane’s fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become more real 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?

My Thoughts: After watching the movie version of this book, I had to read it! Well, at least listen to the audio. I could not wait to listen to a story that was Jane Austen inspired and one the was quirkily funny. I was also eager to see how the book and movie compared.

 This was a light and amusing tale. It made me wonder if one could actually go to England to be able to experience Jane Austen's world the way the characters did in the book. I was highly entertained with all the "acting" that the characters did to preserve the illusion of the 19th century. Even though I've seen the movie, I was surprised to find myself trying to figure out what was real or not when it came to emotions. 

Next, listening to this book gave me a better insight to the characters. Jane was easy to relate since she had a few flaws, yet she was adorable. Martin was the charming gardener who appeared to be a little suspicious. Then there was Mr. Nobley, the one who was like Mr. Darcy. The movie did not focused too much on Mr. Nobley but the book did. I really enjoyed his character the most and I could not help but have a little crush on him. With this audio, I got a better understanding of the main characters.

This tale was narrated by Katherine Kellgren and she did a great job. I was able to easily picture the story and I absolutely adored how she presented all of the characters. She made listening to this book a joyride.

Though this was a cute and fun book, I found myself liking the movie more. There were certain characters, like Elizabeth Charming, that weren't as big in the book but were in the film. The book did not contain all of the weird and hilarious quotes that made me love the movie either. It's sad to say but I preferred the film version when it came to Austenland.

To sum up, I was glad that I had the chance to read the original story. I now know where the movie got its quirkiness. Though I did not find myself loving the book as much as I did with the movie, it was still fun listening to how Jane experienced Jane Austen's world. I rate it:


  1. It's interesting that you enjoyed the movie more - I'm the opposite, I liked the book more, but I think it's because I read the book first. I did enjoy the movie though, even if I missed some of the things in the book. This is one of my very favorite books though because I so identified with Jane, and I thought the romance was so swoony! I'm glad that you listened to the audiobook too because I felt like the reader really added to the characterizations and the humor by her reading. Now I'm off to read your movie review!

    1. I think I would have liked the book more too if I would have read it first.