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The austen project

(21 Posts)
Becca19962014 Sun 12-Oct-14 10:09:59

I was wondering if anyone has read any of these novels. Basically the books of Jane Austen are being reimagined by current popular authors (two have been done so far). I'm not too sure about this personally.

My favourite austen books are northanger abbey and mansfield park. I know northanger abbey has been done, but am unsure as I don't like any of the other books the author doing it has done.

I think it's a good idea, but am not sure how if I will like them as I enjoy the originals so much.

Details of the project here

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ItsNotEasyBeingGreen Sun 12-Oct-14 17:28:21

I only discovered this on MN yesterday. I think I'd like to try the Alexander McCall Smith, Emma, first. My favourite Austen is Pride and Prejudice though so I will definitely keep my eyes peeled for that.

Becca19962014 Sun 12-Oct-14 18:26:29

I hadn't done a search to see if there were already threads on it here. Opps.

I found out about the project when I saw the reimagined sense and sensibility and looked it up online yesterday. I wonder what order they are doing them in? I know they have done northanger as well.

Thanks for the reply!

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ItsNotEasyBeingGreen Sun 12-Oct-14 18:47:34

Sense and sensibility is £2 on kindle.

Northanger abbey is £2.99 on kindle.

Emma has just been released on hardback.

Pride and prejudice is next... And then two more but I'm not sure what they are.

Becca19962014 Sun 12-Oct-14 18:54:16

Thankyou for the information! I'll put them on my wish list! I'm only really interested in northhanger and mansfield park though.

The other two will be mansfield park and persuasion.

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ItsNotEasyBeingGreen Sun 12-Oct-14 19:21:33

Doh of course they will. blush

Becca19962014 Sun 12-Oct-14 19:59:28

I knew mansfield because it is my favourite.

I googled persuasion grin

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hackmum Mon 13-Oct-14 09:16:18

I think it's a daft idea. Austen's novels are as near as you can get to perfection, imho, so what can you hope to gain by rewriting them in a modern setting?

AmeliaPeabody Mon 13-Oct-14 09:22:36

The Joanna Trollope rendering of Sense and Sensibility is dire.

I wish they'd leave them alone. Oh no that somebody has now messed around with a version of Northanger Abbey (one of my favourites sad) Yet I feel compelled to try it and see just what they have done!

Becca19962014 Mon 13-Oct-14 10:38:41

hack I look at it as a way of getting people to read the originals, though of course that only works if they have been done quite well. I agree they can't be improved on.

amelia I hadn't realised it wasn't good. I do want to read the northhanger one as I said it is one of my favourites as well.

I've read other reworkings of them. Some were quite well done if you already knew it and were a good way to get people to read the originals - some people were put off reading Jane Austen in school so it is a good way to introduce them and get them reading I know that was how I rediscovered her novels and enjoyed them after having a really dire experience in school with an English teacher that almost killed my love of reading - which is saying a lot as I have always adored reading. It wasn't until I read a reworking of one of the novels that I tried again.

If a reworking is dire though it's likely to have the opposite effect!

I read Ann Radcliffes Udolpho when I learnt northhanger was a reworking of that and quite enjoyed it. There is no way though I would have read it otherwise.

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dingalong Mon 13-Oct-14 22:22:42

Agree sense and sensibility is awful

bibliomania Tue 14-Oct-14 13:35:38

I love the Northhanger Abbey and had a go at Val McDermid's version but gave up. It wasn't awful, it was just a bit pointless. Northhanger Abbey is good fun because it subverts expectations and because it's funny - the new version doesn't do either.

bibliomania Tue 14-Oct-14 13:47:44

Meant to say I love the original version of NA...

Becca19962014 Tue 14-Oct-14 14:12:03

I've bought a copy of Val McDermids Northanger Abbey. It was on special offer.

I've read the bit at the back about thoughts about Northanger Abbey and, now, I have low expectations to say the least, but I'm going to give it a go....

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AmeliaPeabody Tue 14-Oct-14 14:20:05

let us know what you thought! I'm going to purchase the kindle version today.

I read a bit of the first chapter in the supermarket yesterday. Looks like they're going to link/parody the twilight/vampire genre and, I think, going to explain away her naivety on sheltered upbringing and being home educated.

MsAmerica Thu 16-Oct-14 02:45:20

I avoid both the re-imagining and the "sequels," not because I'm not sure I'll like them, but because I feel that they'll someone corrupt my understanding or image of the book - like when you see a fictional movie that's a take on a real character, and the movie story/image takes over your brain.

The only thing I've ever read along those lines was the completion of Jane Austen's Sanditon written, I think, by Joan Aiken.

AmeliaPeabody Thu 16-Oct-14 11:51:56

I usually avoid, MsAmerica. I made the mistake of reading Pemberley (dire, needless to say), you see, but seems I haven't learned my lesson!

We have a couple of the Austen zombie books here too, but they belong to DC and I've only read snippets of those, and in shock

Becca19962014 Thu 16-Oct-14 14:17:54

I usually avoid, but as they are doing all of them inc my favourites which are usually not favourites for others I thought I'd give them a go.

I read the mansfield park continuation, return to mansfield park I think it was called - not good. I've read some fiction set around austen novels, like I recently downloaded a book set around the Jane Austen festival in bath and I really enjoyed it, but it wasn't redoing austen, it was set around austen, there were parallels with various novels but it wasn't a reworking or sequel. Must better than others.

I'm useless and banning myself from reading any type of book. Never ever works. Love reading far too much smile

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RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Fri 17-Oct-14 20:17:08

I hate the idea, and dislike most of the writers they've chosen. Read an excerpt of the Trollope and it was execrable. I didn't know Alexander MS was doing one - I 'may' try that one, but none of the others.

BestIsWest Sat 18-Oct-14 19:05:15

I have read both and they were ok but not a patch on the real thing. One I did like on the same theme was Longbourne which is P&P from the servants point of view - although even then I didn't like the parts where she added to the original story.

Becca19962014 Mon 01-Dec-14 21:46:07

I read the Northanger Abbey one. It took me much longer than the original. I like the paperback cover. That's about it though.

I read the authors thoughts on the book and um well frankly I think she totally missed the point of it. As someone who has read, and enjoyed mysteries of Udolpho amongst others referenced by austen the ones chosen in this adaptation just totally miss the point. Though I do think the author missed the point of the book anyway.

There's no way anyone who 'loves' this adaptation is going to enjoy austens Northanger Abbey.

I'm not going to buy the others. Though this was the only one I was going to get so I won't be wasting my money on any of the others.

Very disappointing, and that's not expecting much to begin with!!

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