Thursday, July 21, 2011

Oh, Udolfo...

Northanger AbbeyNorthanger Abbey by Jane Austen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My one complaint about this book would have to be its length: there's not nearly enough of it. But, I'd often wondered exactly what a book written from Jane Bennet's perspective would be like, and now I think I have have a fairly decent idea.

Catherine is a sweet, naive girl who tends to believe too much in the innate goodness of all people that she loves, and too much in the necessity of the villains of her Gothic novels. But she is only seventeen, after all, though she turns eighteen somewhere in the book.

This read almost like Austen was simply idly amusing herself in the writing of it. I was two chapters from the end and wondering how she was going to tie it all together when out of the blue the omniscient narrator suddenly begins a conversation with the reader.

Most of the book was lighter and more flippant than her others, but of all her heroes, I have to say I've now put Henry Tilney right toward the top of the list, and of her heroines, I kind of like Catherine. She's a bit of a ditz, but such a sweet, dewy eyed ditz that you can't help but feel a bit protective of her, like you want to cloister her away from the big bad world so she can remain a naive seventeen year old forever.

Anyway, great fun, and more overtly fun than any of her others to date.

Also, it's just delightful to have an Austen heroine reading a Bronte novel, and thus to get a rather hilarious book review by Austen herself...

View all my reviews


Claire said...

...and that's why this is my favorite Austen.

Laura said...

I love that book.

J. A. Broussard said...

I'm not sure it's my favorite Austen; I still have Mansfield Park waiting for when I finish Sayers' "Whose Body?" It so far is at the top of the list, and even if I end up voting another one as my favorite, I'll probably still surreptitiously read Northanger more often. It was just so much fun--especially the random little insertions by Austen.

Wodehousian Fun