Mar 1, 2011

About Books Blog 35: Sense and Sensibility


Author: Jane Austen
Genre: Classic/Romance

Favorite Line

“Do you compare your conduct with his?”
“No. I compare it with what it ought to have been; I compare it with yours.”

Summary (from Goodreads)

Marianne Dashwood wears her heart on her sleeve, and when she falls in love with the dashing but unsuitable John Willoughby she ignores her sister Elinor's warning that her impulsive behaviour leaves her open to gossip and innuendo. Meanwhile Elinor, always sensitive to social convention, is struggling to conceal her own romantic disappointment, even from those closest to her. Through their parallel experience of love—and its threatened loss—the sisters learn that sense must mix with sensibility if they are to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern the rules of love.

What I Thought of This Book

It all started with me downloading a free audio book application from LibriVox on to my android phone. Librivox uses volunteers to record books that are in the public domain. I just started Sense and Sensibility on a whim.

Call me uncultured, but until I listened to Sense and Sensibility on audio book I was never able to make it past the first chapter. I think I must have had some issues with the first chapter in my prior attempts at reading. It’s very important to the story but I didn’t find it particularly interesting. However, I’ve made it my goal to read all of Jane Austen’s novels this year. Thus, I decided I would read this book no matter what. I thought I might like it better if it was read aloud to me. Some books just need some dramatics to read get their point across to me. It turned out I was right. I loved the book so much while listening to it. Not only did it enhance the occasionally hilarious descriptions of the characters, but the book has lot of great dialogue which is just great when read aloud. To add to the fun the reader Elizabeth Klett did the accents really well.

The most wonderful part of Sense and Sensibility is the characters. Of course, Elinor and Marianne are lovely. I loved how different their personalities were, yet they still got along as sisters. Though suppose they did have their occasional sisterly disagreements. I couldn’t help but adore Edward and Colonel Brandon. Willoughby is perfectly written as the lovable complete jerk that he is. I really got a kick out of the some of the decidedly silly female supporting characters. They just made me giggle.

As for the plot itself I enjoyed it immensely. Jane Austin was so good at creating misunderstandings, and human conflicts for her protagonists. I usually don’t care for things that involve the socialite mentality, but this book is written in such a way that it made that frame of mind seem quite funny.

I am so glad I listened to Sense and Sensibility. Now that I’ve finished it I can’t think of any reason why didn’t want to read it on my previous attempts. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. I don’t think it will ever beat out Pride and Prejudice in my heart, but it was still a fun way to pass the time.

Facts I Found Interesting

Sense and Sensibility was Jane Austen’s first published novel, which she wrote under the pseudonym “A Lady.”

Austen wrote the first draft of the novel then titled Elinor and Marianne at around the age of nineteen. The sisters in depicted in the story may have been based on the personalities of Jane and her elder sister Cassandra.

The Movies

Being that classic novels are great material for films there are more than a few adaptations of Sense and Sensibility. However, I have only seen two. Here are my thoughts, and of course the links to the movie trailers.

I have been watching this version for several years and I love it. There's nothing like a good period piece. What I notice the most about it is that it has a warm and light hearted quality to it. It seems to find humor even in the sad places. This movie also has an amazing cast of actors and actresses. They look their parts and play them beautifully. The plot is fairly true to the novel. Though the script does eliminate a few minor characters such as siblings and children, and the ages of the characters were tweaked a bit. It’s a great film for relaxing after a long day. 

I watched this recently and I found it very impressive. I’m always fond of mini-series adaptations because they can get so much of the story in. However, in this they add scenes that are only referred to in the novel. They also have a few scenes from the point of view of male characters. Another thing you don’t often see in the book because it focuses on Marianne and Elinor. I thought bringing those elements in was an interesting choice. This adaptation tends to focus on the emotional and dramatic elements of the plot. I think the actors in this version were wonderful as well. The cinematography and settings really knocked my socks off. I found myself wanting to watch it again right after I watched it the first time. This is a sign that I definitely found it enjoyable.

Music to Read By

Obviously I couldn’t listen to music and an audio book at the same time. I mean I could, but that doesn’t make much since if I want to hear the words. I didn’t have enough musical inspiration in order to create a full playlist. However, I got a wacky idea. Thought perhaps I could create an interactive playlist. What I mean is that you the followers would comment with songs that make you think of Sense and Sensibility. I would compile the list on the player below. I will also provide a written list including the links to blogs of those who supplied ideas. I think this could be a lot of fun, so let’s give it a try shall we. My contribution to the playlist is listed below as an example.

Sense and Sensibility Playlist

Liar, Liar - A Fine Frenzy (Jazz a.k.a Blog Host)

That's all folks. I'm still reading the short story for this week. However, I think I'll post that tomorrow. I really wanted to post this review first. I just wanted to thank you guys for reading. Writing this blog post just made me feel great after a crazy day. It nice to know that people are interested in my thoughts. See you tomorrow. Don't forget to comment with your song ideas. Keep it shiny.

No comments: