Sunday, February 19, 2012

Review: Emma by Jane Austen, book and movie

by Jane Austen

Goodreads Description:
'I never have been in love; it is not my way, or my nature; and I do not think I ever shall'

Beautiful, clever, rich - and single - Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr. Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protégée Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected. With its imperfect but charming heroine and its witty and subtle exploration of relationships, Emma is often seen as Jane Austen's most flawless work.

Genre:  Classic, Romantic Comedy

Rating:  *  *  *  *

My Review:
Emma was a tough character to like at first, really for the most of the book, but her growth is what makes this book beautiful.  Austen does an amazing job developing her characters; however in giving us a complete understanding of the quirks of the worrisome Mr. Woodhouse and the ever-so-talkative Miss Bates, the book gets down right annoying at points.  Mr. Knightly's character is consistent throughout the book, but never boring.  Overall, I loved this story: lots of fun twists and memorable characters, as well as that Austen trademark of true romance.

I listened to Emma on my phone via an app.  It was a LibraVox recording (they do public domain recordings) and the woman who read did a ridiculously good job acting out the voices of each character.

The Movie:
I have been wanting to see the 1996 Gwynth Paltrow version of Emma for sometime.  As I do try to read a book first, I haven't seen it until now.  What a great movie!!!  It does stick to the spirit of the book though Emma is more immediately likable and Harriet more silly.  Also we are more privy to things to which Emma is oblivious (the movie is able to hint at the thoughts of both Mr. Elton and Mr. Knightly).  Both of these changes work for a screen version.

1 comment:

  1. I was comfortable with Emma almost right away - she just felt like one of Austen's most 'real' characters. That is to say, she had shades of dark and light mingled at once (rather than all one thing only to have a completely different nature revealed). Emma is Austen's best novel, I think, a really pleasurable read.

    My review: Emma by Jane Austen