The Jane Austen Book Club: A Novel
(OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen)

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Published:
Listen & Live Audio, Inc. 2004
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description

A sublime comedy of contemporary manners, this is the novel Jane Austen might well have written had she lived in twenty-first century California.

Nothing ever moves in a straight line in Karen Joy Fowler's fiction, and in her latest, the complex dance of modern love has never been so devious or so much fun.

Six Californians join to discuss Jane Austen's novels. Over the six months they meet, marriages are tested, affairs begin, unsuitable arrangements become suitable, and love happens. With her finely sighted eye for the frailties of human behavior and her finely tuned ear for the absurdities of social intercourse, Fowler has never been wittier nor her characters more appealing. The result is a delicious dissection of modern relationships.

Dedicated Austenites will delight in unearthing the echoes of Austen that run through the novel, but most readers will simply enjoy the vision and voice that, despite two centuries of separation, unite two great writers of brilliant...

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Format:
OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen
Edition:
Unabridged
Street Date:
2004
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781593163068
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11
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Grouped Work ID:
d595ee9c-c5cf-ae8c-d257-328b62bb2be3
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Needs Update?:
No
Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 19:05:49
Date Updated:
Sep 15, 2019 02:17:38
Last Metadata Check:
Sep 15, 2019 20:13:56
Last Metadata Change:
Nov 28, 2018 08:37:22
Last Availability Check:
Sep 15, 2019 20:13:59
Last Availability Change:
Sep 12, 2019 20:58:40
Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
Sep 19, 2019 01:46:10

OverDrive Product Record

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    • name: Karen Joy Fowler
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The Jane Austen Book Club
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The Jane Austen Book Club
fullDescription

A sublime comedy of contemporary manners, this is the novel Jane Austen might well have written had she lived in twenty-first century California.

Nothing ever moves in a straight line in Karen Joy Fowler's fiction, and in her latest, the complex dance of modern love has never been so devious or so much fun.

Six Californians join to discuss Jane Austen's novels. Over the six months they meet, marriages are tested, affairs begin, unsuitable arrangements become suitable, and love happens. With her finely sighted eye for the frailties of human behavior and her finely tuned ear for the absurdities of social intercourse, Fowler has never been wittier nor her characters more appealing. The result is a delicious dissection of modern relationships.

Dedicated Austenites will delight in unearthing the echoes of Austen that run through the novel, but most readers will simply enjoy the vision and voice that, despite two centuries of separation, unite two great writers of brilliant...

reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: AudioFile Magazine
      • content: A California book club forms to discuss the novels of Jane Austen--what a promising literary device. As the five women and one man meet to discuss Austen's novels, they inevitably end up revealing intimacies about their own lives. Alas, with its overabundance of detail, the book becomes very like a heavy Celebration cake--so overstuffed with detail that it sags under its own weight. Kimberly Schraf reads with precision and grace, and Fowler's shrewd observations are provocative. But, ultimately, there's just too much to carry the story. L.C. (c) AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        March 22, 2004
        Fowler's fifth novel (after PEN/Faulkner award finalist Sister Noon
        ) features her trademark sly wit, quirky characters and digressive storytelling, but with a difference: this one is book club–ready, complete with mock-serious "questions for discussion" posed by the characters themselves. The plot here is deceptively slim: five women and one enigmatic man meet on a monthly basis to discuss the novels of Jane Austen, one at a time. As they debate Marianne's marriage to Brandon and whether or not Charlotte Lucas is gay, they reveal nothing so much as their own "private Austen(s)": to Jocelyn, an unmarried "control freak," the author is the consummate matchmaker; to solitary Prudie, she's the supreme ironist; to the lesbian Allegra, she's the disingenuous defender of the social caste system, etc. The book club's conversation is variously astute, petty, obvious and funny, but no one stays with it: the characters nibble high-calorie desserts, sip margaritas and drift off into personal reveries. Like Austen, Fowler is a subversive wit and a wise observer of human interaction of all stripes ("All parents wanted an impossible life for their children—happy beginning, happy middle, happy ending. No plot of any kind"). She's also an enthusiastic consumer of popular culture, offsetting the heady literary chat with references to Sex and the City
        , Linux and "a rug that many of us recognized from the Sundance catalog." Though the 21 pages of quotations from Austen's family, friends and critics seems excessive, the novelty of Fowler's package should attract significant numbers of book club members, not to mention the legions of Janeites craving good company and happy endings. Agent, Wendy Weil. BOMC, Doubleday Book Club, Literary Guild featured alternate.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from June 7, 2004
        With its many section breaks and point-of-view shifts, Fowler's newest book (following Sister Noon
        ) poses significant challenges for a single narrator. But stage actress Schraf overcomes these obstacles with ease, her voice taking on just a touch of haughtiness for the chapters told from the "we" perspective and then switching back to an unassuming tone for the third-person sections. It may take listeners a short while to grasp the story's structure, but once they do, they'll be hopelessly snared by this witty look at the lives and loves of six people, all members of Central Valley, California's "all-Jane-Austen-all-the-time book club." As the members discuss Austen's stance on marriage, social status and love, the narrative meanders, touching on defining moments in the characters' lives and then drifting back to describe their current dilemmas: single, middle-aged Jocelyn has never been in love; French teacher Prudie can't stop thinking about men other than her husband; chatty Bernadette has decided to "let herself go"; warm-hearted Sylvia still loves her soon-to-be-ex-husband; emotional Allegra has left her girlfriend; and sci-fi aficionado Grigg is infatuated with someone who may not share his affection. Through subtle alterations of tone and inflection, Schraf neatly conveys the emotions and idiosyncrasies of each character, from Prudie's impossibly pretentious French asides to Bernadette's airy, endless storytelling. Playful and intelligent, this audiobook embodies the best of both the written and aural worlds. Simultaneous release with the Putnam hardcover (Forecasts, Mar. 22).

popularity
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shortDescription

A sublime comedy of contemporary manners, this is the novel Jane Austen might well have written had she lived in twenty-first century California.

Nothing ever moves in a straight line in Karen Joy Fowler's fiction, and in her latest, the complex dance of modern love has never been so devious or so much fun.

Six Californians join to discuss Jane Austen's novels. Over the six months they meet, marriages are tested, affairs begin, unsuitable arrangements become suitable, and love happens. With her finely sighted eye for the frailties of human behavior and her finely tuned ear for the absurdities of social intercourse, Fowler has never been wittier nor her characters more appealing. The result is a delicious dissection of modern relationships.

Dedicated Austenites will delight in unearthing the echoes of Austen that run through the novel, but most readers will simply enjoy the vision and voice that, despite two centuries of separation, unite two great writers of brilliant...

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awards
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      • value: Listen Up Award
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publisher
Listen & Live Audio, Inc.