Friday, November 07, 2008

Northanger Abbey (book review)

Book review by The Movie Snob

Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen. This was the only one of Austen's six major novels that I had absolutely zero acquaintance with, as either a book or a movie, before now. As I understand, it was the first of those novels to be written, but the last to be published, and it certainly strikes me as less sophisticated than the others I have read. Nonetheless, it is as enjoyable in its way as the others. It is the story of 17-year-old Catherine Morland, whom I can describe only as a country bumpkin. She has lived her entire life in a remote country village, and all of her ideas about the outside world have come through Gothic romances she has read. Then some family friends take her the resort town of Bath, where she gets her first taste of society. She makes new friends in Bath, and then goes to stay with them a while at their estate of Northanger Abbey. There is plenty of humor in the book as Catherine encounters for the first time in her life people who are willing to lie to her face in order to get what they want, and as Catherine's imagination runs wild with Gothic-inspired fantasies during her stay at Northanger Abbey. I recommend this and all of Austen work.


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