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Emma

An Audible Original Drama
Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
5 out of 5 stars (20 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

This Audible Original production of Jane Austen’s Emma is narrated by Emma Thompson (Academy Award, Golden Globe, Emmy and BAFTA winner, Love Actually, Harry Potter, Sense and Sensibility), with a full supporting cast including Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey, Liar), Morgana Robinson (The Windsors, Walliams & Friend, Morgana Robinson's the Agency), Aisling Loftus (Mr Selfridge, War & Peace), Joseph Millson (Casino Royale, The Sarah Jane Adventures), Alexa Davies (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again) and rising star Isabella Inchbald as our eponymous heroine. 

Before she began writing, Jane Austen wrote, 'I am going to take a heroine whom no-one but myself will much like' and thus introduces the handsome, clever, rich - and flawed - Emma Woodhouse. Emma is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage; nothing, however, delights her more than matchmaking her fellow residents of Highbury. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protegee Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected. 

This lively comedy of manners, with its witty and subtle exploration of relationships, is often seen as Jane Austen's masterpiece.

Public Domain (P)2018 Audible, Ltd.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Delightful

I have not read Jane Austen’s Emma for many years. This wonderful production was a delightful way to revisit the novel. The voice actors were pitch perfect as was the narration by the glorious Dame Thompson.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Cyberlucy
  • 11-09-2018

More of a Radio Drama than an audiobook

This is an excellently produced production on the part of Audible. The performers do a great job with their roles. I think it needs to be pointed out though that this is more like a radio/podcast drama than a book reading. If you consider it in that frame of mind it might make the sound effects easier to tolerate. They also add atmosphere and make it more convincing that they are actually in the homes or environment of the story. My only complaint is that music between chapters is a bit much.

49 of 57 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-09-2018

Well, that was wonderful

What a delightful way to enjoy a Jane Austen story! This dramatized version alternates between dialogue and Emma Thompson's narration over music. I thought the narrators were all excellent, and the sound effects and music really pulled me into the world of Emma. If you are an Austen fan, be aware that this is not a word for word reading. Rather, it is a new way to enjoy a familiar story.

I've read Emma many times over the years, and it was always my favorite besides Pride & Prejudice. I must say though, this adaptation really made me see the story in a new way. It's funny how reading it in your own head, you interpret it differently. I never realized the character of Emma to be so unlikable. Of course she is a little immature and grows into herself, but in this rendition she comes off quite conceited and, perhaps, even a little mean. It makes me want to reread the book and see how much I've missed!

Personally, I love this style of audiobook where each character is voiced by someone. I listened to this in less than 24 hours and wished it would never be over. I hope audible makes a dramatized version of all the Jane Austen novels.

124 of 148 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mai
  • 09-09-2018

Needs work.

I loved the story and the voice acting was great but the volume changes and music got annoying real fast. They need to go over this and fix it before I will read it again. There is no need for 30 seconds of music between each part. Please fix the volume problem!

129 of 156 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • mary
  • 09-09-2018

ticking sound in background annoying

one of my favorite stories from one of my favorite performers. Would have been perfect but for a ticking sound in the background, not loud enough to ruin everything just enough to be annoying.

44 of 53 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Sandra Dodd
  • 09-09-2018

Background sonds RUINED this

I couldn't find a more polite place to complain. I bet the readers/actors are frustrated, too. There is silverware noise to show they're at dinner, but it sounds more like the dishwashing station at a restaurant. There is a clock ticking (maybe) to show people sitting around, but it was too loud, and ruined the rhythm of the delivery.

I've had to stop listening, and it's a shame.

I hope you will consider releasing it without any background sound, or leave a tiny MUCH SOFTER bit, and don't make it continuous throughout a scene. It's painful.

All their reading work is buried in horrible added-on noise.

120 of 146 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • mmo
  • 10-09-2018

background noise

the background noise is distracting and much too loud. the noise takes much away from the story and from the wonderful actors. I'm glad I didn't pay for this book!

63 of 79 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • C
  • 12-09-2018

So Disappointed

Of course I was really looking forward of what seemed to be a great new production of a much loved classic, but they have layered background sounds over the speech and it is too loud and too distracting and I couldn't keep listening. I hope they will re-engineer this production WITHOUT the background sound track, and just let it be the spoken words. The background sound track was probably meant to provide more dimension, but it failed to accomplish that for me, and was just "noise" and really annoying. Very disappointing.

39 of 49 people found this review helpful

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  • B Johnson
  • 09-09-2018

Emma Thompson would make the tax code interesting

The cast was perfect. Narration was the best choice by far. To me Emma Thompson is the voice of Jane Austen. I thoroughly enjoyed this and cannot wait to listen to other titles.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nerico922
  • 13-09-2018

Pretty disappointed

This is my first try at a dramatized reading and I was pretty disappointed at the result. I felt the performances to be fairly wooden. As if I was listening to a stiff BBC adaptation from the 70's and 80's before the actor's caught on that television acting was not the same as stage acting. This felt like a radio play with annoying and irrelevant sound effects. The male parts were miscast with Mr. Woodhouse sounding fairly young and health and Mr. Knightly sounding older and devoid of emotion. The proposal scene was abysmal. Even Emma Thompson's performance was subpar as she somehow managed to sap every bit of liveliness from the text. It made me think of how the soft elegant tone of Joanne Woodward's narration in the film version of The Age of Innocence reinforced the atmosphere of the movie. I would have expected someone with Thompson's thorough understanding of Austen's style to be able to provide the appropriate energy and liveliness of tone, but she totally failed. To me she just came across as matter of fact.

In all, this makes we want to stay away from dramatizations. As imperfect as they are when they have to do both male and female voices, I find that sometimes a single narrator (like Juliet Stevenson or Stephen Fry) can impart more true natural emoting that this ensemble cast was able to.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Gretchen SLP
  • 30-09-2018

Disappointing Dramatization 🎭

This was actually one of the most unpleasant surprises I’ve had in listening to an Audible production. While unlike some other reviewers I was not overly distracted by the sound effects (which seemed typical of a radio play), I couldn’t help but notice almost instantly that this is a substandard adaptation of a beloved classic due to its subpar script, narration, acting and direction. Fellow reviewer Nerico922 hits the nail on the head when she observes that, shocking as this is to admit, and contrary to all expectations, even the normally brilliant Emma Thompson (whom one would expect to have a thorough understanding of Austen’s tone) turns in an abysmal performance as narrator. She over-emotes and overexaggerates most of her lines, while simultaneously sapping most of the humor and liveliness from the text. The script and the direction may be partially (but cannot be entirely) to blame. Almost ALL other actors are also disastrously miscast; Mr. Elton speaks so slowly, pompously and stupidly that it’s not credible that anyone would ever have sought him out as an eligible bachelor. His performance (which is almost indistinguishable from that of Mr. Woodhouse or that of Mr. John Knightley) strips all humor from the text. The carriage surprise proposal scene, which ought to be hilarious, is just painful to listen to. Mrs. Elton likewise speaks too slowly and seriously and is completely unfunny. Emma is just okay. Jane Fairfax sounds too young, and almost indistinguishable from several other female characters (e.g., Mrs. Weston, who also sounds too young). Mr. Knightley lacks all maturity and emotion. Harriet Churchill, unbelievably, speaks too intelligently and rationally. Frank Churchill comes closest to being appropriately cast.

Still, it’s Austen, and I know and love the story well, so I finished the whole thing. Though it wasn’t so dreadful that I would return it, I’m not sure I’ll listen again. I recommend purchasing the undramatized version narrated by Juliet Stevenson instead of this one.

10 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Rhi07
  • 19-09-2018

Brought to life by Emma Thompson

This is a really refreshing performance of Emma, entirely because of Emma Thompson's superb narration which keeps the story light, emotive and relatable. The casting is good, and it is performed well by all. An excellent adaption Audible - an enjoyable listen and true to the book.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • R. Howlett
  • 23-09-2018

If you need an abridged version then this is quite fun

The actors are great and the abridged story well planned but thus is very abridged and will not stand for true Austen fans or those studying the text.
I could have done without the soppy tinkly music as well.
Otherwise not “ badly done Emma”!

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Milly_87
  • 06-09-2018

Emma brought to life

What a wonderful listen this has been! Would definitely recommend it for any Jane Austen fan!

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • liza wrigley
  • 18-09-2018

A classic told in the stunningly beautiful

way, you will fall in love with Jane Austen all over again. can't wait to listen to more . Thank you .

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-09-2018

Fantastic adaptation!

This adaptation keeps the heart of the original story while retelling it in a fresh way. The performances from all the voice actors were very good and I truly enjoyed the time spent listening to this version of Emma, would highly recommend.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • maryrose theram
  • 03-10-2018

Brilliant

I so enjoyed this adaptation of Emma it was everything I hoped it would be and more. I know that I will listen to it again and again. Emma Thompson's narration was clear and in keeping with the book and the performances in between was captivating, brilliant.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-09-2018

Irritating sound effects

This well known Jane Austin novel was portrayed and performed quite faithfully to the original book And would have been most enjoyable and amusing BUT for the sound effects ! Especially in indoor scenes, they were very irritating and unnecessary -what is the clicking sound supposed to be ? A fire burning ? I don’t think so ! The music between chapters was apt but between Emma Thompson’s SENTENCES as sudden crescendos and diminuendos really rediculous in my opinion. Out-door bird tweeting was ok but other sounds of bustling and hissing sound effects very disturbing throughout - I have perfect hearing -Jackie Robinson

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mimo
  • 29-09-2018

Fantastic

Emma Thompson is outstanding! An excellent dramatisation well worth a listen. Fantastic I highly recommend!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Moray Hospitality
  • 13-09-2018

Austen purists beware!

This isn't at all the unabridged text of 'Emma': it's been abridged and added to.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-09-2018

Highly enjoyable

A wonderful production, could not have enjoyed it more. And what an exquisite performance, such a pleasure to listen to!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful