Review: Northanger Abbey: An Audible Original Drama by Anna Lea (Adaptor), Emma Thompson (Narrator)

Everyone keeps telling me that I need to try audiobooks. I have only really done one or two in the last year or so and I found them to be fun but at the same time it just seemed like it would take me forever to ‘read’ a book that way.

I am a speed reader so depending on the book, I can crank out a few every week but with an audio book I worry that I am stuck listening at the narrators own pace. Then I ended up with Becoming by Michelle Obama on my Audible account and even though it took me forever to ‘read’ the book, it was so relaxing to have someone reading to me.

I found that I enjoyed the whole audio book experience and that I could easily work it into my days. My kid is the worst napper on the planet so a lot of the time I have to sit with him or lay with him and if he sees me reading on my iPad he wants it to play games. But with audio books I can pop in my head phones and lay there until he falls asleep with the lights out and listen to a great story!

So long story short, I ended up loving Audible and started looking for something entertaining to listen to next. Enter this dramatization of Northanger Abbey.


A coming-of-age tale for the young and naïve 17-year-old Catherine Morland, Northanger Abbey takes a decidedly comical look at themes of class, family, love and literature. Reveling in the sensationalist – and extremely popular – Gothic fiction of her day, the story follows Catherine out of Bath to the lofty manor of the Tilneys, where her overactive imagination gets to work constructing an absurd and melodramatic explanation for the death of Mrs Tilney, which threatens to jeopardize her newly forged friendships.

This Audible Originals production of Northanger Abbey stars Emma Thompson (Academy Award, Golden Globe, Emmy and BAFTA winner, Love Actually, Harry Potter, Sense and Sensibility), Lily Cole (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Snow White and the Huntsman, St. Trinian’s), Douglas Booth (Noah, Great Expectations, The Riot Club), Jeremy Irvine (Warhorse, The Railway Man, Now Is Good), Eleanor Tomlinson (Poldark, The Illusionist, Alice in Wonderland) and Ella Purnell (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Never Let Me Go, Kick-Ass 2), amongst others (summary from Goodreads).


I read Northanger Abbey years ago for college so I know the story well enough that I felt I could enjoy this dramatization. While this book might be slightly condensed, it hit all the high notes and all the characters made for an awesome listening experience. This is a great edition for those readers who are maybe just discovering Jane Austen for the first time or maybe want something that ‘reads’ more like a movie.

That’s exactly what this book did for me. It was easy to follow and each narrator brought interesting tone to the story and I found myself thinking up reasons to be in my car more often just so I could listen to this book more and more.

The only thing that I was a little distracted by was Henry Tillney. In the book, I read him as way more sarcastic and I believe a number of other fans of this book have expressed similar sentiments. However in this edition, the actor who plays Henry Tillney portrays him as more sweet and silly rather than sarcastic. But other than that, I found everything about this narration satisfactory and I would highly recommend it to Austen fans. Plus Emma Thompson does Jane Austen so well that you simply can’t go wrong with her as a narrator!

Book Info and Rating

Audible Audio
Published July 18th 2017 by Audible Studios
Audible copy provided by personal collection. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genre: classic



3 thoughts on “Review: Northanger Abbey: An Audible Original Drama by Anna Lea (Adaptor), Emma Thompson (Narrator)

  1. I have tried audiobooks. I would love to say that I’m into them. But my attention span is very bad for listening. I love Northanger Abbey though, I’m glad this was a great one to listen to.

  2. I sometime hate how long audiobooks take as well, I read much faster than anyone could ever talk. But I found a compromise by using the speed up options on the Audible app…I use 125% speed almost all the time, for most narrators it makes it tolerable without their voice turning squeaky or anything crazy.

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