The other day my boss, who loves books, told me she hadn’t read any Jane Austen. Luckily we have the kind of relationship that made it possible for me to let loose a string of incredulous profanities. She loves subtle, witty, clever books with great characters so Austen is a perfect fit. I went in search of audiobook versions I could send her and realized Pride and Prejudice is the only full length Austen book I don’t own in audio form. Luckily, Prime members get a selection for free and one of them is Pride and Prejudice narrated by Rosamund Pike. I was curious how her narrations would hold up against my favorite Austen narrator, Juliet Stevenson, and decided to give it a try myself.
Stevenson’s narrations are hard to beat, but Pike’s narration came close and I really enjoyed listening to her interpretations of the characters. She gave a thoughtful, measured performance fitting perfectly with Austen’s style. It was really fun hearing her inhabit some of the other characters after seeing her as Jane Bennet in the 2005 movie. I actually think she would have made a pretty great Elizabeth.
As for the book itself, I’m not sure I can really add more commentary that hasn’t already been said about this well-loved classic. I can never decide which is my favorite: Pride and Prejudice, Emma, or Persuasion. It’s obvious why this is the favorite of many and why it’s a great place to start when exploring Austen’s work. The crazy, well-written cast of characters, the emotional rollercoaster of a plot, and the subtle social commentary permeating the story are timeless and engrossing.