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Sense and Sensibility
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Marianne Dashwood wears her heart on her sleeve, and when she falls in love with the dashing but unsuitable John Willoughby she ignores her sister Elinor's warning that her impulsive behaviour leaves her open to gossip and innuendo. Meanwhile Elinor, always sensitive to social convention, is struggling to conceal her own romantic disappointment, even from those closest to her. Through their parallel experience of love-and its threatened loss-the sisters learn that sense must mix with sensibility if they are to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern the rules of love.

Customer Reviews:

  • 4.5 billion stars
    I have no right to review Jane Austen. I give this book 4.5 billion stars....more info
  • Elinor and Marianne....What great sisters!
    The dual natures of these sisters is what truly makes this novel special. Their natural differences and their abilities in the end to overcome their inborn instincts demonstrate Austen's talent in creating interesting and dynamic characters. For me, this is Jane's best novel (I have not read them all). There is so much to learn from these characters! The men in the novel are complex and interesting as well. Recommended reading. (and yes, the 21st century reader will need to be patient with the language, but the novel is well worth it.) ...more info
  • i'm on board with mark twain on ms austin's work.
    i know that i am going to mangle this quote, but mark twain once said something to the effect that "a library without any books in it would still be a pretty good library, seeing as it lacked any works by jane austin." well, right on mr twain. i read "sense and sensiblity" a few years back and am still trying to recover from the near coma of boredom that it put me in. really awful and dreary stuff. i mean it. now, to be of further help, let me give you directions to the unhelpful voting button. it can be found directly below this review, over to far right hand side. it's the button with the word "no" on it....more info
  • Irrisistable Restrained Prose (As Always) By Austen
    Austen's "Sense and Sensibility" concentrates upon life in the Dashwood family and the relationship of two sisters, particularly in reference to the amorous events in their lives transpiring over the course of a year or so. The younger sister, Marianne, represents "sense," as she views and lives life in a romantic, sensual, and dramatic manner, while Elinor, representing "sensibility," is more reserved in her expressions of feeling, and her pragmatic, moral way of making decisions. While treating one other, at times, with brutal honesty, attacking the other for who they are not, each eventually learns that there is a deep love between them. Additionally, the sisters learn that there is something of value in the dominant characteristics of the other's personality, and this works to positive effect for the love lives of both as time passes.

    Austen paints a picture of early nineteenth century England, especially with a focus on the position of women, who were largely dependent on marriage for their survival. Yet, in spite of this, Austen's characters hunger for their dreams, for love that does not compromise their existence merely to pragmatic ends. In narrative terms, Austen's genius never fails to come through with unseen twists in plot and beautiful, moving dialogue that has been kept at bay to be delivered to the anxiously-waiting reader at just the right moment. ...more info
  • Not Bad for 1811
    Two sisters have come of marrying age. One loves rashly and deeply, the other cautiously and with no little reserve - the sense and the sensibility. The contrast set up, Jane Austen takes the two young women through nearly the same set of events. Through love's introduction, intervening conflict and ultimate disappointment, we observe the impacts and the results of these two disparate manners of dealing with the opposite sex. This being a Jane Austen comedy, don't be surprised if things work out for someone in the end.

    While obviously very well written and full of interesting characters and insights, this, like most of Jane Austen's work, simply "doesn't do it for me." Certainly Ms. Austen is not without her modern relevance, but many of the important ideas running through her novels, including this one, are foreign and even offensive. For example, her casual indifference toward the unmoneyed, her obvious belief in the natural limitations of the female sex and the importance she sets on formality set my teeth a-grinding. She writes, as they say, of a different time. Similarly, her writing style is often, including in this book, tedious and opaque. Economy of words and clarity are not so important as obeisance to formality and avoidance of perceived impropriety. As I said, writing of a different time. As one can likely see, my complaints about Jane Austen are more due to my own predilections than any shortcomings of the famed authoress.

    That said, I do believe that reading this book is good for a person - it will make you more informed and provide material worth thinking on. Several of the characters will stick with you. Ms. Austen has a way of making her characters very distinct despite the smallness of her authorial world. The characters are not Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy, but the Dashwood girls are worth remembering. Furthermore, the major themes, while not "big ideas" are relevant to most everyone and persuasively resolved. Sense and sensibility was for me, however, less enjoyable reading than I would prefer. The plot line moved slowly, the ideas seemed dated and the language obscured rather than revealed....more info
  • Slow but Steady
    Elinor and Marianne Dashwood, guided respectively by rational sense and passionate sensibility, navigate love and heartbreak together in their own inimitable styles. The plot is simple and straightforward, with only a couple of surprising twists. This is good, though, serving only to clear the stage of contrivances and to give plenty of room for the entertaining and memorable characters to play out their schemes, hopes, follies, and humanity. It's this latter quality that breathes life and interest into characters who could in less capable hands have been reduced to paper-thin archetypes. In Jane's hands, her characters feel like someone you might still meet in a corner of England that time forgot....more info
  • Reading this is like torture
    Seeing how Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen barely makes any sense, I wouldn't even touch this book again, even if you paid me. Extremely long and mundane, Sense and Sensibility is a book that actually requires effort and stamina to go through the entire thing. To me, the three-hundred-and-fifteen-page book translated to absolute gibberish as I did not understand, nor really cared to understand what was going on.

    Seeing how the there was no purpose to the plot, I was left bored from the first word to the very last. I really did not see the point of writing a story about two well-off, high society women court other men. There was absolutely nothing interesting about that in the story. No one really cares if the ladies must suffer through heartbreak because in actuality, everyone does. Jane Austen could have done a much better job in piecing a more attractive and purposeful novel together.

    As I read, the more I learned about the characters, the angrier I got. Why does every character have to be a member of a high social status? To me, everyone was snobby, everyone was self-indulged, and everyone was too one-dimensional. The characters were too well-off to even sympathize with. I did not care or feel emotionally attached to any character whatsoever. Each individual was not self-motivated, and they came off as stuck-up characters. I was just waiting for someone to do something, but no, each character has to wallow in his or her own self-pity. People have worse problems to worry about than worrying about the problems the character has. I kept going through the story and saying, "So what? Who cares? Fix your own problems." The characters were too detached to make me feel interested.

    All in all, the story was just bad. It lacked purpose and meaning. Although you have to admit Jane Austen constructs beautifully crafted sentences, sentence style could only take the story so far. If you have time to actually read this book, I suggest you spend your time doing something worthwhile instead of wasting your life on Sense and Sensibility.
    ...more info
  • Boring and Bore-ability
    I have seen many movies and PBS mini series that have been made out of Jane Austin novels and have loved them all. Being an avid reader, I thought I'd LOVE to read the books too since books are so much better than anything put to the screen. Boy was I wrong. I just couldn't get through it. It's written in such a form that it's hard to follow and understand what she is talking about. I've truly had to read and re-read sentences and paragraphs to get what in the world she is talking about. Here's an example: "She was faithful to her word; and when Willoughby called at the cottage, the same day, Elinor heard her express her disappointment to him in a low voice, on being obliged to forego the acceptance of his present. The reasons for this alteration were at the same time related, and they were such as to make further entreaty on his side impossible." OR: "The situation of Barton, in a county so far distant from Sussex as Devonshire, which, but a few hours before, would have been a sufficient objection to outweigh every possible advantage belonging to the place, was now its first recommendation." HUH??? See what I mean? I had to work too hard at understanding much of the book and it was no longer relaxing or fun to read so I gave up. I guess when it comes to these period pieces, I was better off watching the movies. I wanted to return the book...more info
  • Looks Good
    Haven't had a chance to read the book yet. But, it looks like it will be a great read. The book came as promised. It is a paperback - but a high quality one. If you are looking for this classic, I do recommend this printing....more info
  • Loving Tension and a Fine Balance
    Jane Austen's comforting classic is based on the dichotomous relationship between reason (Elinor) and emotion (Marianne). Austen's greatness lies in her backing out of the box of 19th-century literary moralism and seeing the areas of gray in human relationships and within the individual. Over and over again in this "early" work (Austen was only 41 when she died) we see characters acting in unexpected ways, even while social strictures are so much in evidence. The most outstanding characters are those who go against the social grain, and Austen unfailingly creates classic foils against whom these interesting individuals can stand out. Entertaining, existing in a stable social world, clever, and funny, this novel is like "comfort food." If you're in the mood for a diverting stroll into another century, let this book be your guide. I also highly recommend the Penguin Classic that has an introductory section by Tony Tanner (if you can find it). Tony Tanner's brilliant insights into Austen and this work deeply enriched it for me. But this section must be read after you read the book. ...more info
  • Janeites and discerning readers will enjoy Sense and Sensibility
    Sense and Sensibility is about the Dashwood girls Elinor and Marianne.
    The time is the Napoleonic years of the nineteenth century though nothing so sordid as the little Corporal's baleful visage will appear in this novel of domestic romance. The girls are forced to leave their home following the death of their father. The estate they live at is invaded by their dullard half brother John and his insufferable wife. The two girls, their mother and younger sister Margaret are off to the West of England to live at Barton Cottage being supported by John the brother.
    In this novel Miss Jane Austen tells two convoluted love stories. Elinor who is the oldest and most sensible of the girls is in love with Edward Farrars. Farrars is an Oxford man who eventually goes into the ministry. He has been involved in a longterm engagement to the odious but ambitious Lucy Steele. Elinor is heartbroken at this lost love but keeps her stiff upper lip in order to minister to the needs of her younger and more emotional sister Marianne.
    Marianne is in love with the rake Willoughby who has had a torrid affair with Eliza Williams. He jilts Marianne but lives to rue his rejection of her.
    As in all Austen novels all is resolved with a wedding. Elinor will eventually wed Edward Farrars and live in a parsonage. Her sister Marianne will become Mrs. Brandon as she weds an older and wiser man
    Colonel Brandon.
    Along the way we meet the lovable Mrs. Jennings, the fautous Steele sisters and Robert Ferrars the stupid brother of Edward Ferrars. Mr. and Mrs. Palmer are also satirically viewed as a dull married couple living in luxury.
    It amazes me that no one in a Jane Austen novel really works! As Emma Thompson who directed the film "Sense and Sensibility" quipped one wonders why these women don't go out and get a job! In an Austen novel there are the inevitable long walks and conversations, mixed romantic signals with mixups aplenty and the occasional dance across the ballroom floor.
    Austen can be tedious and it can be a challenge to keep up with the characters and conversations. She is a great artist with a very narrow focus; a few middle class families living in the country with a love story to be told. Within this baliwick she is peerless, witty and wise. She brings a few hours of quiet where the only sound heard is a bird singing or a carriage rumbling up to the house.
    Sense and Sensibility published in 1811 is a classic of English literature. Jane Austen is unsurpassed in the realm of Regency romance!...more info
  • "Sense and Sensibility" - a must-read
    One of the best things you can do for yourself is to read or reread one of Jane Austen's books. Any one will do, if it's for the first time or the 25th. It always gives the same energising feeling, like listening to a Beatles song or going on a successful shopping spree.

    "Sense and Sensibility" from 1811 is Jane Austen's first published book and has all the characteristics of her entire authorship: A lively delineation of character and a plot that zooms in on relations between people - and luckily often the most mysterious, satisfying, dramatic and confusing - love in its most exciting phase: falling in love. Language and style are elegant and intelligent and imbued with a deep ironic humour, which comes from a keen eye for tensions between opposites.

    Five stars, always, for Jane....more info