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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

This Penguin Classic is performed by Indira Varma, who has starred in Luther and Game of Thrones. This definitive recording includes an introduction by Vivien Jones. 

When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited; he is indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships, gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life.

Public Domain (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Pride and Prejudice

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

Indira Varma gives this classic the reading it deserves

I have never been satisfied with any of the P&P narrators available on Audible until now.
When I realized Ms. Varma was not going to screech her way though Mrs. Bennet’s character, as others do, I was sold. It’s not necessary to make Mrs. Bennet sound like a fishwife to convey her failings, and it makes for an unpleasant listen.

The subtle voice characterizations throughout the novel were much appreciated. No exaggeratedly low pitch for male voices. No need to strive to make a character like Mr. Collins sound even more foolish. It’s all there in the writing.

This was a pleasure from beginning to end. I look forward to more Audible books read by this narrator.

5 people found this helpful

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Thank Goodness for the Narrator

Most renditions of P&P have the narrators give a very annoying voice to Mrs. Bennet. That turned me off of listening to several versions, simply because I can't imagine hearing the whole story that way. Even in the movies, Mrs. B doesn't sound like that.

Indira Varma, thankfully, makes her sound less shrieky and more like a person actually would. However, I do wish she'd varied her readings of some of the characters more. Jane can sometimes sound like Elizabeth or Mr. B like Darcy, which makes it less fun. She does, luckily, put the right amount of haughtiness into Lady Catherine and I liked her voicing of Charlotte Lucas, whom I was not as interested in before but I like better now after this version.

Having read the story in high school as my first intro to Austen and having listened to almost all the other Audible versions of her works (minus Emma and Northanger Abbey), this was not my first time with an Austen novel. But this Audible book reminded me of why this book is so beloved. I can see why the relationship between Darcy and Elizabeth is so memorable, as are the social and economic background behind the marriage market (Mrs. B knows the competition). And of course, Elizabeth is lively compared to her sisters, which is why her father thinks she has a bit more sense than them.

I will also say about the intro (purposely at the end of the story so not to spoil plot points) that this is a scholarly examination of the themes in the story. So if you don't agree with the things mentioned, don't worry about it spoiling things for you. Austen's works can be enjoyed for their story and/or for the bigger things she's saying about marriage and love in her time.

I recommend this listen if you want a good Audible version of the story. I also recommend listening or reading Jo Baker's Longbourn along with it. It's the story of P&P from the servants' perspectives, which I honestly enjoy more because it adds life to the story from beyond the gentry level of the Bennets. If you've never read Austen, this is a great start.

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Great book, bad introduction

One of my favorite books, with captivating vocabulary and style. Very well read; there are however awkward pauses where Jane Austen never named a certain character or place. The introduction (not by Jane Austen) at the back of the book tries to make the story out to be politically loaded; very sour note at the end of a happy read.

2 people found this helpful

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  • ms stephanie d fallows
  • 10-29-20

Perfect narration

I have always known the story, read the book - years ago, seen the film. But, finally I have taken the time to listen.....& listen properly. I'm desperately sad to have finished this and desperately sad that Indira Varma hasn't recorded everything that Jane Austen wrote, P&P was perfection and the narration was perfection. Please persuade (deliberate pun) her to do another one, or better still, all of them.

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  • Devonian
  • 11-21-21

Narration Falls Short

I have to disagree with the other reviews: for me, the narration lacks differentiation between characters; expression is sporadic and sometimes lacklustre, and some parts felt as though Varma had grown tired of the story e.g., when Jane reads the letter from Caroline Bingley to say the whole party has gone away (I returned the audiobook at this point).

There are far better versions out there: my favourite being the 2003 unabridged recording by Joanna David (Mrs Gardiner in the 2005 BBC TV adaptation) which is sadly only available on CD as Audible just has the abridged version. The Emilia Fox recording is excellent as is the Lindsay Duncan.

If you want a more modern sounding Pride and prejudice you may like this. If, like me, you want to feel transported back in time to the late 1700s then my advice would be to try another recording.

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  • Pamela Kulaszewska
  • 11-16-21

My favourite novel, beautifully narrated

Some consider Pride and Prejudice to be the greatest novel in the English canon, I am one of those. I had not thought it possible to enjoy this novel more than I already do, but I was wrong, Indira Varma's narration was practically perfect. A masterpiece, narrated by a master of an actor.