I’ve read Emma a few times before, and have read several re-imaginings and retellings as well. I’ve seen at least four adaptations (Mark Strong as Mr. Knightley…Jonny Lee Miller as Mr. Knightely…the web series made by the folks who did The Lizzie Bennett Diaries…and of course, the GOOP version), and always thought I preferred the movie to the book.
I mean, come on. Jeremy Northam gave so much beautiful side-eye to Goop in that movie.
And then, low and behold, Audible gifted me with the Emma Thompson (plus full cast) version of the audiobook. And it was so good.
I loved this audiobook. It took a while to get used to the background noise — horses, cutlery sounds at dinner, background conversations — but it was so lifelike. I couldn’t stop listening to it.
Emma Thompson acts as the narrator, and leads a lovely cast (whoever plays Mr. and Mrs. Elton here are both absolutely delightful in their awfulness) through the entire text. And Emma T throws some serious shade at the words and actions of Emma Woodhouse throughout.
This time through, listening to Emma T describe the plot of the story, I was legitimately angry at some of the plots and the ignorance of Emma W to what was going on around her. I wanted to yell at her every time she stuck her nose into Harriet Smith’s business and I wanted to shake her for her behavior with Frank Churchill.
Sure, I knew exactly what was going on and what would happen next, but was still so invested the story that I found myself talking to my car more than once. That’s how great Emma Thompson was. She really brought the story to life.
Of course, I couldn’t help but picture certain characters a specific way. In my mind, Knightley will always be Jeremy Northam.
Harriet Smith will always be doing this:
And Mr. Elton looks like Jeremy Sisto, not Alan Cumming. Why? I have no idea. Maybe too many Law & Order reruns.
I loved this audiobook and quickly ran out to download Thompson’s other Austen narration, Northanger Abbey. It was a complete and total delight.
CBR10 Bingo: The Book was Better? Thus completing my very first BINGO!