Northanger Abbey, Austen Rothdas book review RSS
3.0 Stars

Northfear leads to Northanger. Northanger leads to Bath.

A rather silly Austen novel where the author allows herself to be more whimsical than usual. She lightly satirizes romances and moderately satirizes gothic novels, and at the end of the novel she encourages the reader to fill in for themselves the standard endings for these types of stories. The protagonist is a good hearted and good breasted seventeen year old imbecile, her antagonists are a solipsisticly self-centered sister-brother pair, and her true love is a charming 26 year old book reader. The true love really was too charming though, his flirting induced feelings of panic in me like "oh shit am I supposed to be being that clever?". Overall the story is light and lightly likeable. I enjoyed that Austen moved at least a little farther away from 1800's aristocratic social mores, and into more meta territory where her wit and intelligence could shine more clearly through. The downside of course of these more abstracted stories is that you don't care quite as deeply for the characters, since there more remove between you and them. Anyway, _Northanger Abbey_ is tied with _Persuasion_ as my favorite (of the three) Austen novels that I've read. This one was lighter and cleverer, but had lesser emotional high points. And as always after reading Austen, I promise that this one is going to be my last one. Really, I can quit any time. I've quit already. One day at a time, Rothda.

Edit 1: Oh, and one more neat thing, they use the word "pinery" in the book. Which I had to think about; the word was used in the context of greenhouses, which meant it probably wasn't a place where they grew actual pines, or pine nuts, or such. I was thinking "is this a place where they grow pineapples?" and that was indeed the answer. Anyway, neat word.