Date: January 22, 2007
Recommendation - surprisingly readable and fun
That a novel would be so poignant and readable today as it was 200 years ago when it was written is perhaps more of a reflection of the universal character of English literature then it is a reflection of the writing abilities of Jane Austen. Not to diminish her abilities. I was pleasantly surprised by the fluid ease of her prose. In fact, I would be so inclined to state that P&P is one of the best examples of character development in literature.
Although it may expose me as a geek - ok, it may only add to the mounting evidence of my social nerdy tendencies, I actually listened to most of the book as an audio mpeg on my iPod. I download the files at the website, which you should check out - http://librivox.org
Libri vox, for those who may have failed 12th grade latin, Libri means free and vox means voice. This is a project to create audio files of the entire public domain. The public domain, to give the cereal box explanation, is work that has no copyright. To encourage your litigious self, I will avoid describing the overly complex ruling on copyright law (Google it yourself!), but essentially, anything created prior to 1923 is part of the public domain in the US. Rules are somewhat different in Canada and in every other country, but suffice to say that the public domain does not include works dealing with Harry Potter or anything by Dan Brown! Still, there is a litany of 19th Century classics and new works are being constantly added.
Actually, the really interesting thing about Librivox is that it is entirely volunteer based. There are no professional actors who are reading the texts. Which basically means one thing: look for my voice to take over the airwaves! What everyone has always pined for, Rich Deneault to read to them.