I ignore genre labels. Some of my favorite books are outside my genre comfort zone. Listening to audiobooks is still reading. Not theater.
I've bought way too many books at Audible through the years. Some were unreadable. Some nearly so. A good many we're entertaining, or educational, or thought provoking. Every once in a while though I've lucked out. Not just a good book. A great book. And not just a good narrator. But the perfect narrator for this tale.
This is historical fiction at its best. Before I read this book I was vaguely aware of the Whiskey Rebellion. I knew it was tied to the first US banking system. Knew Alexander Hamilton played a roll and assumed if Hamilton was involved Burr was probably close by. Reading this novel gave me enough facts, names and dates that I was easily able to find out far more about this important moment in history with relatively little work.
But the best attribute of this book wasn't its foundation of real events and real people. It was the master story telling. Liss weaves an incredibly intriguing and entertaining yarn. The main character was an erudite wastrel who was drummed out of Washington's army on fabricated espionage accusations. He looses everything that gives his life meaning, becomes a drunk and an embarrassment, is so desperate to keep the one friend he has, his slave, he avoids admitting he'd freed him, in order to keep him close by. He tries to seduce the wife of the only other person who befriends him and under his friends roof. But he has a wonderful sense of humor, is clearly brilliant and an amazing escape artist. Most amazing though is the process of redemption the author leads him through in the course of the book. You have to love this guy.
The other narrator, a woman is brilliant as well. Attractive, cunning and a master manipulator - a role often left to men in novels, which is shame because she shows how entertaining it can be to watch a woman fool so many smart men as she pulls all the strings and choreographs every step everyone takes while they are oblivious to her total control. She is not redeemed. But she takes such joy in her love of revenge and devising the most complicated plans to achieving that revenge that redemption would be anticlimactic and somewhat disappointing.
The secondary characters were all well defined, all colorful and all helped move the plot along.
You don't have to be an expert in 18th century economics to follow the plot. I never understood the six and four preventers but this never affected my enjoyment of the book or understanding of where the plot was going. As the story unfolds, through each twist and
turn of the plot I stopped worrying about what I didn't understand. Since I could never guess what would happen next, understanding the technical details was of little use.
The narrator was great. Not someone I was families with. But his was the perfect voice for this book. I will seek out other books he narrates.
I heartily recommend this book.
The first 15 minutes alone of this short novella are worth reading. Gabaldon's ability to start her stories with a bang is one of her greatest skills. The beginning to this story rivals the first 15 minutes of The Scottish Prisoner.
Jeff Woodman has become the voice of Lord John to me. So much so that this is the single character in the Outlander series that I wish someone other than Davina Porter would narrate. And since I think the Porter and Outlander combination is pretty close to perfection, that is saying a lot.
A lot happens in a very short period of time in this piece. And by the time it is finished, a few more questions are answered and blanks are filled in about the Lord John character, his history and how he became the man he is in the Outlander series. I highly recommend it.
in spite of the goofy picture on the cover. I usually don't pay much attention to the picture on the cover of a book on Audible. For some reason though, this guy was creepy.
I am glad I overcame the creep factor and read the book. It was very enjoyable. This was actually one of the more romantic Heyer books I have read. There was actually a clutch and a kiss near the end. Heyer did such a good job of presenting a hero who knows exactly what he wants by the end of the second chapter, a heroine who never really believes him until the very end and still makes everything that comes in between interesting and enjoyable. She fleshed out several of the secondary characters more than she does in some of her other work. And the Nonesuch's male relations were pretty entertaining, as was the cross the heroine was forced to bear - the young lady she served as a companion to. Eve Matheson does a great job on Georgette Heyer books.
If you like Heyer you will enjoy this book.