Obsessive reader, 6-10 books a week, chosen from Member reviews. Fact & fiction, subjects from the Tudors to Tookie, Harlem to Hiroshima, Huey Long to Huey Newton. In-depth fair reviews - from front to BLACK!!!
This was my very first Georgette Heyer book and first romance novel ever. I prefer historical books, usually ones closely based on factual people and events. I took a chance on this is and it paid off. Heyer is a master of the Regency period with well-developed characters and attention to detail on clothing, houses, furniture, carriages - EVERYTHING. No one can describe the intricacies of a gentleman's cravat better! Since the narrator can either make or break an audiobook, Clifford Norgate is excellent. I was so impressed by this book that, in less than 90 days, I BOUGHT EVERY GEORGETTE HEYER AUDIOBOOK AVAILABLE ON AUDIBLE.COM - ALL 23!!! Not all are as good as this one but all are better than any others in the genre, short of Jane Austin. My favorites are the mystery stories "Behold, Here's Poison" and "The Unfinished Clue", along with "Fredrica", "Beth Tangle", "Black Sheep", and "Royal Escape". "Infamous Army" had too much military minutiae which bogged the whole story down, while "The Nonesuch" is just weak overall compared to the other books.
How does Edward Rutherfurd do it? I can barely write a check to pay my mortgage while this author regales us again with his incredible story-telling. I'd read "London" and "Sarum" years ago, before audiobooks and just recently listened to "Princes of Ireland" and "The Rebels of Ireland" - unabridged. Just when I thought Rutherfurd had run out of typewriter ink, here comes this magnificent account of the greatest city in the world. He effortlessly weaves the stories of people who made up what would become "the melting pot" of this country, black, white, poor, rich, young, and old. If you slept through history class, this is the book which will get you caught up in an informative and entertaining way.
Margaret George did a masterful job of research and storytelling, giving the reader a front row seat into history. However, it came off too much like a Danielle Steele romance novel. Cleopatra was supposed to be hightly intelligent, speaking 12 languages, and one of the great female rulers. Yet here we are led to believe that she was the equivalent of a "B.C. video vixen", dating only "Roman rock stars", becoming the "first #1 baby-mama" with several "baby daddies" who gave her "booty calls" but no wedding rings. She dated married men, left her children while she went "on the road" behind Julius Caesar and Marc Antony like a "band wife", leaving Egypt to be run by employees and eunuchs. George does give the reader fabulous in-depth descriptions of the characters and locations. I thought it to be such a definitive account of that time in history that I invested in a hard copy version to fully appreciate the names and places put forth here. If you are interested in a good read about Egypt, Rome, the mighty Nile River, Caesar, Antony, Octavian, Marcus Agrippa, Fulvia, Cornelia, and the Kandake of Meroe, to name a very few, in addition to the battles and technology of the time, this is the book for you. But if this is truly what Cleopatra was about, then we've been fooled all of this time. Here she is an indifferent ruler, a bit loose with her virtue (rolling out of a rug for a roll in the hay with J.C. on their first meeting is trifling), and a very negligent mother - putting the men in her life before the welfare of her children and her people. I was very impressed with Margaret George's dedication to this subject and I loved the book. But it left me very, very disappointed in Cleopatra as a woman and a queen. Marge, you turned Cleo into margarine! Fabio should have graced the cover as Marc Antony. Now I ain't saying she was a gold digger, but......