Tell us about yourself!
This is partly my fault-I'm not a huge fan of Bronte or Austen, which is how I would categorize this particular author, but I will say that I enjoyed the writing very much for the portion I did hear. The characters were richly developed right down to their witty and dry dialogue, and the detailed descriptions of life and dress in this time period were fascinating. I suppose if it had been a bit more plot driven as opposed to character driven I would have loved it, but as time passed I found myself letting bits of it go without giving it my utmost attention, and before I knew it I had put it away all together. It's a fun time overall, and the characters are all very interesting, and the narration is superb-especially considering it's done by a gentleman, but all the same, in the end it wasn't for me.
I have long enjoyed the print version of this book, but I found that the audio version let me hear it in a different way.
Frederica is superficially similar in many ways to Georgette Heyer's Venetia, but each book has a unique flavor, and the characters are not identical by any means.
I have never heard Clifford Norgate before, and I found his performance outstanding. His readings of the dialogue actually gave me greater insight into the characters. His reading of Lord Alverstoke is especially impressive. He captures the dry wit and sarcasm perfectly, and the moments of genuine emotion therefore seem particularly intense. Also, the cold selfishness of this character at the beginning of the novel is more noticeable in the audio version; the gradual change in him seems realistic and genuine.
The most moving moment for me was probably the moment when Lord Alverstoke realizes that he has actually fallen in love. (After all, this is a romance novel!) The lack of sentimentality in the reading and in the text itself makes the moment work.
I must also mention how funny this book is! The antics of the heroine's young brothers are laugh-out-loud funny; also, the witty dialogue is a delight to hear. The minor characters are also very amusing: Alverstoke's conniving elder sister and his ever-tactful and diplomatic young secretary, Charles Trevor, are great characters, for example. Such characters are the reason that I prefer the unabridged audio versions of Heyer's books. I would love to hear another book read by Clifford Norgate!
Woman as a narrator.
Not if he's narrating a story featuring women as central characters.
With so many women who narrate Georgette Heyer so beautifully, the choice of Clifford Norgate as narrator is baffling. He has a beautiful voice, but is not able to render women's voices properly.
I was so surprised at this story. It is my first Georgette Heyer Book. The witty and hilarious situations had me in stiches. I haven't laughed so much during a story dialogue. The narrator was awesome.
Avid Listener of Audible
This was the first book I have listened to by this author and narrator. I found the narrator very difficult to listen to and the book dragged on. I will not try another book from this author or narrator.
I have a few items on my list that I am torn about. It will either be Orphan Train or Fortune Cookie.
I found his pronunciations to be very difficult to understand. He seemed monotone at times and just plain dull.
I had to quit after 4 hours, so there wasn't much in terms of redeeming qualities in my opinion. There was one character who was endearing; however, I cannot even remember his name. That's how unmemorable the story was.
The narrator did a masterful job of reading. His voice inflections helped increase the effect of the witty dialogue and story that Georgette Heyer created. I've listened to this story at least a dozen times and it still brings a smile to my face.
There are too many scenes that were humorous and well-written and well-performed to be able to pick just one.
Boring boring! Didn't like the narrator or how the story progressed, must be geared at a specific audience.
Right up there with The Unknown Ajax, Cotillion, and The Quiet Gentleman (all Georgette Heyer novels), and The Daughter of Time (by Joesphine Tey, read by Derek Jacobi)--all fabulous listens and reads!
Lord Alverstoke takes the prize. His character's humanization the more contact he had with Frederica, Felix, and Jessamy Merriville was well developed and quite entertaining!
Clifford Norgate brings the characters individuality and a life of their own--and does Alverstoke's hauteur to perfection
It was too long for one sitting, but I did listen to it again immediately after finishing it, and again after another trip through The Daughter of Time (Josephine Tey, read by Derek Jacobi).
Loved it, just loved it!
This is one of my top three Heyer titles, and the audio narration by Clifford Norgate is just spot on. His vocalization of the marquess is a bit stuffier than I would like, and occasionally he veers off into Winston Churchill territory, but he does a very nice job with all of the female voices and especially with the two cute young boys who, for my money, make this a standout book. As all too often happens with Heyer, the ending is cut too short, and I would have enjoyed seeing more of Frederica and Alverstoke as a couple. That, however, is just a risk the reader runs with a Heyer book.
All in all, I adored listening to this book and I highly recommend this audio version.
This is one of my favorite Georgette Heyer books. The narrator does a fantastic job with all the different voices. I had previously listened to Cotillion (another G Heyer, this time read by a lady) and was wondering how I'd go with this one, but I was not disappointed. Highly recommended!