Georgette Heyer wrote about a period that had all the quaintness and charm of being a hundred years in the past. Anyone approaching a Heyer novel today has to recognize that Georgette herself is now almost a hundred years in OUR past, and must be willing to forgive her for political incorrectness that didn't exist in her day.
Heroines like Elinor Rochdale, who can drive her own phaeton and who doesn't hesitate to argue and snipe with a peer of the realm, would have seemed lively and modern to an English reader in the 1930s, though she seems ridiculously tame and even annoyingly dependent to us in the 21st century.
I give this audiobook four stars because despite the outdatedness of the material, Heyer's grasp of Regency language, her ability to build vivid characters entirely through sparkling dialog, and the lively, very G-rated, and mostly harmless romp she takes us on is a lot of fun.
What's more, Cornelius Garrett brings just the right degree of plummy upper-crust RP English (with some lovely regional dialect) to the story, and a nice blend of narration and acting. As another reviewer has said, his Francis Cheviot is absolute genius. The production itself is simple but entirely professional. It was nine hours of very enjoyable listening.
The content of "The Disappearance of the Universe" includes some eye-opening and worthwhile concepts for students of New Age spirituality. It frankly acts as a sort of advertisement for and clarification of "A Course in Miracles," but its ideas are certainly available to anyone, regardless of their exposure , to the earlier work.
The audiobook, however, is a perfect example of What Not To Do. The author, whose voice is so nasal and sinusy as to border on the loathesome, has insisted on reading his own work. Another spiritual author, Doreen Virtue, reads the part of Persa, the female spiritual guide, while an obviously professional reader, with a slick, radio-type announcer voice, reads the words of Arten, the male spiritual guide, and makes them sound like an infomercial.
The mix is so bizarre as to make the content difficult to approach. Fortunately, the sections the author reads are very brief, and the more listenable voices of the other two readers constitute the majority of te work.
Don't listen with good earphones unless you want to know all about the sinus condition of the author. Sorry, Audible: this is one I wish I'd bought on paper and read with my eyes, 'cause my ears are annoyed.
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