I had never read this book before, nor do I recall the movies. But I now understand why it is considered a classic. The emotions expressed by the protagonist are complex and profound and heart wrenchingly real....Graham Greene's prose is just exquisite.
But it was Colin Firth's narration that made it a real listening pleasure - he delivered an absolutely sublime performance.......you simply cannot improve on perfection!
I now consider this to be one of my top ten, right along side Jeremy Irons' narration of Lolita.
Highly recommended....you'll be glad you spent the credit.
The story is a classic, and one of my favorite GH novels - I have read them all many times. It is set in the mid eighteenth century rather than the typical regency period of the early nineteenth, which is a nice change. As always, it is full of romance and wit and comedy, with sumptuous descriptions of the characters, the locations and the clothing.
However, I think the narrator, although very good, was the wrong choice for this audiobook. Her voice is wonderfully clear, but very young and feminine sounding. In my opinion, she was unable to make any of the male characters sound even remotely authentic. Particularly the male lead, who is described as a "mountain" - her teenage girl sounding voice just did not fit the visual image. In addition, I did not care at all for her characterization of Lord Barham - she made him sound like a ringleader performing in a circus. Yes, he is described as being bombastic and conceited, but her narration was just way too over the top for me. Also, she made the villains of the story all have very nasal voices, which made me think of Snidely Whiplash of the cartoons. Just too unrealistic, particularly since the character Letitia was initially supposed to have been in love with one of them. Not likely with THAT voice!
But despite my disappointment regarding the narrator, I still recommend it - absolutely ANYTHING written by Georgette Heyer is worth listening to!
I downloaded this book because it had a 5 star rating even though there weren't many ratings yet.....and it certainly lived up to this score in both story and narration. The dialog was intelligent and very witty, almost in the style of Georgette Heyer, but with a little more bite to it. Neither the hero nor the heroine are at all typical of the HR genre, but they each had strong personalities and were a delight to listen to. There were quite a few laugh out loud moments included as well! Very well done. Apparently this book was first published in 1995 - and I had never before heard of the author - but I can perfectly understand why it has stood the test of time.
Kate Reading gave an outstanding performance yet again - she is just wonderful (she also narrates the Pink Carnation series, which is where I first heard her).
I have now added Loretta Chase to my daily search list - along with Pamela Clare, Georgette Heyer, Laura Kinsale and Diana Gabalodon. They are all automatic downloads!
This one is definitely worth your time and credit....I hope Audible brings us more from this author very soon!
I saw the mini-series in the 80's, but had never read the book. What an achievement! This book is hard to put on pause, although one has to due to its length. Herman Wouk's storytelling is fabulous, and I think the narrator delivered his words in exactly the way he would have wanted. I have learned so much about WWII that I never knew, and it was truly eye-opening. I am starting the sequence, War and Remembrance, right now. If you enjoy history, you will love this book!
This was not what I expected. I only bought it because of the ratings and the reviews that seemed to indicate it was an excellent book.
But it was essentially a YA book with lots of sex. The main character acted like a snotty teenager most of the time...far too much attitude. Yes, she had a tragedy in her past when she was 14, but it seemed to me that she was never grew up from that point. He was contradictory as well...one minute kind and gentle, the next controlling and cursing. I couldn't see what they saw in each other - I didn't detect any chemistry at all, even after 6 hours into it.
I finally abandoned it entirely. It would have been a waste of my time to finish it.
Not recommended for anyone over 30. You'd be bored witless.
A different story, a different author and a different narrator.
Not in a million years!
ANYONE else...this narrator's voice was just plain flat. But I have to say that the best narrator in the world could not have made me like this audiobook. The sex was too explicit, the dialogue too vulgar, the writing too amateurish, and the premise too unrealistic. All that, and no story either.....complete disappointment.
Pretty much all of them...or at least those I listened to. I quit after about 2 hours. Kept hoping it would improve, but it didn't. Didn't want to waste my time seeing if it ever would. Bought it on a Daily Deal, but even at a lower price, it was a waste of money. I'll be returning it.
This audiobook appears to me to have targeted teens and young adults. I just hope they are smart enough to recognize that this is not what a real relationship is like. If they don't, I really pity them.
I was somewhat disappointed in this audiobook. The story was OK - a bit predictable - and although not the best romance I've ever read, it was certainly not the worst. I did start out slowly and confusingly, but got better towards the end. But the worst part was the narration.
I gave Heather Wilds two stars instead of one only because there is no denying she has a very pleasant voice. Unfortunately, it is was woefully expressionless most of the time - or maybe melancholy is a better description. She was simply reading the book out loud. There were no real character distinctions and although I could usually tell if it was a man or a woman speaking, because she did at least change her pitch for that, I certainly could not distinguish between characters of the same sex. Same tone, same volume, same speed all the time, regardless if it was an action scene, a romantic encounter, or heated argument. There WAS no heat, or passion, or amusement, or frustration, or sadness, or fear, or any other emotion expressed in her voice. The monotony of all this made it a very dull listen for me...I will not download another book narrated by HW unless she improves dramatically. I'll give her a few years and then we'll see.
Finally, which is probably more the fault of the recording team than the narrator.... no real pauses during scene changes. I found myself repeatedly rewinding to find out what was going on - not something I typically do. Very irritating.
My recommendation is to buy the book instead.
I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook, and I think the narrators did a fabulous job of bringing the characters to life. The story is compelling and the characters are just plain wonderful - very well done. I also learned about the German occupation of the Channel Isles during WWII, something I had previously known little about.
It is everything all the others have said about it, so I will not repeat their comments.
This audiobook it is definitely worth the time an credit, and if you haven't read it yet, you should - you will not be disappointed! It is now one of my top ten!
Highly, highly, HIGHLY recommended!
I bought this primarily for my Mom, who is great poetry lover, so she could listen to it in my car during long trips. I thought it would be short enough that I wouldn't be bored...I have never cared for poetry, or so I thought.
What a complete surprise....this is an absolutely outstanding piece of work!
I listened to it all in one sitting...I couldn't turn it off. I laughed, and I wept....and all of it made me think. This is a wonderful collection. I was so stunned at the depth of emotion I experienced listening it that I had to write this review immediately to inform other like-minded individuals of what they've been missing.
I was vaguely familiar with some of the poems, but I never quite understood them when reading them in print. What a difference HEARING them has made to my perspective! Listening to Michael Caine, and Judi Dench, and Ralph Fiennes and all of the others was a real pleasure. The emotions conjured up by these virtuoso readers has really opened my eyes to how powerful poetry can be. The order that they were presented was very appealing as well, starting with poems about birth and childhood, through those about romantic love and war and middle age, to those about old age and death. And managing to end such a collection on a hopeful note was truly inspiring. I just loved it!
I may never attempt to READ poetry again, but I fully expect that I will LISTEN to this collection many times in the future.
I'd like to express my thanks to another reviewer, ESK from Russia, for taking the time to list all of the poems, their authors and the name of the readers. Very helpful.
This is a treat to the soul....HIGHLY recommended.
I cannot sufficiently express how thrilled I was to see another Georgette Heyer novel released to Audio. And with an entirely new narrator, no less!
I have read Georgette Heyer's novels for decades, and have never tired of the wit, humor, adventure and romance she brought to her stories, despite having read and re-read every single one of them over the years (I have worn out the books!). She is my all-time favorite romance author, and I have downloaded every unabridged audiobook on Audible, and continuously check for new ones, since there are ~20 more that are not yet available. In my opinion, they should all be considered classics, since, IMHO, none of today's romances hold a candle to her books.
The Black Moth, her very first novel, was written when she was just a teenager. It expresses all of the charm of her future novels, and of the 40+ romance novels she wrote, is one of my top 5. The story is well told, and includes a charming aristocrat forced by circumstance into becoming a highwayman, a beautiful heroine just waiting to be rescued, a depraved but omniscient villain, a guilt-ridden brother and his spoiled wife, and countless other characters who bring the story to life. Written in the Georgian Period (1750's), GH uses her unsurpassable flair for describing the clothing, manners, and characters of the period to paint a scrumptious picture of each scene, whether it be a kidnapping, a society ball, or a duel.
This new narrator, Julian Rhind-Tutt, did an excellent job of portraying the male characters, and his interpretation of the Duke of Andover was just perfect (I wish he would re-record THESE OLD SHADES (my #1) - since his voice is suited perfectly for the Duke of Avon in that novel - superior tone, but not foppish or nasal, like Cornelius Garrett's narration). He was not quite as good at the female voices, but all in all, he did a satisfactory job with them as well. I quite liked him.
To Audible.....PLEASE acquire the rest of GH's novels! I am sure I am not the only one out there looking for them. But stay away from the Abridged versions - to miss ANY of GH's words is simply a crime.
This is, hands down, the best series on Audible.
This review is long overdue (I first listened to it in 2010), and I cannot avoid repeating things that have already been said. I am just one of many grateful reviewers.
Outlander is the first book in a very long, detailed, and utterly absorbing saga centered about 2 wonderful people and their extended families and friends (and enemies). The series contains adventure, history, war, family, and of course, passion and love. And it all revolves around 2 people named Jamie and Claire as they travel through Scotland, England, France, the Caribbean, and America. And every now and then, Claire travels through time. It spans not only decades, but centuries. It is absolutely wonderful and I can hardly wait for the next book, scheduled for release in late fall 2013.
The narration of the entire series by Davina Porter is utterly flawless. Perfect accents (particularly Scottish), different voices for a very long list of characters, both male and female, and the capability to portray any emotion you can imagine. The best female narrator I've ever come across...
But it is the story itself that captures the imagination.....Diana Gabaldon is the maestro of story telling. I am in awe that one person could have such an endless and diverse imagination as to create such fabulously detailed characters, and settings, and historical anecdotes. Her historical research is obvious. And accurate. She is simply sublime.
If you have not listened to Outlander, or the 6 books that follow it, I cannot urge you strongly enough to try it. You won't have any regrets, I promise....and you'll be waiting with bated breathe for #8, just like I am!
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