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.
This book was difficult to listen to...the narrator has a nice voice, but there were absolutely no pauses whatsoever between scenes. Very, very distracting.
I think the story was OK, but I think I would have liked it better if I'd just bought the book. The performance really didn't do it justice.
Probably not...from either of them.
Add some sophistication to the language....and add some suspense. Add some REAL emotion to the characters....for example, he was in love with her, but there was no real progression of their relationship - one minute they were strangers, and the next they were in love (rather early in the book) - seemed to me that he fell in love with her only because she was beautiful, and a victim. Overall, I thought it was a bit dull and predictable....and totally unrealistic. The heroine was just TOO horribly victimized, the hero was just TOO god-like and perfect, and no one could have been more heartless or cruel or evil than the villain. And the rest of the supporting characters just seemed to accept it all for most of the book.. They were all just TOO much.
OMG....it's like he was competing with someone to finish first! He has a nice voice, but it was unbelievably expressionless. The few accents he tried were poorly done. He seemed to race through the entire book - didn't matter what was happening in the scene - he just kept plodding along at the same steady (rapid) pace. The best I can say is that if he had been a 5th grader, he would have gotten an A+ for Reading - he never slipped up or mispronounced his words. But as a performer, he was totally lacking in any sort of characterizations of the various characters, or of dramatic timing. It was like he had a stopwatch, and paused just one second between every sentence - I thought it was a very hurried performance. I'm actually astonished I finished it..
Maybe...would depend on the cast and director. I like the time period.
I bought this based on the outstanding rating, and because it had a non typical time period. But when I compare it to other romances, I have to say it did not conjure up any real emotion in me, and certainly did NOT give me a feeling of "being there". Maybe it would have been better if I'd read it rather than listened to it, but it's too late now....this was my first book by this author and this narrator, and I was disappointed enough that there will not be a second.
I downloaded this book because of its high rating, and because a "western" romance is not my usual area of interest. But I decided to try something different, and it sounded interesting, so I bought it.
Big mistake. I should have stuck to what I KNOW I like. This story could have been written by someone in junior high, it was so simplistic. The language was not at all engaging, not very descriptive, and overall pretty dull.
The narration was awful, particularly for that of the female lead. She was either clipped in her speech, or just so darned perky it was ridiculous. Nether tone fit the situations she found herself in. I had a hard time listening to the end.
The few historical tidbits are the only reason I gave the story two stars instead of one.
I will not download another book by this author or this narrator. There are better books out there. NOT recommended.
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!
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