Love, Chivalry, Tragedy
White manages to gently satirize medieval society (in his alternate history, Uther Pendragon takes the place of William the Conqueror) and 20th century culture (the psychoanalysis of the Questing Beast), while at the same time taking medieval life and human beings quite seriously. I learned a great deal about real medieval hawking, hunting, and chivalry--things Malory takes for granted, as they were part of daily life in his times.
Arthur & Guinevere listening to the stories of the knights' Grail quests.
I always cry when Lancelot does his one last miracle, and of course, at the end. But there are several scenes that made me laugh as well.
The narrator reads clearly and does all the voices very well, including different accents.
It's a Gothic mystery thriller! It's a Regency comedy of manners! It's a romance! There's a dog! The Reluctant Widow has a bit too much going on, but somehow Georgette Heyer makes it work. Expert narrator helps immensely. Not Heyer's best, but still a pleasure.
Well-written, and the history was well researched, so I learned something, at least. Nicely narrated in different accents. But the story is so pedestrian that I forecast EVERY SINGLE TWIST, so not much fun.
I don't know how many times I've read this novel before--let's say five or six--which should tell you something right there: this is a story that bears re-visiting. It had been several years, and I thought it would be fun to rediscover it via Audible. Yes! There are layers to this novel, with a somewhat unreliable narrator created beautifully by Robin Bailey. If you like WW2 stories, this not quite like anything else. You may guess from the title that it has something to do with Australia, but it's also about Britain and Malaysia. It's a love story, an adventure story, a story with an outstandingly strong woman lead character in Jean Paget. Cautions: this novel was written in 1950, so although it may seem progressive for its time in some ways, some of the language and writing about race will now be offensive.
I don't like to rank books, but The Infernals was entertaining and funny, and also made quite a few good points about how good and evil work (and don't work).
The footnotes are well done.
Tim Gerard Reynolds is good with various voices and accents--all the characters are distinct.
I laughed several times.
Samuel Johnson's tour of hell is just as instructive as Dante's, in a smaller way. The Infernals doesn't quite match The Gates for suspense and humor, but it was still fun and I look forward to Mr. Connolly's next book about Samuel Johnson & Boswell.
It is funny! But most of all, hearing it read through helped clarify some elements I had missed in my own silent reading. It's a long, complex book about TIME TRAVEL, so there are a lot of details. This reading was stellar.
Did I say it was funny? Perhaps I'm experiencing Difficulty In Distinguishing Sounds (a symptom of time lag). Also enjoyed all the allusions to other literature, starting with THREE MEN IN A BOAT (TO SAY NOTHING OF THE DOG) and ending with GAUDY NIGHT.
The bombing(s) of Coventry Cathedral--Willis creates suspense even when you know something of the outcome.
Not possible, but it was quite enjoyable.
TO SAY NOTHING OF THE DOG has it all--science fiction, mystery, romance, humor, action, and more. At times, you may feel you don't know what's happening. Just go with it. All will be revealed. You'll be glad you did.
The Grand Sophy is one of Heyer's best humorous romances, and Clare Wille recreates every character perfectly, so I loved that.
What I liked least was realizing that I had acquired an abridged version of this delightful book! This is not a novel you wish were shorter!
Augustus Thornhope--the perfect languishing would-be Romantic poet.
The Grand Sophy--this version of it, at any rate--inspired me to find a full-length audio edition and listen to it all over again. I hope such a thing exists!
I DO recommend this audiobook for anyone who isn't already familiar with the original. The story is delightful, the characters are engaging, and the narration is excellent. Then afterwards you can check out the full-length print book and have even more fun reading it yourself!
Classic bildungsroman begins...
It's incomparable! Dunnett's writing has been compared with Mary Renault, Hilary Mantel, Patrick O'Brien. Her central character(s) are fictional, but the historical settings and characters with which they interact (for example, in Niccolo Rising, 15th c. Bruges and Anselm Adorne) are accurately and brilliantly portrayed. She has a painter's eye and a poet's pen, which makes the books a pleasure to hear read aloud by a skilled narrator.
His Jordan de Fleury is appropriately scathing.
It's a complex story and a bit long for that, but I was sorry when it ended.
If you've read the book, this is a great way to revisit it. If not, this is a great introduction to the series. Hopefully Audible.com will be bringing us the rest of the House of Niccolo as well as Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles.
Somewhat like the first Paksenarrion book, it's hard to tell just where this one is going. We have two or three characters' stories to follow. Eventually the focus does seem to fall more on one of them, but I'm not sure even Moon knew which it would be, at first.
She's not my favorite narrator, but she has improved over the course of these novels and I'm accustomed to her style.
It would make a great movie--the cuts between locations and characters would work quite well.
In the end, I enjoyed listening to this book and plan to continue with the series.
This was a one-time listen. Entertaining, but not the kind of thing I'd come back to. YMMV, but if I'd bought the physical book, it wouldn't be a keeper.
I'm sure there'll be a sequel, and I'll probably read it/listen to it, because I'm curious about what happens with Atticus's apprentice.
Luke Daniels also narrated Hearne's HOUNDED. It was equally engaging.
As contemporary fantasy goes, this was pretty good fun. The Celtic mythology is pretty solid, if you care about that kind of thing, so that wasn't annoying.
The way characters frequently held conversations that should have been confidential in loud voices in public places really stretched credulity--that's a lot of naive characters!
I'd have made the plot a little less dependent on loose talk.
Character voices/accents are fun.
Stay on earth.
It was still fun to see how it all worked out. I did come to care about the characters and their outcomes, so overall--a success.
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