I am familiar with Ms. Imrie's work as an actor and thought her voice would be a great fit for this book. Unfortunately, I was incorrect.
I'm not sure if Ms. Imrie was misled as to the audience for the work or she always reads aloud as if telling a story to a group of slightly concussed four-year-old children who may have been in their parents' liquor cabinet. I was unable to bear it for more than ten minutes and will never listen to it again.
If you want to hear a bombastic, plummy, condescending rendition of this book I can heartily recommend this recording. If, however, you wanted to enjoy the book for itself then this is not the audiobook for you.
It's a pity, because this is one of my favorite Pratchett books.
I have always enjoyed this book more than the other books in this series. Unfortunately I had to return this audiobook because the narrator's choice of dubiously stereotypical accents for the various races make it unlistenable.
Pearlman chooses to make one race sound like Chinese stereotypes and another to sound like Jamaicans. It does not help that her decision was to make the greedy, acquisitive and inherently untrustworthy but excessively civilized race sound vaguely Chinese (down to an occasional r/l confusion!) and the free-wheeling drinking and fighting race sound like Jamaicans.
If you didn't have a problem with the character accents for some races in the recent Star Wars movies, regarding which were made similar criticisms, you should be fine with this audiobook. If they made you wonder how someone could ignore the implications of choosing those accents for those characters, skip this audiobook. I wish I had.
Georgette Heyer had a very successful career writing historical romance set in the Regency period. Her work is characterized by dry humor and a restrained attitude toward the physical aspects of romance. These books emphasize the social and emotional relationships of the characters rather than purely physical. They also require some historical knowledge and the ability to understand Regency slang from context. The books are funny and intricately plotted with a happy close.
Sir Gareth Ludlow is about to propose to his friend, Lady Hester, because he needs to marry to continue his family line. On his way to propose he meets a young woman in trouble. Attempting to resolve her problems takes the efforts of Sir Gareth and Lady Hester, who come to a closer understanding as a result. The story is light-hearted and has a number of different plot lines, all of which are resolved satisfactorily in the end.
Sian Phillips is a competent narrator with a dry delivery that is an excellent match for Heyer's work. While her voice is a little hoarse to be completely convincing as the very young Amanda, on the whole her characterizations are excellent. Ms Phillips also read Bath Tangle, by Heyer, but her work on that recording is slightly below the high standards she met for Sprig Muslin. On the whole I can recommend this recording as the book is amusing and the narrator adds to the experience.
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