©2000 Georgette Heyer; (P)2000 BBC Audiobooks LTD
Heyer has created a remarkable story that ultimately provides a very accurate and complete accounting of the Battle of Waterloo within the context of the human relationships that were an integral part of the battle. Her main characters are very well drawn, each having many layers of complexity and showing considerable character development.
In An Infamous Army, Heyer has taken characters from two of her other novels, These Old Shades and Devil's Cub, and woven a tale from the next generation. All three are witty, highly entertaining and well-written, but this one weaves in to a much greater extent the history of the period and of, course, the battle. In my opinion, there is no better way to study history than to examine the feelings and decisions of the people who experienced it, and this book is outstanding from this perspective. I highly recommend it and would only recommend to Audible that a separate list of characters would be immensely hepful. However, the narrator does an outstanding job that enables the listener to keep them all straight and her French accent is excellent. For those who enjoy historical fiction and fine writing, this is an exceptional find.
Georgette Heyer has been a favorite of mine for years. When I founds three of her historical novels on Audible, I downloaded them at once, leaving The Infamous Army until last, because it was the only one I had not read. Big, BIG mistake.
It differed so much from her other novels, I had difficulty believing it was written by the same author. I found The Infamous Army a total yawner.
Rather than a novel of the personalities and manners of the Regency period frosted with references to the historical events of the times, The Infamous Army is a very detailed history of the prelude to and Battle of Waterloo. The characters seemed to be dabbed in around the historical references to add some personal interest. Unfortunately, since the characters are the reason I read Georgette Heyer, I found this book extremely dissatisfying. There's one long-winded portion which gives the exact positions of all the different armies involved in the battle. I swear it lasted fifteen minutes, if it lasted one.
If you're interested in the Battle of Waterloo, by all means listen to this book. If you're looking for an entertaining Georgette Heyer novel, forget this one.
Early adopter, longtime listener, bookhungry.
An Infamous Army is a serious recounting of the battle of Waterloo, with an incidental relationship between a soldier and a pettish beauty around the edges (and unfortunately also featuring the wooden Worth and irritatingly-tamed Judith from Regency Buck). One of Heyer's substantial works, rather than in her light romantic vein. It's more likely to send you looking for a website showing the uniforms of Wellington's various soldiers than into a swoon. The account of the battle is mesmerizing and completely horrible. Unless you are made of very stern stuff, you'll weep buckets. Painstakingly researched and very well read.
There were about 45 minutes of plot at the beginning of the book, about 30 minutes in the middle and 20 at the end. In between was a detailed and supposedly accurate account of the battle of Waterloo, including a great profile of Wellington. I recommend.
Not your typical Georgette Heyer romance, however the story telling is remarkably her. This particular story is very rich in Waterloo history and detail. I was delighted she imported characters from 3 of her other novels, Regency Buck, Devils Cub and These Old Shades.
As other reviewers have already written, this is not your typical Georgette Heyer novel (at least, it's not similar to the Heyer books that I've read so far). Heyer's characters are multi-layered and interesting, but this book focuses more on the historical events in which they're living, unlike her other novels that I've read, in which the characters and plot are the focus and the historical details are more in the background. The book is set mostly in Brussels prior to the Battle of Waterloo and includes the battle itself. Not being deeply interested in history myself, there were moments when I had to persevere through all of the information that is being imparted. If you enjoy military history (or just history, period) and enjoy seeing it through the eyes of interesting fictional characters, you will probably love this book. If you are just interested in reading a more typical Heyer novel, you may find your attention wandering a bit at times.
This book is part of a series, and this kept me reading in order to see what would happen next with the recurring characters (or their children & grandchildren) as they made appearances in the subsequent books. This is the order that I read them in, and I'd recommend that you do so, too: 1.) These Old Shades, 2.) Devil's Cub, and 3.) Regency Buck.
After you've read the above three books (and in that order), THEN I would read An Infamous Army so that you have as much understanding as possible of who each of the characters is and how they know or are related to the other characters. I had to make myself a "cheat sheet" describing who was whom when I first began this book, so that I could keep everyone straight. It's hard to see how similar in temperament and spirit that the new generation is to their grandparents, for example, if you can't keep the relationships straight. This is just a suggestion of something that worked for me. I'm glad I read this book, but it's not my favorite Heyer. Narration: excellent
I loved Devil's Cub and A Civil Contract, but I found this book impossible to get through. deadly dull. I only listened to the first hour or so, and then had to bail out. Georgette Heyer is usually a favorite, but I'd give this title a miss.
Fan of mystery & romance -- particularly of historical persuasion!"
Another wonderful historical novel by Georgette Heyer. Claire Higgins does a nice job with the narration!
"Not the usual Heyer..."
I love Georgette Heyer's books, and I'm a sucker for romance. This novel is different from her usual fare, but I'm very glad I bought it.
It was slow to get started, reintroducing us to some familiar characters from her earlier novel, Regency Buck. I stuck with it, only to find that I hated the character of Barbara Childes, which meant I couldn't really take pleasure in the unfolding romance between her and Charles Audley.
It surprised me to find, however, about a third of the way through, that I was completely enthralled by the narration of the events surrounding the Battle Of Waterloo, rather than being caught up by the romantic elements of the story.
If I'd known this book was more to do with the Duke of Wellington defending against the advance of Napolean's army, I would probably never have bought it, and that would have been a great pity.
I was totally caught up in the details of the campaign, and Heyer's account of the final battle was by turns exciting and very moving.
In the end I even grew to quite like Barbara, which I hadn't previously thought possible! But overall I definitely give my 4 stars for Heyer's informative and moving account of the Battle of Waterloo, not for the romance.
"not what I expected"
The book is good however I found it difficult to maintain interest. I would like to read more of her books too get a better feel for her style
"A really good listen."
This is a sequel to Regency Buck, or at least some of the characters reappear. It could easily be listened to as a stand-alone though.
The description of the battle of Waterloo is, apparently, so good it has been used at Sandhurst!
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