©2009 Georgette Heyer; (P)2009 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
"Lady Serena Carlow is an acknowledged beauty, but she's got a temper as fiery as her head of red hair. When her father dies unexpectedly, Serena discovers to her horror that she has been left a ward of Ivo Barrasford, marquis of Rotherham, a man whom Serena once jilted and who now has the power to give or withhold his consent to any marriage she might contemplate. With her father's heir eager to take over his inheritance--and Serena's lifelong home--she and her lovely young stepmother, Fanny, decide to move to Bath, where Serena makes an odd new friend and discovers an old love, Major Hector Kirkby. Before long, Serena, Fanny, Kirkby, and Rotherham are entangled in a welter of misunderstood emotions, mistaken engagements, and misdirected love." (Amazon.com review)
A great Regency Romance by Georgette Heyer. It is funny - sweet - charming and makes you feel good. Lady Serena is a great female character. The sparks between her and the Marquis fly off the page! Heyer can portray intense passion without resorting to graphic sex - read it and you will see what I mean.
Perhaps best known to American audiences as Livia in "I, Claudius," Sian Phillips has a very expressive voice that is a wonderful match for Heyer's prose--she can convey volumes in her reading of a syllable or two. This is a reading of exceptional wit and style.
This title would be an excellent introduction for anyone unfamiliar with Heyer's work. It contains fine examples of all of the critical elements: wonderful characters, sparkling dialogue, and an independently-minded heroine who is still very much a product of her time and place in society. Oh, and a rattling good love story!
Classical history buff. Love books, ballet, and basketball.
Always one of my favorite Georgette Heyer books, Serena and the Marquis of Rotherham are a fun pair, and the supporting characters are wonderful. Sian Phillips' narration is energetic and engrossing. I am glad to see Audible adding titles to their Heyer canon--the more the better!
It is true that I know only what I have read in books. But I have read a great many books. ("Venetia" by Georgette Heyer)
This was the first purchase I ever made from Audible. When each of the last three books I've listened to turned out to be more sad and depressing than the one before, I decided I desperately needed something upbeat and to take no chances. I re-loaded "Bath Tangle" onto my Ipod and even though there are passages of this book I can recite from memory, I listened again and was not disappointed.
Lady Serena Carlow is the poised and headstrong only child of a politically powerful earl who, after many years of widowhood, suddenly decided to "take a bride out of the schoolroom," presumably in the last-ditch hope of "getting an heir." The book opens with the earl's funeral, as his sudden unexpected demise from "contracting a chill" followed hard on the heels of his marriage (and without the hoped-for heir).
Serena is left with a stepmother several years younger than she is who is her complete opposite in personality. She is also horrified to learn that her considerable inheritance has been left in trust, and that the trustee is the haughty Marquis of Rotherham--the fiance she jilted two years ago!
Thus the set-up for the "tangle" of the title. Every character in this story is a delight, and Sian Phillips (the wonderful British actress who played Livia in "I Claudius") gives a sparkling and energetic narration.
Georgette Heyer essentially invented the Regency Romance. She may not be Jane Austen, but her best novels are just as entertaining despite (or perhaps because of) the predictability of the eventual outcome. This is certainly one of her best and transcends the genre.
Heyer is a brilliant writer; a true master of her craft and her novels are in my personal permanent collection. This is an excellent audio production, and I appreciated the audio version of the book better than I had the written book. Nonetheless, Bath Tangle remains among my least favorite of Heyer's novels. I find the main characters in Bath Tangle far less congenial or believable than those in her other novels. Consequently the resolution of their dilemma at the close of the book is not as engaging as her other works. The writing is excellent, but the premise is not Heyer's best. That said, Heyer's worst is still great and worth listening to. Of Heyer's novels, The Foundling and Friday's Child are the two I reread most often. I love Audible's version of Friday's Child and look forward to Audible making The Foundling available in unabridged audio. And here I must speak my peace. Audible must abandon the deeply misguided practice of abridging Heyer's novels. Remember the disaster that was "New Coke"? Know your audience! Heyer devotees will NEVER be satisfied with the abominations that result from attempts at abridging Heyer's work. Even worse, such unappealing misrepresentations will only serve to dissuade potential new fans from exploring her other numerous works. Poor business practice! Even the best and most appealing celebrity narrators cannot make it work. Sylvester and Venetia are among my Heyer favorites, and despite Richard Armitage's best efforts, the abridged versions by Audible had been reduced to such a tawdry level of romance novel that I had to return them. Far smarter to produce one excellent version that would have been appreciated and promoted by Heyer fans than two mutilations that can only be deprecated.
I love Georgette Heyer and this one is truly a favorite. It made me laugh all the way from NY to Florida! Excellent characters and plot!
I enjoy Georgette Heyer so much. I love her characters and their situations. She never lets me take anything too seriously, yet manages to make her characters feel sincere. I listened to this while on a road trip; I found myself slowing down to save gas and to be able to finish BATH TANGLE before the end of the trip.
The confusion and sweetness throughout. The listener is given little hints so they can predict what will happen, but only sometimes.
Ivo. Because he keeps his secret very well, I think.
No, but I enjoyed this very much. That deep voice must have been difficult.
Serena, Because she is a lot of fun.
Loved the book and the narration.
A delightful entangled plot that Heyer easily unravels never letting the reader/listener feel the story is being overly contrived.
Unlike previous reviewers I was quite dismayed by Sian Phillips narration. I'm sure Sian Phillips does her best but her voice is quite hoarse. It is a great pity as Sian tries to ensure the various characters have individual voices for the listener but she is hampered by her damaged vocal folds. Serena is described as having a low pitched muscial voice but instead sounds like she should be auditioning for one of the witches in Macbeth!
I suggest that prospective buyers of this book listen very closely to the sample & decide for themselves.
I am gradually working my way through the Georgette Heyer books and this reading by Sian Phillips is lovely. She brings the characters to life delightfully, and once again I am transported to another period. A dashing heroine, strong hero - what more could I want as I tackle the ironing!!
"A True Tangle of mistaken love"
This is one of Georgette Heyer's light Regency romances but with slightly older characters. Serena Carlow is in her late 20's and has jilted the sardonic, bad tempered Marquis of Rotheram. She lives with her step mother, a beautiful young widow who had been married to her father for only a few years before his unexpected death.
They move to Bath together and Serena meets her long lost love, the handsome and charming Major Kirby, who has recently inherited a respectable fortune.
There is also a pair of star-crossed young lovers and a host of minor characters to add to the mix in this entertaining and satisfying story.
"Some of the narration surprisingly disappointed me"
Heyer's usual humour is everywhere
I have listened to Sian Phillips before and loved her (I always check out the narrator before buying a book). She is terrific, really good, on most of the characters, but amazingly she falls down on both Serena and Rotherham's voices. Too much 'smiling' in the voice when she is 'being' Serena, and then carrying it on with the narration between the conversation.With Rotherham, she didn't seem to give him a lot of humour. Very difficult when you know the story and I suppose have already decided how things should be said.
A lot of laugh out loud bits!!
The book is still very good...
"Enjoyable, but an 'almost but not quite'"
Having found on several of Ms. Heyer's books I've enjoyed the spoken version even more than the original written one, I'm not quite sure why this is the other way around. The book I've always liked - it has all the usual Heyer elements, Serena the main female character is mature, determined and headstrong, Ivo Rotherham is autocratic, Fanny is sweet and gentle, Emily naive and her mother Lady Laleham a beautifully drawn social-climbing horror. The obligatory 'character' is the glorious Mrs Floore, and it's her, in this version, that comes over as the most sympathetic. I heard Sian Phillips read Sprig Muslin wonderfully, so don't know why this one never really comes alight. It may be because the voices aren't always clearly defined and Ms. Phillips uses her own voice for both the narration (obviously) but also for Selina, which can be confusing. Not bad, it's a good book and I wouldn't want to return it, but I don't think it's the best.
"A good story"
I particularly like this story by Georgette Heyer, and I love Sian Phillips, but the narration seemed to me very slow that to begin with I thought there was something wrong with my IPod. However, in the end it didn't spoil it too much, I just had to keep getting my ear tuned to the slow pace.
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