©2003 Georgette Heyer; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
"My favourite historical novelist." (Margaret Drabble)
Devil's Cub is one of my favorite Heyer books and I anticipated with pleasure the audio version. However, it felt like the narrator didn't grasp the humor, period or characterizations as he should. Humorous comments were misinterpreted and historical insights and characterizations undermined by his rendering. At one point I wondered if he had read the book before recording -- or perhaps the genre just didn't click for him.
Production values were excellent and the narrator is easy to listen to, but the interpretation left a lot to be desired. You can't miss with Heyer and this is a fun book, but it deserved a better narration.
I enjoyed this book, which is a delightful mix of outright farce and romance novel cliche. It works because Heyer never gets too arch or over-the-top about it, and always plays it straight. My only quibble is with the narration. The reader's own voice is fine, but the vocal characterization he chose for Vidal is distinctly grating - and unfortunately, not in a good way.
This was a very well done narration of Devil's Cub. I first discovered Georgette Heyer's novels over 20 years ago and have read most of them. This was the first time I had ever listened to one and it was very enjoyable. My two quibbles: 1) The narrator's choice of Vidal's voice (as was noted by a previous reviewer). I thought that the voice he used sounded much too old. More like a world weary man in his 40's or 50's rather than a young man in his 20's.
2) The accent of Mary Challoner's mother was also a bit of a stretch. It seemed too broad and coarse an accent. If Mary's father was a nobleman how could he have possibly married let alone meet a woman so far beneath his social status? But the other charecters were "spot on"!
Well done indeed!
Narrator not as good as one for "TOS." Avon sounds petulant, not purring. And Vidal sounds angry, not sinister. But still a good listen.
Like all Georgette Heyer's work, this book is LOTS of fun, but unlike many, it brings up issues that the modern world considers seriously un-funny. Heyer's hero starts the book as somone who drives (horses) too fast and plays too hard, and since he is wealthy & athletic & has a high social position, he gets away with it. Heyer, though, never excuses his behavior. She shows you characters, and their behavior, from their own view-points, and in their own settings. It is up to the reader to decide whether their behavior can be excused (completely, somewhat, or not at all). So, although her hero's behavior, when he assumes that the heroine is a "lightskirt" who (he assumes - incorrectly) is trying to trap him into making her his mistress, is inexcusable by modern standards, it was all too acceptable by the standards of the mid-late 18th century. He does not actually assault the heroine, but not through lack of intent. Heyer does not excuse, and she doesn't, when brought to the point, shy away from telling you a few ugly truths, either.
My 14th Heyer (I'm consuming them at a gallop), with an abundance of classic elements, including: adventure, abduction, elopement, two duels(one with pistols, one with swords), a classic rake (actually 2 including the father), a level-headed heroine, humor, and farce. Leonie and the Duke are back, but mostly in the background, as parents. It's the duke's son Dominic now who's the center-stage rake, to be tamed this time by a sensible bourgoise, Mary.Very well-plotted, light, and complete fun!
All Heyer's books seem to be of a piece, really, despite different plots. They are simply delicious fantasy-romances, and it hardly matters what they're about, though Heyer takes time over the plotting, however light. Our hero Dominic resembles many of her classic nobleman-rakes, including notably his father, Justin, Duke of Avon, Heyer's "uber-rake" of These Old Shades. Once you start reading Heyer it's hard to stop--it's addicting escapism that leaves you feeling quite satisfied and rushing back for more. You're propelled along by the clever dialogue and the interesting period details. For example,I find I now know how to distinguish a curricle from a phaeton from a barouche. Though what good that may do me, I'm sure I don't know. And I am not "queer in my attic!" as her characters are wont to say...
I've listened to several other narrators of Heyer's books, and I do think Michael Drew does very well indeed with this unabridged version.--He is actually quite good at capturing a sort of nasty, nasal drawl you might expect of our rakes-both-father and son. He is also very adept in his handling of all the women characters. He has several fine narrative moments; one of the funniest bits is the valet's discourse on the marquis's fashionable figure. Drew clearly milks this little scene for maximum laughs. Simply not to be missed!
Read and listen to as many as you can get your hands on--a healthy way to revive good spirits! I've heard it called mannerpunk; I'd say regency-crack.
One of my favourite Heyer romances this book translates quite well into an audio format. Stars one of Heyer's typical heros - handsome, dangerous, and cynical - with a smart, courageous, ladylike heroine. This is the sequel to 'These Old Shades' and although it stands very well on its own, one needs to read the prequel in order to fully appreciate some of the characters - in particular the characters of Avon and Leonie. The only slight quibble I have concerns the narrator's voicing of some of the male characters. There is a decided lisp given to many of the more dandyish of the male characters which can become a little distracting. It is rather unlikely that all Georgian dandies lisp when they speak so I think this particular style of voicing was a little overdone in this audiobook.
This isn't steamy, if that's what you are hoping for, but what do you expect from Georgette Heyer? It is romantic, though, and remarkably so for her. Vidal is a perfect leading man: slightly villainous, but good at heart and respectful of respectable women. And the characters are so well written, you'll laugh out loud.
An unrepentant rake meets the moralistic miss, and sparks fly across England and France. Seeking to save her sister a disgrace, our heroine sacrifices herself and her reputation, and finds herself at the mercy of a callous libertine. After abducting her to France, then...well, it is a lovely and fun romance, and the narrator is EXCELLENT!
The naration was well done, and story was captivating. I love historical romances where the heroine reforms a wickedly bad rake, and this book does it very well. I will happily listen to more books by this author if they become available.
One of the best by Georgette Heyer, and it was read very well without distracting you form the story as I found with These Old Shades. I didn't want this one to end. Please can he read These Old Shades.
Georgette Heyer's novels are fantastic. Not just historical romances, they are exciting and witty too. I loved listening to this one. More Heyer please!
"Georgette Heyer's Regency."
Having discovered Georgette Heyer's regency novels, I find I simply can't get enough of them. This is a sequel to 'These Dark Shades' in which we meet most of these characters. Which is the better, is one of those unanswerable questions. Both are great fun, hugely enjoyable, and just utterly delicious.
"A Joy from beginning to end"
I have enjoyed Georgette Heyer's books since I was a teenager (now a very long time ago!), and Devil's Cub was always a favourite. I wondered whether the magic would survive, but I needn't have worried. This is a wonderful reading of a delightful book, and one that does justice to the sparkling dialogue and humour. My only advice would be not to listen to it in public (or even in front of your nearest and dearest). Laughing at jokes others cannot hear, or indeed going around with a silly smile because you are just having such a good time listening, is probably very irritating. But if you are the listener, its a marvellous experience!
Ooh, this is delicious. I love a good Regency tale, and this is full of swashbuckling heroes, flighty swooning females, and a plucky heroine who wins her swain in the end. But you know she will, it wouldn't be Georgette Heyer if she didn't.
Even though a French accent is required for one of the characters, the narration is terrific. I loved it!
"Great book, narration not quite so hot..."
I thought that listening to the 4 Alastair/Taverner books in order would be a great idea, but overlooked the flaw in my cunning plan - different narrators.
Having loved Cornelius Garrett's version of These Old Shades when others apparently didn't, and particularly enjoyed his almost Edward Fox smoothly voiced Justin, I expected Devil's Cub to be brilliant. It's a livelier book in so many ways with wonderful humour. Although Leonie was believable, I was a bit disappointed with others. After a few chapters the voice of Vidal grew on me, but Justin's never did. And who on earth thought that turning Fanny Marling into an 80 year old wobbly voiced Lady Bracknell was a good idea? She had only aged 25 years to her mid 40s since These Old Shades, yet in this I almost expected her to quaver "a handbag?" in tones of horror whenever Frederick Comyn's name was mentioned.
Rupert was good fun though! By the end I had got accustomed to the change of interpretation and the brilliant final scenes, especially the sub-plot of Rupert's wine, worked beautifully.
Next stop, the slight detour to Regency Buck for the back story of The Taverners read by June Barrie so all change again. Then to the final, brilliant An Infamous Army in which I look forward to catching up with Vidal and Mary in old age...
This is one of my favourite Heyer novels and this narrator has brought it to life beautifully, so I can enjoy it yet again in another format. He has managed to completely ascribe excellent voices to all the various characters and maintains this effortlessly throughout the narration. Even his women are excellent! A lovely listen for Heyer fans
"Devil's Cub is alive and kicking"
On first reading I loved this book, but to relax and listen to it not only rekindles fond memories but adds a new dimension to the original enjoyment. Michael Drew instinctively brings out not only the nuances of Georgette Heyer's writing, but also the atmosphere and sensations of the period, heightening the emotions and allowing the mind to create images to fit the characters.
As a sequel to These Old Shades, the Cub certainly lives up to the Devil's reputation ... he is a natural offspring for Justin and Léonie, and just as lovable in his own way.
I would recommend Devil's Cub wholeheartedly to devoted fans and those coming new to Heyer alike.
"Sequel to These Old Shades"
The son of Justin & Leonie - a 'swashbuckling' character - has to be tamed a bit by the heroine. The portrayal of 'Monseigneur' is not as good as in TOS!
"exactly what you want from Heyer"
I love Heyer, you always know exactly what the outcome of her stories will be and are spared the worry of the outcome to just delight in the journey itself. This is no exception to her usual formula, and all the more delightful for it.
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