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Sylvester Audiobook

Sylvester

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Publisher's Summary

When Sylvester, the Duke of Salford, first meets Phoebe Marlow, he finds her dull and insipid. She finds him insufferably arrogant. But when a series of unforeseen events leads them to be stranded together in a lonely country inn, they are both forced to reassess their hastily formed opinions, and begin a new-found liking and respect for each other.

Sylvester calls to mind the satirical genius of a Jane Austen novel and is adored for its wit and a fast-paced plot, which ranges across a myriad of settings.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2009 Naxos Audiobooks; (P)2009 Naxos Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"Although this is an abridged version of Heyer's work, British actor Richard Armitage makes this exceptionally fun to listen to....Armitage's reading is warm, lively, simply brilliant. He easily voices all characters and regional and class differences with ease and captures the underlying tension and growing romantic interest between Phoebe and Sylvester. The period classical music between chapters adds wonderful, appropriate atmosphere." (Soundcommentary.com)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (599 )
5 star
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Overall
4.3 (467 )
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Story
4.8 (469 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    M. Cruz West Covina, CA United States 02-16-15
    M. Cruz West Covina, CA United States 02-16-15 Member Since 2016

    MYV fan

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    "My favorite!"

    Richard Armitage is a superb narrator!! I was completely captivated by the story and his performance. I would highly recommend this to my friends.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heidi R Meyer 02-13-15
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    "Love this story!!"

    I bought the audio in the morning and couldn't stop listening to it. Great story!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pattio 12-18-14
    Pattio 12-18-14 Member Since 2016

    Book lover

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    "Don't get the abridged version"

    I selected this version of "Sylvester" shortly after becoming a member of Audible and did not look closely enough to notice that this was an abridged audiobook. When I listened to it, the story did not make much sense. Several years later, Audible obtained the unabridged version so I took a chance on it and loved it! In fact, it is one of my top five favorite Georgette Heyer books (Frederica, Friday's Child, Venetia, Devil's Cub and Sylvester being my favorites in both written and audiobook format). So my recommendation is that you skip this version and go for the unabridged one instead.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amber 05-30-14
    Amber 05-30-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Richard Armitage has the best speaking voice!"
    Any additional comments?

    I don't normally go for Romance, but I do have a soft spot for Georgette Heyer. I have quite admired Richard Armitage ever since the BBC Robin Hood version. The Armitage-Heyer combination was just too compelling to resist. The narration is fabulously done and it's a terribly cute story.

    My only complaint is that the novel is abridged. I'll make no grand claims about the literary merits of the Romance novel genre, but Heyer is one of the few authors in the genre who seem to possess a literary subtlety. That subtlety is entirely lost through the abridgement and all that remains is a cutesy story read by a lovely narrator. I can't help thinking that Heyer deserves better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    martha locust grove, ga, United States 12-17-13
    martha locust grove, ga, United States 12-17-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "DON'T ABRIDGE GEORGETTE HEYER.......EVER!!!!!"
    What disappointed you about Sylvester?

    When you take out any of Georgette Heyer's words you turn an incredible historical adventure full of nuance, British dry wit, and solid research, into just another love story. She is a past master at her craft. Don't mess with it.


    What was most disappointing about Georgette Heyer’s story?

    Abridgement.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    All the parts that were left out.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Sylvester?

    NONE!!! Put everything back the way it was.


    Any additional comments?

    Please don't abridge anything by Georgette Heyer or Laura Hillenbrand.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Hinckley Woodside, New York 12-10-13
    J. Hinckley Woodside, New York 12-10-13 Member Since 2014
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    "So much fun"
    Would you listen to Sylvester again? Why?

    Probably - it was a fun story and Richard Armitage did a great job narrating it.


    Which character – as performed by Richard Armitage – was your favorite?

    Sylvester


    Any additional comments?

    A very fun listen--Richard Armitage is amazing and I love the story. I always feel guilty about reading/listening to abridged books, but it was kind of nice in this instance. Someday I will read the whole thing, but this was great.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 10-17-13
    Michael 10-17-13

    Classics, history, historical fiction, marketing, Napoleonic stuff and of course 'Boys own Adventure'. This is my bent. Occasional self help as well.

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    "Pity it is abridged"

    Richard Armitage is very good, well according to my girlfriend who I got this one to listen to. Her only criticism is the abridgement. Characters where deleted, story line reduced, the usual. Personally I recommend never to get an abridged version of any of the books, you'll only be disappointed. As for Richard Armitage please stop narrating, I am going to lose my girlfriend to your voice, or could you develop a talking book on 'Speaking Like Richard Armitage', no that won't do, just stop talking, you have a silver tongue that beguiles my girlfriend, I can't compete.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherri Clemson, SC, United States 04-12-13
    Sherri Clemson, SC, United States 04-12-13 Member Since 2009
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    "An Acceptable Substitute"

    Abridgements are never my first choice because so much of what makes Hayer such fun are the details, the side plots, the back stories, and the secondary characters -- all of which are trimmed or omitted entirely when chopped down. However, the story still has some charm to it, even if, with all the cuts, certain things don't quite make sense. The narration is competent, too.

    Still, if an unabridged audio version is made available, I'll go for it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 03-16-13
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 03-16-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Some silliness but nicely done."

    I try to avoid abridged books. But I was in the mood for a good narrator, and chose this book solely because it was done by Richard Armitage. I loved how seductive he was in the book Venetia. Unfortunately Sylvester did not have any sensual or seductive scenes, but I still enjoyed the narration.

    As to the story, I was surprised, delighted, and smiled many times. It reminded me sadly of how not enough of todays’ authors can do what Heyer does. She draws and shows her characters so full and interesting.

    To create conflict authors sometimes have characters do things that go against a character’s normal motivation. That’s tricky. If not well done it’s annoying. Heyer does it well. Here are examples of Heyer doing unexpected things and justifying it.

    When Sylvester first met Phoebe he was rude. He found Phoebe plain looking and dull. The dullness was because she was accompanied by her difficult stepmother. Phoebe’s unbecoming clothes were also due to the stepmother. Months later Phoebe’s stepmother told her that Sylvester was coming to their home to offer marriage for her. Phoebe’s reaction was to run off and stay elsewhere to avoid this. Sylvester had no intention of offering marriage. The stepmother was wrong. But when Sylvester heard that Phoebe ran off rather than be with him, he decided he wanted vengeance because his self esteem was injured. So he decides to make Phoebe desire him, and then he will reject her.

    Later when Sylvester sees Phoebe so forlorn about something yet trying to put on a brave smile, Sylvester did something nice for her. He did it “on impulse” which didn’t fit his vengeance motivation of the moment. But I bought it because he was reacting to the emotion on her face - like seeing a hurt puppy.

    Sylvester knew that Phoebe’s grandmother would not welcome Phoebe. When Phoebe asked Sylvester if the grandmother would welcome her, he said yes. Sylvester was being ornery to both Phoebe and the grandmother. He enjoyed the idea of annoying the grandmother. Actually it was a surprise later when the grandmother welcomed Phoebe, because the grandmother had been bored recently.

    So you have orneriness and surprising interactions. It was fun rather than slapstickish.

    Why not 5 stars?
    I wanted more romance at the end - more showing how their feelings developed. But I never get enough of that from Heyer. Also, this was abridged. It’s maybe a third the length of a regular novel.

    Genre: historical romance

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janette 03-02-13
    Janette 03-02-13
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    "Great combination of author and narrator!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely! Georgette Heyer tells a fantastic story with thoroughly entertaining characters and an engaging plot. Richard Armitage's narration brings the characters to life, providing easily discernible voices and infusing the dialogue with the humor characteristic of vintage Regency romances. This is an altogether delightful listening experience.


    What other book might you compare Sylvester to and why?

    I think Sylvester can be loosely compared to Pride and Prejudice in a few respects. The hero and heroine each form unflattering initial opinions of one another and the misunderstanding continues until the last few pages of the book. Sylvester is similar to Mr. Darcy in that he takes it upon himself to help Phoebe out of the a number of difficult circumstances. Both books also have a few very memorable supporting characters (Mr. Collins, Miss Bingley, Tom Ord, Ianthe) who provide comic relief as well as foils for their respective counterparts.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I think my favorite scene is when Phoebe meets Sylvester's mother and discovers more about his character and true feelings for her.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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