Captain John Staple’s exploits in the Peninsula had earned him the sobriquet Crazy Jack amongst his fellows in the Dragoon Guards. Now home from Waterloo, life in peacetime is rather dull for the adventure-loving captain. But when he finds himself lost at an unmanned toll-house in the Pennines, his soldiering days suddenly pale away beside an adventure - and romance - of a lifetime.
©1954 Georgette Heyer (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
I LOVE GEORGETTE HEYER!!!!! And this is a really fun book!!! Mystery, laughs, & romance! Daniel Hill is ... (disagreeing somewhat with a previous reviewer) ... a fairly good reader who goes over the top sometimes, and when he goes over the top he makes the character that he is reading sound like an asthmatic that is trying to shout while having an asthma attack. Luckily, this happens less and less as the story progresses. I was able to get past this issue pretty easily. (And if he sounds familiar ... he played the obnoxious Harvey Nigel Baines in the BBC's '90s sit-com "Waiting for God".)
This classic Georgette Heyer is sparkling! I have bought all of the unabridged Heyer books, and have listened to them more that once. I am impressed with the quality of the narrators of her books, and Daniel Hill is no exception. I think the lively dialogue and period idioms challenge the narrators. Hill amused me as much as Heyer with his lively performance.
I have read and re-read these books since I was a child and they are all wonderful! Please don't fob us off with abridged versions though - two of my favorites, Venetia and Slyvester are only here in an abridged versions, and there is no point in even trying to listen to them if they do not contain every beautiful word and cant phrase!
Australian, living in beautiful central Victoria. Audio book addict otherwise fairly well balanced.
Not the book for you if you enjoy a 'will he, will she' romance. This is an adventure amongst blokes( including a highwayman with a heart of gold) salted with enough local idiom to make you scream for mercy. The narrator makes a good fist of it and the hero is a good'un but I don't think Ms Heyer would have rated this as one of her finest.
Have you ever wanted an Audible book and it finally showed up? You are so excited! BUT, then you hear to the WORST voice you have ever listened to!!!
I will listen to this again,(because I LOVE the book) but Audible PLEASE don't have Daniel Hill narrate anymore Georgette Heyer books.
His normal voice is pleasant...his characters are horrible.
I love Audible...I don't have the time anymore to sit down and read. I listen as I am working on a project. Thank you so much for the wonderful books you have.
The story is classic Georgette Heyer with a little less romance than usual and a little more adventure. The narration on the other hand was horrible. I try to be charitable because it is a hard job to narrate characters that many people know and love but he made the main character, John, sound like a pirate or criminal. It was disconcerting considering John is educated and comes from a good family. He actually did a better job with the females than the males.
No. The book is fun, the narrator is ruining it. I don't know if I will be able to finish it.
His voice, his characters' voices.
I thought his presentation was very cartoonish, and disliked the "voices" that he chose for most of his characters. He made the action scenes sound like someone broadcasting a sports event.
I read most of Georgette Heyer's romantic novels when in my late teens and early twenties. They're almost all light hearted fun, with some seriously funny bits thrown in. This one doesn't have as much hilarity as some, but it is an excellently crafted story of adventure and romance in regency England.
Narrative makes the world go round.
For the most part, I'm really enjoying the Heyer novels available on Audible. I can suspend my disbelief and 21st century sensibilites and sympathecially enter the universe she creates --For me, she shatters this otherwise moral universe in this and in "Devil's Cub" with a casual, flippant attitude towards violence --- Too bad, because 90% of this one is prime Heyer - more her mystery mode than romance, though.
If you are a casual Heyer reader, I'd suggest choosing another of her novels. If you don't agree with my "violence" objection, the narration, while OK, is not up to par with most of the others and her usual plot elements are better woven in several others.
"More action, less manners - but vintage Heyer"
Having devoured the Heyer paperbacks in my teens I'm now, years later, devouring the audio versions and this one was a delight. Daniel Hill's voice is very familiar to anyone who watched Waiting for God and I wondered if that would spoil it, but not at all. He read it excellently with very clearly defined characters all of whom were brought to to life convincingly, even the few women. This is a more male cast than normal though. The only voice which was not as I'd heard it in my head was Crazy Jack himself but I soon accepted the audio version. Georgette Heyer didn't write action novels, but this one is about as close as she gets. Murder, betrayal, Bow Street Runners, high drama - more like the style of The Unknown Ajax, The Reluctant Widow and The Talisman Ring than her drawing room comedies of manners. If you enjoyed those, I think you'll enjoy this. I actually got more out of this version than when I read the book and will listen to it again in a year or so, so very glad I downloaded it.
"An excellently read version"
I have always enjoyed this book but usually 'skipped' the bits I did not understand! The reader gives an excellent rendition of the story and, for the first time for me, brings to life the rich clever narrative of 18th Century broad Yorkshire mixed with thieves cant, I think! I enjoyed the audible version so much that I have passed it on to my 80 year old Mum who has also given it a delighted thumbs up and now wishes me to download more for her! A slightly different Georgette Heyer Regency Romance but very enjoyable.
I've read this book many times and love it. I've already listened to two excellent audio versions of other Heyer favourites (The Talisman Ring and The Reluctant Widow) so I was really looking forward to this, but was disappointed. It's really very patchy. At times it sounds as if the narrator had never seen the book before he recorded it and isn't paying it very much attention. All too often he launches into a sentence as if it were heading in one direction, but it finishes somewhere else entirely, so his intonation is all wrong. Some of the voices he gives to the characters are very good, but John Staple, who has more to say than anyone else, sounds as if he's giving a speech rather than holding a conversation most of the time. It's really very odd. The fight in the cavern towards the end is read rather like a racing commentary. I almost gave up in irritation several times. If you don't know the story well, you may not be bothered by these things. If you do - be warned.
"Couldn't stop listening"
Definitely among the top 5. Although other reviewers have criticized Daniel Hill, his reading has brought the story very much to life for me. I listened to the book at least 5 times in a row when I first got it. Since I drive, cycle or do other activities while listening I lose a bit here and there and usually listen twice to a book to catch everything but this one I just couldn't stop.
Hard to say, I liked all the main players, Captain Staple, Miss Nell, the Squire, Jerry and Rose. They are portrayed as likable characters. My favourite is probably Miss Nell as she is down to earth, humorous, and not affected at all.
He does different voices and accents and acts the story more than just reading it. That fits with the content as it is more an 'action-Heyer' than a 'romance-Heyer'. I liked it very much. Not being a native speaker of English I had no problem understanding the dialects and did not think Hill's voice is too soft to hear in places. For me this is a very good reading performance.
After reading some of the reviews I debated whether I should get this audiobook at all. When I started to listen I thought some reviewers must have listened to something else as I thought the performance engaging and divers.
I don't know how the story was, I love Georgette Heyer but I found the narration so poor; pauses, punctuation, and different voices missing.
"Another great Heyer."
Brilliantly written as always. The voices were occasionally a little off, but a very easy listen generally.
"Fast moving intrigue and Romance"
Not the normal Heyer romance. It has more adventure about it. It still has the usual supporting cast of humorous characters, which bring depth to the tale. A good, fast, spirited story with the necessary happy ending. Once again my only negative is the need of the narrator to "shout" so often, rather than just raising his voice. On the other hand, when Nell is whispering or murmuring when in Johns arms its annoying to have to rewind and then increase the sound so you can hear her....it ruins the moment!
"Enjoyable story, lacklustre narration"
Rom Com Mystery
I always loved this Heyer. Lots of fun characters. It's hard for any narrator to do justice to a much loved and often read book and Daniel Hill doesn't quite make the grade for me. But I'll listen to it again.
The overall Heyer story. However, I found the narrator's voice quite grating and the range of characters' voices were not up to the usual standard of narrators such as Phyllida Nash.
His voice does not have the timbre that I mentally associate with Georgette Heyer books.
Bowling along at a tremendous pace The Toll Gate introduces us to a host of characters including an orphan, highwayman, bow street runner, ex captain of the dragoon guards and dandy. Any woman of more than average height like myself will warm to the heroine and swoon happily as she is swept up by a man that she can truly look up to! Daniel Hill reads in a 'boys own' style which suits the story admirably laying on the melodrama as the grand finale in the cavern is reached. Great literature it may not but a thoroughly enjoyable listen it most certainly is.
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