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.
The Toll-gate isn't my favorite Heyer romance, but it is still good fun. And the narrator made a good story highly entertaining with different voices for each character and amusing sound effects that brought each scene to life. Highly recommended!
The first time I listened to this book, I was a little bewildered. For a romance novel, the romance seemed a bit skimpy. It can be summarized thusly: You're tall?...I'm tall!!! We're both tall. Let's get married. With a second listen I could see that the true romance of this story was the adventure and that it is the secondary characters who bring the story to life. Daniel Hill is memorable as he puts life into each of the different characters so you feel like you know them.
Yes, I would recommend this book to a friend because in spite of having some trouble innitially forgetting Daniel Hill's tv character, Harvey Bains, Daniel does a great job with the narration. His characterization is wonderful.
I've read this book a couple of dozen times--at least. The plot is strong and the love story is tender.
Jack Staple, of course. He's the main male character and drives the book.
There is no doubt that characters being read by a narator rarely sound like they do in your head when you are reading the book. The portrayal of Jack is no different. I had always imagined him with a deeper voice because he is such a big man. However, I soon became accustomed to Daniel's portrayal of him. So, if this is the case for other readers, I urge them to give the audible book a chance. I really think they will enjoy it.
A little bit of adventure - a little bit of romance - enough authenticity not to insult the intelligence and Georgette Heyer writes so well, it is easy to be lost in her world!
Georgette Heyer's most enjoyable romances are always the ones with a mystery entwined in the story. The mystery in The Toll-Gate is particularly well constructed, and it is both historically based and very comprehensible to the modern reader.
Daniel Hill does a very good job of keeping the voices distinct, and the reading is fluent and easy to listen to. The novel is full of extraordinary characters, and Hill's reading captures them well
It almost seemed as if the narrator didn't think the book was exciting enough, and as a result made all of the scenes with any action BREATHLESS AND URGENT and RIDICULOUSLY MELODRAMATIC. Keep it simple, Mr. Hill. Your performance was distracting, mannered, and disappointing.
It was typical Georgette Heyer and was easy listening.
It was of course unrealistic. Love at first sight kind of thing.
"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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