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These Old Shades Audiobook

These Old Shades

Society believes the worst of Justin Alastair, the notorious Duke of Avon who is clearly proud of his Sobriquet, Satanas. It is he who buys Leon body and soul from a scoundrel in a Paris backstreet.
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Publisher's Summary

Society believes the worst of Justin Alastair, the notorious Duke of Avon who is clearly proud of his Sobriquet, Satanas. It is he who buys Leon body and soul from a scoundrel in a Paris backstreet.

©2002 Georgette Heyer; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (487 )
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4.2 (341 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Sharon New Orleans, LA United States 04-19-09
    Sharon New Orleans, LA United States 04-19-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The epitome of romance"

    Set before the French Revolution, an English duke rescues a French "guttersnipe", with murky plans for his(?) future, but the brat turns the duke's plans on him -- Cinderella with a touch of Romeo and Juliet. This has always been my favorite Georgette Heyer book, and I love them all. "Devil's Cub" is the sequel, set in the next generation.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lifelong Reader Southwest, USA 11-12-09
    Lifelong Reader Southwest, USA 11-12-09

    Caz

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brilliant"

    This is one of Georgette Heyer's best novels--full of mystery, sly humor, and romance between usual characters. I've listened to this book several times, and it still impacts me. One note: I put off buying this audiobook for a long time, even though it was one of my favorite paperbacks, because I didn't like the narrator's voice when I listened to the sample audio clip. After I bit the bullet and bought the audiobook, the narrator's voice grated on me for the first chapter. After that, I really grew to enjoy his voice and characterizations.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly Chicago, IL, USA 10-19-09
    Kelly Chicago, IL, USA 10-19-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "great story, stylized narration"

    The narration for this book and for Devil's Cub, with a different narrator but the same style, is very stylized and "mannered." It does suit the books but it takes a little getting used to. The narration is imitating the speech of a 1700s fop. It's nasal and drawling. I think it lends atmosphere, but even though I really enjoyed the listen, I couldn't listen for hours and hours as I can for more natural narrators.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Courtney Stokes 03-17-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved it!!!!!"

    I love Georgette Heyer books and this is one of her best. I hope audible continues adding more of her books.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    pakkmom Morgan Hill, CA, US 12-26-09
    pakkmom Morgan Hill, CA, US 12-26-09 Member Since 2006

    Lvstoread

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "LOVE Georgette Heyer...but the reader...!"

    Having discovered Georgette Heyer's books more than 30 years ago and enjoyed reading and rereading many of them since then; I was thrilled to discover them in audio. So far I have listened to three Heyer books from Audible and...well, it has been a mixed bag. These Old Shades has been a difficult listen. Perhaps it is because my own imagination has developed a strong vocal idea of what certain characters should sound like. So I found myself gritting my teeth to get through this audio. As an example, the main character Justin is shrill, grating, and very "old" sounding. As if Justin was a man of 60 rather than a man of 40. Accents were a strange mish mash which didn't match the locations of the characters. For example, the story opens in France and characters have British accents. Leon the waif rescued by Justin, has a French accent but her brother sounds like a working class Brit. Details like this can really make or break a audio rendering. So while I still love Georgette Heyer, I really wish that this story had a different reader.

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barry B. Longyear 09-14-09 Listener Since 2008
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    "One of the best of Georgette Heyer"

    The book is one of my favorites. I so looked forward to this audio. The narrator is terrible. He gives the main character a lisp that sounds funny. I have struggled to ignore this, it even comes out in other characters. What a disappointment.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kat5 Maryland 11-01-11
    Kat5 Maryland 11-01-11 Member Since 2010
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    "One of the Best of G. Heyer"

    This is one of the classic G. Heyer stories. The performance was done well enough. The French phrases were charmingly performed, This is the only book were the main characters carry across another story line in another book by this author. The Devil's Cub is the second book to mention these characters. Worth a credit.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    09-08-11
    09-08-11
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    "Disappointing characterisation"

    I have enjoyed other books read by Cornelius Garrett, so what possessed him to provide the Hero with the voice of a deaf, very elderly man in this one. Quite spoilt the story for me, and put me off buying any other books narrated by him.

    15 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A 06-14-10
    A 06-14-10 Member Since 2013

    No vampires. No zombies. No self-help. Find me on BookLikes. Audible Member since 2002!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "My second favorite Georgette"

    These Old Shades is so good and so well emblazoned in my memory that even a lousy narrator cannot ruin it. I have lost count of how many times I have read the book since I first read it when I was a teenager. Having it on my pod makes it even easier to reread.

    Avon is the most roguish of GH's heroes and Leonie is his foil. The sparks fly as in no other GH except maybe Devils Cub and the Masqueraders (which i am still waiting to see here). Even an iffy reader cannot ruin the magic.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bebe South Carolina 06-04-10
    bebe South Carolina 06-04-10 Member Since 2009

    English major, Attorney then CEO of 5000 employee company (in that order). I have over 1200 books in my Audible library.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of Georgette Heyer's best books"

    These Old Shades is one of Heyer's best novels. It is the tale of the notoriously bad Duke of Avon and the dirty little "boy" named Leon he resuces from the street and makes his page. The Duke has his own reasons for rescuing Leon - which unfold through out and finally fully explode in a very dramatic chapter toward the end of the book.
    Heyer's humor is ever present in the characters (the Duke's brother Rupert is a riot!) and the romance is also very much a part of the story line. As always, Heyer's romance books are very romantic and passionate but she does not resort to sordid details. Heyer's subtle portrayal of romance is much more passionate and intense than books that have explicit details of the sex act.
    These Old Shades has an excellent plot and will delight you for hours. I was a little afraid to purchase this Audible version of the book because some of the reviews criticized the reader, but I took a chance and bought it. I am so glad that I did. I found the reader to be good. He has great accents and is able to prounouce the many French words that are included in this book. I was not turned off by his performance. Don't let the bad reviews deter you. This is a good performance/reading of a truly great Heyer novel.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
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  • Lindsay
    BLAENAVON, United Kingdom
    6/6/12
    Overall
    "GREAT BOOK FOUND THE VOICE ACTING DIFFICULT"

    I found the voice given to satanas the Duke of Avon querilous when it should have been assured and sardonic. although he sees himself as a great age he is only in his forties and while life was shorter then perhaps, he was a handsome, active virile man not a papery thin elder.

    other voices were Ok to me but the romantic interest should always have the most beguiling voice. We are meant to be bewitched by him while seeing his dark side and this did not happen for me.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • HelgaCabbage
    UK
    8/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awful narration, great story"
    Would you try another book written by Georgette Heyer or narrated by Cornelius Garrett?

    I love Georgette Heyer books, and own almost all of the unabridged ones.

    Would I try another narrated by Cornelius Garrett? No. His voices are all wrong for the characters, and I have only listened to this book once as a result, unlike my other Heyer audiobooks, which I enjoy over and over again.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favourite character is the Duke of Avon because he is so devilish and clever but is capable of great feeling.


    Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Cornelius Garrett?

    Michael Drew, who narrated Devil's Cub brilliantly (with many of the same characters) or Clifford Norgate, who did a wonderful job narrating Frederica.
    Or Phyllida Nash, who narrates many other Heyer novels wonderfully.


    Could you see These Old Shades being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

    I don't know because Hollywood so often messes up the original stories we love so much.
    If it was done well and stayed true to the source material, I would definitely want to see it.


    Any additional comments?

    Please, please, please, get this audiobook re-recorded with a different narrator.I listen to Devil's Cub (the sequel) a lot, and I wish I could enjoy this one as much, but the narration makes that impossible.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Scout
    12/9/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dreadful Voice for a main character"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    The book is great because you have your own character voices in your head.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Avon is my favourite character which makes the poor voice characterisation even worse!


    How could the performance have been better?

    A different narrator or even the same one but with a better voice for Avon!


    Any additional comments?

    Please, please, please re record this with a different voice for Avon.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    10/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absolutely AWFUL!"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Anyone who has read and loves this book will be appalled by the totally inappropriate voice given to the main character (the Duke of Avon) by the narrator. Other reviews have remarked on this too. I wish I had not wasted my money. Someone else suggested it should be rerecorded by Michael Drew who narrated the sequel brilliantly. I agree. I listened to the first chapter then turned it off and if I could totally delete it and get a refund I would.


    What other book might you compare These Old Shades to, and why?

    Devil's Cub, the sequel. That's a good reading!


    Would you be willing to try another one of Cornelius Garrett’s performances?

    Absolutely not, especially if he is reading Georgette Heyer.


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I DO LOVE this book. I have reread it time after time. But this audio version is DIRE!!


    Any additional comments?

    For goodness sake, get another recording of this done. One in which the narration reflects the story. I can't understand how a narrator or those doing the recording could get it so wrong! Garrett bellows a line of dialogue that ends "said the Duke softly". How can you do that if you are narrating properly?

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Kitty
    6/25/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lovely story but distracting narration"
    What did you like best about These Old Shades? What did you like least?

    The story is lovely and one of Georgette Heyer's best.it's a lovely bit of romantic escapism. The accuracy of the regency politics, personalities and fashions brings the story to life.


    What didn’t you like about Cornelius Garrett’s performance?

    Most of his narration was lively and engaging, unfortunately the voice he gives the lead character is distracting as he makes him some sleazy and creepy which doesn't fit with the character at all.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Village Views
    Norfolk
    1/6/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good story, disappointing narration"
    What did you like best about These Old Shades? What did you like least?

    Excellent storyline but narrator rather disappointing. Had a wide variety of voices but some not very credible. Duke of Avon came over as too old and too suave.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of These Old Shades?

    The building up of tension when Avon tells his story to denounce St. Vire.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Didn't like his portrayal of Avon and thought Lady Fanny was a pastiche.


    Did These Old Shades inspire you to do anything?

    Go back to read the original in book form.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    London, United Kingdom
    12/8/12
    Overall
    "Awful narration!"

    I have read this book several times over the years. One of the main characters, the Duke of Avon, is portrayed wonderfully by the author as somewhat sinister, cool and softly spoken. I imagine a voice similar to Alan Rickman in my head! Yet when reading his part, the narrator gives him a loud, almost shouting voice, with a strange accent that almost sounds like a speech impediment! Leon/ie has a sweet French accent, but he gives her French brother a cockney accent, totally incongruous. Such a shame, one of my favourite books of all time, but I had to stop listening after 2 chapters as I couldn't bear it anymore. I shan't be purchasing any more books read by the same narrator.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs. REP
    Midlands, UK.
    7/29/12
    Overall
    "Enjoyable, but..."

    This is one of my favourite Georgette Heyer books, slightly let down for me by the narrator - I just HATED how he pronounced "Leonie".

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Crazy
    Manchester, United Kingdom
    2/24/13
    Overall
    "These Old Shades"

    One of my all time favourite Georgette Heyer novels, but the Duke of Avon would not speak like this. He was very softly spoken, sinister even at times. Very disappointed.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Alison
    Dudley, West Midlands, United Kingdom
    9/18/09
    Overall
    "these old shades"

    I have loved this book most of my adult life and have read it more times than I can remember. I was so exited when I downloaded this to my MP3 player only to listen to the first five minutes. The voice was so wrong for Justin and I so agree with the other comment dreary no emotion at all. Very dissapointed. Please try again with someone who has feeling and understang for the characters and portrays them as they should be.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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