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These Old Shades Audiobook

These Old Shades

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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 (557 )
5 star
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4.6 (412 )
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Story
4.2 (407 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Marie 08-08-12
    Marie 08-08-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Narration ruined story for me"

    I love Georgette Heyer. I have been reading and rereading and now listening to her for 45 years. I wanted to love this audio version but I just can't. While the narrator handles the French dialogue and has an amusing set of secondary characters, I could barely listen when Avon spoke. Instead of seeing a 40 year old "satan" I say a 60 year old fop who was more likely to like page boys than page girls. I couldn't believe that Leonie would be attracted to anyone who spoke in that fashion. I think Georgette Heyer would have been put off by her dashing, wicked hero being turned into an elderly fop.

    16 of 19 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
  •  
    Marian 11-28-09
    Marian 11-28-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Narrator got it wrong"

    I love this book and would give it five stars but for the narrator. I always imagined Justin's voice would be a silky, bored drawl. This nasally whine is very off-putting and unromantic. I felt that the narrator doesn't get that this is a romance. Who wants to hear the hero whine?

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristin Texas 10-03-12
    Kristin Texas 10-03-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Always a favorite"

    This has always been one of my favorite Georgette Heyer books. I'm always worried about listening to a favorite because I already have the character's voices in my head. Cornelius Garrett did a good job. I thought Leone should have had a stronger French accent but overall I liked it. Great story!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Sunderland, MA, United States 09-18-11
    Carol Sunderland, MA, United States 09-18-11 Member Since 2015

    Classical history buff. Love books, ballet, and basketball.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved It"

    I enjoy most of Georgette Heyer's books, but really *loved* this one. The Duke of Avon is perhaps Heyer's most memorable character (she must have thought so too, since she resurrected him from a slightly different incarnation that appears in her first-ever book, "The Black Moth," and then brought him back for a sequel--I think the only time she ever did that--in "Devil's Cub.")

    I was swept up in this one from the beginning. Love the narration, the story, and the hero(s), and really love Leonie, our heroine (who also shows up again in Devil's Cub). Ending is somewhat surprising given Heyer's usually lighthearted approach, but all works together for the best.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Massachusetts 09-18-11
    Carol Massachusetts 09-18-11

    Genre fiction, trashy to literary--mystery, action, sci fi, fantasy, and, yes, even romance. Also history. Listener reviews help a lot!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved It"

    I enjoy most of Georgette Heyer's books, but really *loved* this one. The Duke of Avon is perhaps Heyer's most memorable character (she must have thought so too, since she resurrected him from a slightly different incarnation that appears in her first-ever book, "The Black Moth," and then brought him back for a sequel--I think the only time she ever did that--in "Devil's Cub.")

    I was swept up in this one from the beginning. Love the narration, the story, and the hero(s), and really love Leonie, our heroine (who also shows up again in Devil's Cub). Ending is somewhat surprising given Heyer's usually lighthearted approach, but all works together for the best.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Macksville, Australia 12-13-10
    Amazon Customer Macksville, Australia 12-13-10
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    "Classic Heyer.... poor narration"

    A classic "Georgette Heyer" which has been let down in the audible format by the strange reading of the Duke of Avon character..... the narrator, to my mind, does not catch the nuances of this character at all..... which is a shame as the book is excellent..... The follow up book of "Devil's Cub" is narrated in a much improved style and is highly recommended.... I do hope my favourite of Heyer's Regency romances...i.e. "The Grand Sophy" soon makes it into the "available list" of Audible.com

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie abingdon, MD, USA 10-17-09
    Leslie abingdon, MD, USA 10-17-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What a Disappointment!"

    I first read this book back in the 60s; I was very excited by the prospect of being able to enjoy the tale once again - only this time by listening to it being read. However, the actor who narrated the book is TERRIBLE. He is so bad in fact that I couldn't even finish listening to the story. Very disappointing.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jinjer 03-27-09
    Jinjer 03-27-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent!"

    Almost all of Georgette Heyer books are excellent, and this one is no exception. The storyline holds your interest and the characters are captivating. The narrator is first-rate, providing different voices for the characters in a natural way. I was very pleased overall.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ilana Montreal, Quebec, Canada 05-11-14
    Ilana Montreal, Quebec, Canada 05-11-14 Member Since 2016

    Audiobooks have literally changed my life. I now actually ENJOY doing mindless chores because they give me plenty of listening time!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Deep Intrigue and a Fun Romp"

    I'd been hearing about what a wonderful experience it is to read Georgette Heyer's novels ever since I joined an online reading group several years ago. Perfectly researched with great period details, and a great comfort reading experience is mostly what I gleaned from the various comments and reviews I'd read. I must say I agree. As it happened, I was very much in the mood for something comforting and not too demanding either intellectually or emotionally on the day I picked this book up, as I had just moments before decided to abandon a very difficult novel, as I didn't see the point of continuing to emotionally torture myself in the name of literary proficiency. I already had another Heyer novel in the listening stacks, but that day I was determined to find both the storyline and the narrator that most appealed my momentary whims, which is how I came to choose Heyer's third among her Georgian and Regency novels. The book blurb on this site, short and to the point appealed to me, and from the first 11 minutes of the novel, available on the audio sample, I decided this would do the trick very well (though in retrospect, I don't know why Cornelius Garrett made the Duke sound like an old man, when he's only 40). As can be expected, there are beautiful and lavish details of costume, an interesting cast of characters with comical quirks, a deep intrigue, and plenty of romance (although Romance is usually a genre is steer clear from). No, this is not a work of great literary merit, but it's well written, has a great plot, and it's so much fun... who cares?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • 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
  • Nicola
    Brecon, Powys, United Kingdom
    1/31/10
    Overall
    "Classy"

    This is one of the best Heyer books, and a fine reading of it. The way the reader does Avon is good, and also gives the other more minor characters a good depth as well.

    Lovely - listen to The Devils' Cub, Regency Buck and an Infamous Army for a little connected quartet.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Caroline
    ShoteshamUnited Kingdom
    7/25/09
    Overall
    "Can't stop listening"

    I have read Georgette Heyer's books over and over again but it's not until I listened to them that I realised how much I had missed. The wonderful descriptions of the fashion, and the sense of the period, makes "These Old Shades" a joy - I walked around with it playing all the time - much to my husband's disgust as he kept trying to talk to me!! I am now working my way through the others - and just hope that eventually they will all be available.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Jan
    Crawley, United Kingdom
    2/10/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story but regrettable narration"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes I would recommend this but would warn about the standard of the narration


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

    I already knew the story so this is difficult to answer because I found that the narrator completely misread the character and voice of the Duke if Avon.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The main protagonist is described as " sinister" and is understood to be powerful and vengeful, however the voice he was given was as an old man and it is difficult to believe in him as "Satanas" or as passionately in love with and desirable to a much younger person such as Leonie


    Any additional comments?

    Get the book re- recorded by Julian Rhind-Tutt

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Stephanie
    Belper, Derbyshire, United Kingdom
    2/28/09
    Overall
    "My Favorite"

    I first read These Old Shades when I was a very young teenager and have been in love with Justin ever since. It is funny, poignant and oh, so heart-stoppingly romantic. Decades later, it still makes me feel fourteen again whenever I read it. Why then, do I only give it 4 stars instead of 5. Because the reader is so awful. He reads this and The Devil's Cub, the story about Justin and Leonie's son and he makes both so dreary. Please, please, please will someone get them re-recorded?

    8 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Linda K
    6/22/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyable but....."

    Another entertaining and enjoyable story from Georgette Heyer. However, the narrator's impression of the Duke's sister, Fanny, sounded like a hen being strangled and was extremely irritating! Otherwise a very good listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kl Love
    Wassenaar Netherlands
    10/14/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of Heyer's most charming stories"
    Where does These Old Shades rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of Heyer's cleverest and most charming stories. Like all her work, it is a comedy of manners that succeeds in being a little bit more thanks to the quality of the writing and characterisation. This, set in mid-19th century France, contains many amusing details of dress and manners of 'society', which give colour to the story but always remain subordinate to the plot.


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

    This is a 'Cinderella' story, with some enjoyable twists of plot and rollicking levels of action; and like many of her books, it contains a great deal of clever humour.


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

    The greatest problem with the audio book is the reader. Cornelius Garrett speaks well, and has a pleasant voice, but is entirely wrong for Heyer. He has really only two inflections: a ponderous declamation that sounds like Edward Fox playing a butler, and a tittering falsetto that makes all the female characters sound like caricatures; and he uses these two without variation throughout the whole book. Luckily I know the book from having read it, so I was able to see through the reader and enjoy the words and images again, but I would definitely not get another book of this genre read by him.

    I think Cornelius Garrett might be magnificent reading something like Bertie Wooster or Dickens, but the delicacy and subtlety of Heyer's character entirely fail to come through.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Louize
    Ely, United Kingdom
    9/26/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Appalling"

    The first Georgette Heyer book I ever read, totally annihilated by the worst narration I have ever heard. He obviously didn't read a single description of the characters and how they spoke. Really is the most appallingly badly read book. What a shame to ruin such a good story. I just hope you never ever use this man again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • F
    SHEFFIELD, United Kingdom
    8/7/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superb story"
    What did you like most about These Old Shades?

    How Justin's hard & world-weary character blossomed as a result of him doing the right thing for the wrong reasons, and his gentleness towards his ward who then became his love. I also enjoyed his relationships with Hugh & then Anthony & Armand.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I really enjoyed the way that GH made Justin so incredibly wise & patient in order to get his quarry. I also thought that his tenderness towards Leonie was touching. I thought the penultimate chapter in Anjou was charming.


    What about Cornelius Garrett’s performance did you like?

    Really excellent. I thought the way he narrated Justin's measured, all-knowing voice was perfect. I initially struggled with his voice sounding like a 60 year old (rather than a young man of 40) but I guess the age of 40 in the regency period was considered middle-aged/old. I loved Leonie, and the way he portrayed her in an impish way & I laughed out loud each time Rupert had a line or two, as he was so funny.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    I listened to Devil's Cub first, and having enjoyed it so much, went 'back' to read TOS. I intend to re-listen to Devil's Cub, but I didn't enjoy Justin's voice in Devil's Cub, the reader had him as a man with nasal issues, and Leonie voice was less impish (though in all fairness she would have aged 24 years), and my memory of poor Fanny was as Lady Bracknell. I wish Cornelius Garrett would have read Devil's Cub too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ray
    WORTHING, United Kingdom
    8/13/11
    Overall
    "wonderful"

    How diverse our opinions are on the narration of this wonderful book. For me C. Garrett brings the characters to life and I was very happy to listen to his interpretation of same

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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