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These Old Shades | [Georgette Heyer]

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 (429 )
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4.6 (292 )
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Story
4.2 (288 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Terra Araluen 02-16-15
    Terra Araluen 02-16-15 Member Since 2014

    Who doesn't enjoy being transported to another world, and traveling on an unforgettable adventure? Thank you audio books! Happy dance <3

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    "I adore Georgette Heyer, but..."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Of course! It's Georgette Heyer! The woman was a genius!


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

    Anyone! Preferably someone younger. Perhaps it's just me, because I am younger, but Garrett's Avion sounded like a shrill, eccentric, 80 year old man (who is supposed to be in his early 40's). It was horrible I tried I really did but a little over an hour in, I gave up. I grant a few of his voices actually did sound quite good for their characters, but that just bothers me more because I know he could have made better choises for the characters. Some of who where possibly the worst I've ever heard. Also his accents where way off base. I'd rather just read the book, and pray I can get those voices back to a normal level in my head!~Apparently some people do not mind this. He is very animated... Perhaps to an older crowd then someone in their early 20's would find this appealing. Just NOT me!


    Was These Old Shades worth the listening time?

    The book was worth it! But not worth possibly hating the characters over because their sound is so appalling to me. I'll just read the book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Red Diaper Baby Massachusetts USA 01-10-15
    Red Diaper Baby Massachusetts USA 01-10-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Narrator's mistake"

    This narrator seems capable of many voices. Why did he choose such an ugly and inappropriate voice for Avon, the chief character? It is high and grating, almost shouting, with little of the nuance and irony essential to the character, none of the suave drawl which is even mentioned in the text. It spoils a story which would otherwise be enchanting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pam West Covina, CA, United States 11-29-14
    Pam West Covina, CA, United States 11-29-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Wanted Alan Rickman, got a deaf Lady Bracknell"

    This is a favorite book of mine, and I could not listen to it. I have listened to other books narrated by Cornelius Garrett, and had no problem with his interpretation, but just could not get over his reading of His Grace, the Duke of Avon. I don't know how many times I have read this book in the last 40 years, but never have I envisioned Avon as peevish and slightly hard of hearing. I don't like giving negative reviews, but just wanted to warn other fans of this novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 10-21-14
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    "Loved the story, but not the narrator"
    What made the experience of listening to These Old Shades the most enjoyable?

    I stopped listening after awhile and just read the Kindle edition. The narrator's voice was so inappropriate to the amazing leading man, that I couldn't bear to hear it.


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

    Probably Pride and Prejudice, because there is a gulf between the main characters that comes from their circumstances, but one hopes that they can bridge that gulf and love each other.


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

    No.


    If you could take any character from These Old Shades out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    The Duke of Avon


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teela 08-08-14
    Teela 08-08-14
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    "Heyer's best. Narration is *almost* perfect."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Of course! It's one of Georgette Heyer's best and the audiobook was done quite well. Very entertaining!


    Any additional comments?

    Cornelius Garrett does a good job voicing all of the characters, but my biggest complaint (actually, my ONLY complaint) is how he voiced the Duke, Justin Alastair. I think he was going the Anthony Andrews as Sir Percy/the Scarlet Pimpernel route for Avon's voice and for me, it just doesn't work AT ALL. He sounds absurd next to everyone else, especially as the story carries on. Kind of took away from the romance a bit. Other than that, Garrett does an excellent job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hanorah 06-28-14
    Hanorah 06-28-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Guilty pleasure diminished by narration"

    I have been indulging myself with a return to Georgette Heyer's delicious novels, favorites in my high school and early college days. These Old Shades had tremendous appeal for me then, and I still enjoyed it this time around. Not as much, however, as the perhaps less romantic, but wittier sparring of the more equally matched couples in her later novels. Unfortunately, Cornelius Garrett's narration greatly diminished my enjoyment. I was most disappointed with Avon's portrayal as a querulous old man, and Lady Fanny as a shrill nincompoop. Several other characterizations seemed irritatingly over the top...the histrionics were heavy-handed and detracted from the humor. I was wishing for the subtlety and light touch of Phyllida Nash or Sian Phillips.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ilana Montreal, Quebec, Canada 05-11-14
    Ilana Montreal, Quebec, Canada 05-11-14 Member Since 2015

    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?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    foxtail_too 05-01-14
    foxtail_too 05-01-14

    Kristi

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    "Narrator not a good fit!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    No, probably not, because of the performance. The Duke of Avon is a smooth, calm man, as written by Heyer. He is read as a strident, foppish dandy. Did the narrator read the book before starting?


    Did Cornelius Garrett do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a lovely book, one of my favorite Georgette Heyer books. Definitely worth a read, but don't let this version (audio) put you off.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MarissaB 04-18-14
    MarissaB 04-18-14 Member Since 2012

    Mars

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    "Thoroughly enjoyable."

    Great writing and lots of laughs. Character development was believable and by the end I loved them all. One reviewer said the duke sounded like he was 60 instead of in his 40s. I concur and am grateful of the warning. However, Leonie, Rupert, Fanny ... in other words, everyone else was spot on, so Cornelius Garrett did an awesome job giving everyone their distinctive voice. If you are still on the fence about purchasing this book, give it a try. If you don't like it, you can return it. That sort of guarantee has me giving books I would not ordinarily look at twice a chance. Thank you, Audible. Please complete the library with the rest of Georgette Heyer's books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DJN 10-04-13
    DJN 10-04-13

    Deb

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    "At her best"
    If you could sum up These Old Shades in three words, what would they be?

    Rewards the intelligent reader


    Any additional comments?

    Heyer's original inspiration as a novelist came from tales she set in the eighteenth century. Later she went on to the Regency. If you want to read her at her best, read the fiction from the period that first inspired her.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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