When Sylvester, the Duke of Salford, first meets Phoebe Marlow, he finds her dull and insipid. She thinks he is insufferably arrogant. But when a series of unforeseen events leads them to be stranded together in a lonely country inn, they are both forced to reassess their hastily formed opinions, and they begin to discover a new-found liking and respect for each other. But what Sylvester doesn’t know is that Phoebe is about to publish a novel - a novel in which all London will recognize him as the villainous ‘Count Ugolino’.
©1957 Georgette Heyer (P)2013 Naxos AudioBooks
It's finally unabridged! This is one of Heyer's best. If you're new to her books, start here. remember, Heyer wrote in the early to mid 20-th century, so her books are not full of passionate sex scenes. However, if you're looking for witty, frequently hilarious dialogue, well-developed, unforgettable characters and a story full of detail that still manages never to be tedious, you'll really enjoy this novel.
The characters! There are a lot of them, and each one is so skillfully drawn that you'll never get confused, or find yourself wondering, "now wait, who is that again?" Some, like Tom and the governess, are lovable, and some, like Fatherby, are detestable, but each one is a literary gem. If you're familiar with Heyer's work, you'll recognize some recurring character types, but in my opinion that's part of what makes her work so excellent--you may recognize some of the elements, but the story as a whole stands out and is uniquely unforgettable.
Every scene with Sylvester and Phoebe. This story is about as far as you can get from being a "boddice ripper", but there is no lack of passion between these two. Their interactions sparkle (even when Phoebe is deliberatly trying to prevent it!)
I suppose that some people might feel like the first few chapters drag. I disagree, because I think all those initial details help make the story richer. But even if you're not convinced at the outset, continue reading! You'll fall in love.
Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!
I was so glad to see "Sylvester" at last on Audio that I ordered it even tho I was unfamiliar with this narrator.
But, as with all readings, the narrator is key to enjoyment of a listening experience. And Nicholas Rowe turns out to be VERY good at interpreting Georgette Heyer!
"Sylvester" sparkles with humor and lots of charming characters. The hero and heroine (as with all Heyer) don't have a torrid affair, but their encounters crackle with humor and understated sexual tension. The plot isn't rocket science, but, with Georgette, you get solid historical detail and lots of just plain fun. This is one of her best, and that means the very best in historical romance.
If you're a Heyer fan, don't miss this! If you haven't tried one of her books, "Sylvester" is a great place to start.
Graduated college, got a job, got married, traveled, had children. Breathing air and growing hair.
I am so squee happy that I found this book. It is one of my favorites by the grand dame Georgetter Heyer. Hello lock meet key. That is the fit of this narrator to this story. I highly recommend you buy this wonderful book. I read it and loved it and had the abridged version and sighed because I wanted the full "fotherby". Now I have it. Great story, great narration, great characters what more do you need? ( I know Arabella then I will probably embarrass myself.) Love this book. Thank you to the publisher Naxos books the updated version of this classic it was a long time coming. If the world has multiple versions of Pride and Prejudice then it is high time for Heyer.
I listened to the abridged version and really liked it. I wanted the whole story though, so I spent a credit to get this book read by a narrator I couldn't find any other books by. So I read the reviews, which rated him very well, and dug into it right after finishing the abridged version. A credit well spent!! This narrator is fantastic and I hope to see him read more books. A wonderful story that was very fun to listen to. Funny, touching, and memorable characters with a lot of depth.
I already have listened to twice- the story is sweet, characters likeable, but most of all, I love the Narrator. Nicholas Rowe is my favorite narrator that I have yet come across of the Georgette Heyer novels, although Eve Matheson is my favorite for female characters.
This was one of my favorite endings.
I haven't had the pleasure of hearing any of Nicholas Rowe's performaces before.
This ranks up among the best of Georgette Heyer's books. I was excited to find it finally available on Audible. As usual her characterization was great. She takes a character who has a well entrenched but totally off-base view of themselves and gradually and sweetly turns them into the character they always meant to be. The struggle Sylvester went through as he shed his preconceived ideas of himself and his flawed notions of an ideal mate and turned into a fully formed man was fascinating to read.
Heyer's books are often dismissed derogatorily as "silly romances". I see her compared as often to Barbara Cartland as Jane Austen and nothing could be more unfair. Her characters have both flaws and depth, her plot revolves around more than two lovers finding each other and she captures a time and a place better than almost any author I have ever read. She has had a couple of "misses" in my opinion, but Sylvester isn't one of them. I recommend it.
No one can compare to Georgette Heyer when it comes to writing great dialogue. This is one of her best Regency romances.
yes, because the naration is so well done. The characters all have distinct voices and dialects. I particularly like the voice of Sylvester.
Sylvester, of course. He is just so funny and unaware how he can come off as snobbish to people but he is a really sweet man.
HIS VOICE!?!?!? I was disappointed to see that he doesn't narrate any more of her books. I'm just so doggone picky about who I can listen to-Davina Porter has ruined me,
I wish I could have. I found myself taking the long way home and driving under the speed limit just so I could listen to the end of a chapter. My neighbors probably think I'm nuts having seen me just sitting in my car in the drive way so often.
Somehow came across this author on audible, and after reading some reviews gave it a shot. Oh my, so funny, different from a lot of the romances I love to listen to. Older style of novel, but the dialog is so great. Just love everything about this book, the naughty child, the stern but loving uncle, the banter is wonderful. Laughed out loud many times. Can't wait to listen to more by Georgette Heyer. And the narration, wonderful also.
This is one of my favourite books by Georgette Heyer. I first read it years ago and the delight never fades.
Too many to mention. The whole story just sparkles.
I have not heard of this narrator before but I will certainly look out him in the future. His reading was sublime, great intonation and the different characters came across very well, whether they were good, bad or just bufoonish. Recommended.
Werll worth a listen.
I am a Heyer addict: I have all her books and most of the audio versions. This is outstanding. It's my favourite book of hers and I was really worried that the wit and fun (that are the greatest elements) wouldn't be conveyed by the narrator. In fact, this is one of the few occasions when I felt that the reading enhanced my enjoyment of the story. I can only say thank you so much, Naxos! Now please move on to Venetia and publish the unabridged version!
This is from Heyer's golden age and I can't think of another book that exactly catches her brilliant, light touch with comedy and romance. Venetia is certainly very good, as is the Grand Sophy.
I haven't listened to any of his other work, but I will!
It made me laugh out loud!
A really great reading of a really great story - definitely one to treasure.
"Unabridged – at last!"
I love this book and I loved the audiobook which was a faithful reading full of humour and interest. The abridged version was beautifully read by Richard Armitage, but with Georgette Heyer a lot of the fun is in the detail which has to be cut to fit into five hours.
The publishing of Phoebe's book with its description of Count Uggolino and the subsequent confrontation with Sylvester on the dance floor are wonderful moments, but I always love the description of expressions that cross Sylvester's face, revealing nuances in the story to the reader.
"Georgette Heyer Revisited!"
This is just 'Georgette Heyer' and in a different age completely in my mind, so I cannot compare; it is as unique as all her other books.
I don't have memorable moments but I thoroughly enjoyed it when the narrator 'settled down' into his stride. He seemed to rush in the beginning and I found it irritating until the third or fourth chapter, then he was fine. I haven't read any of this author's books for nigh on 50 years!
Not one particular scene but many of them.
No, but quite long bursts. The only books I cannot bear to leave are by Laura Kinsale and Nicholas Boulton.
So enjoyable I have downloaded 'The Grand Sophy'.
"Excellently read and a good story"
Excellently read and a good story, though at times I get annoyed with Phoebe! I particularly like the scenes with Sylvester's mother.
"First class recording of an excellent book"
Yes - in a heartbeat.
The range of believable characters (including some splendid secondary characters) and the humour. I have read the book many times previously.
No. But he did a brilliant job and his performance enhanced my enjoyment. I hope he records more audio books.
When Phoebe meets Sylvester's mother. But the ballroom scene comes a close second.
Book and narrator was a perfect combination for me.
"Heyer never disappoints."
Having listened to the masterly reading by Richard Armitage of the abridged version and having read the book itself, I found this unabridged reading pleasing to listen to.
The meeting between Phoebe and Sylvster's mother.
He brings teatrical "reality" to the various characters, although Armitage's rendering was more enthralling..
The Wicked Uncle meets his match.
"Pleasant story but I wouldn't pay GBP28.43 for it!"
This was the first Georgette Heyer book that I have tried, following reading a recommendation of her work, on an Amazon.co.uk review. I would definitely try another as it was a pleasant enough book but to me it wasn't anything original. However there is often comfort in predictability and I was happy to listen to it in any event.
Nicholas Rowe was a good narrator: lots of different voices to distinguish the characters. I was racking my brains trying to think who his Sir Nugent Fotherby sounded like: to my ears it was an impression of Edward Fox.
I think more could have been made of Phoebe's sisters and governess. The governess in particular seemed quite a character and I was surprised that she didn't feature more in the book overall.
I always listen to my audiobooks when doing housework or cooking as it makes the time pass quicker. It wasn't hard work to listen to Sylvester,I enjoyed it.
If you like Pride and Prejudice you will probably like Sylvester. However if you like Pride and Prejudice you may also find this a poor imitation.
I guess in literature many stories boil down to the same key components and in love stories a man and a woman being at odds and then coming together is an age old story. Jane Austen does it better than Georgette Heyer does here. The proposal scene in Sylvester felt very much like Mr Darcy's proposal to Elizabeth which made the story feel unoriginal to me. Nevertheless it is a perfectly good book to pass the time.
I have audible credits so this book only cost me a few pounds. If you have £28 to spend on books, don't spend it on this: buy Jane Austen.
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