Venetia Lanyon, beautiful, intelligent and independent woman, lives in comfortable seclusion in rural Yorkshire with her precocious brother Aubrey. Her future seems safe and predictable: Either marriage to the respectable but dull Edward Yardley, or a life of peaceful spinsterhood. But when she meets the dashing, dangerous rake Lord Damerel, her well-ordered life is turned upside down, and she embarks upon a relationship with him that scandalizes and horrifies the whole community. Has she found her soul-mate, or is she playing with fire?
©1972 Georgette Heyer (P)2010 Naxos
Historical & SciFi Book Lover, especially Georgette Heyer, Lois McMaster Bujold, Connie Willis (& New Who). Also books for the kids.
One of her best books - and only available as an abridged version! An enjoyable (albeit fast) listen. I enjoyed the accents, they were well done and very consistent.
Richard Armitage's narration.
I rather took to Damerel, the rake, although I also liked Aubrey. And of course, Venetia is not afraid to speak her mind.
He has a light touch that's perfect for this novel--gets in all the wittiness without overempahsizing it.
Not expreme--just didn't expect to care for it, and I did.
This is the first Georgette Heyer novel that I've either read or listened to, although she has been recommended to me many times. I listened to an audio version, masterfully narrated by Richard Armitage; my only regret is that it was an abridged version. Overall, it was a nice bit of fluff, perfect for listening to while on a long drive. Generally, I don't care much for romances, but this was more like a witty Jane Austen romance instead of either gushy drivel or a bodice-ripper. Venetia is a sheltered young woman, shut away in a country home by her father after her mother's death. She (and everyone else) fears that she will end up a spinster as she has reached the ripe old age of 25 and is still not engaged; she has two suitors, but neither appeals to her independent spirit. But then the handsome local rake, Lord Damerel steps into her life . . .
As I said, there were a lot of elements that reminded me of an Austen novel: Venetia's care for her lame younger brother; the arrival of her elder brother's pregnant wife and her mother, who plan to take over the estate; Venetia's witty exchanges with Damerel and her brother Aubrey; the bumbling suitors. The novel has many twists and turns as well--it's not written according to a formula, as are so many novels of this genre. It's not great literature, but its a good, fun read/listen.
I loved this reading (as well as Armitage's reading of Sylvester). I must agree with other reviewers that this abridged version leaves me wanting more.
Venetia is one of my favorite Georgette Heyer books. For an abridged edition it is quite well done. The narrator is very good, but what a shame that there wasn't an unabridged version.
The ABRIDGED version of Venetia left me feeling cheated and as if I had only been allowed to peep through the keyhole into this unusual and exciting world of the Regency period instead of being able to open the door and walk into the story which I am normally able to in Georgette Heyer's full versions. There is something about Georgette Heyer's Regency romances that makes them special. The depth of knowledge of the settings, the lifestyle makes one feel as one is really there and experiencing the nuance of the period. When this is taken away in the abridged version, it becomes nothing more than a trite and shallow romance. I do not like reading Mills & Boon but this is what these abridged versions become like, so if you like Barbara Cartland this is for you, but if you want something with a bit more meat than I think you may be doomed to disappointment.
I have seldom been so upset. I foolishly did not notice the "abridged", so my fault. But to so truncate and destroy the plot and characterization of a book that is not so very long to begin with is unconscionable. I am so glad I did not purchase more of her books, if they are all so clipped and tattered as this one. Shame on the publisher. Shame.
The narration however was quite good. As is the book , of course. One of my very favorites. I am hoping to find it read unabridged somewhere.
I love Georgette Heyer and this is one of my favorites. But this abridged version has resulted in the loss of the abominable mother-in-law and scenes that make this version un-Heyer. Please can we have unabridged versions of this and all Heyers books. Abridged there is just too much missing and the narration was not my favorite.
~~~~~~~HOPEFUL ROMANTIC~~~~~~~~~ ~~Love Audiobooks~~ Especially Historical & Inspirational Romances ~~No Spoilers Here~~
I love Georgette Hayer Books. They are so sweet and cute. It is a feel good book. I only wish it was offered in the unabridged form. Of course Richard Armitage does a perfect job with the narration. Each character is unique.
This book is so much better unabridged. The characters of the book set this book apart from other Regency reads. Heyer is a worthy successor to Jane Austen but you would never know from this abridged version.The reader is a further detraction from the high quality of the authors and her characters. Skip this version.
"Prepare to Swoon"
I have written a review of the Sylvester Audio Book read by Richard Armitage and said that the pairing of his voice and Georgette Heyer's prose was a marriage made in heaven and I am very pleased that he has been asked to read Venetia.
I thought Sylvester was very good but this is excellent. Once again a range of different characters are lifted from the page and come alive, each with their own distinctive personality.
Rake Damerel will make you swoon, Lady Denny is marvellous and Mrs Scorrier is priceless. I haven't counted accurately but I think there are about 20 characters each brilliantly portrayed.
Quite a vocal feat.
I have rated this 5 stars because I feel the audio book merits it but, yet again, I am very disappointed with the abridgement.
So much is lost. Sometimes it is only a small scene such as when Lambert Steeple buys a brooch for Venetia but these add much to our understanding of the characters. And the final chapter has been cut out of recognition.
If you haven't read the book, I urge you to do so, fill in the gaps and enrich your listening pleasure.
"Little laughter left in a very abridged version!"
I like reading 'Venetia' as it constantly makes me laugh, whenever Damerial & Venetia are together. Most of these amusing passages have been omitted in your very abridged version! I don't see why abridged versions have to be padded with so much music (as Venetia led such a very restricted life, she won't have heard much music anyway and didn't go to dances, so it seemed irrelevant to this book). Why leave out so much text only to pad the short bit left with music?
This has been my favourite Georgette Heyer for a long time.
Venetia is a grown woman who has been kept from the societies of life by an eccentric father. She is however a very intelligent heroine, with whom we can easily relate. When she comes into contact with a suave and sophisticated man of the world with a murky past she is naturally sparked into a new existence since Damarel is in marked contrast to the worthy men in her rural life.
To overcome the difficulties of a hide-bound society and the skeletons in her family cupboard needs all her wit and courage. You wont be disappointed.
If you have not read the paper version, please do so.. this reading has been sadly chopped by abridgeing and doesnt do justice to the original. However the reading *is* masterly.
"Beautifully read but too short!"
Venetia has always been one of my favourite Heyer novels, and Richard Armitage does a cracking job of reading it. But a lot of the delight in Heyer is in her characterisation and dialogue and abridging the novel loses some of these important elements. I really noticed the contrast with the excellent unabridged Devil's Cub that was my previous audiobook, where the humour added hugely to the romance. How about getting Mr A to read some of the unabridged novels?? He'd be great!
Whoever had the genius concept of bringing together Richard Armitage and Georgette Heyer deserves a medal. Venetia is my absolute favourite Heyer romance; it's warm, intelligent and comic and delicious by turns. The hero is darkly rakish, self aware and capable of enormous nobility, the heroine is intelligent, affection, practical and funny. The secondary characters are delightful and the plot has all the right twists and turns. Hearing all this in Richard Armitage's rich tones was a wonderful treat. My favourite line of all time, when Damarel is trying to do the right thing, is deliver so perfectly even the memory sends shivers down to my toes! "O God, I love you to the edge of madness, Venetia, but I'm not mad yet--not so mad that I don't know how disastrous it might be to you--to us both!" Sigh.
"Charming, charming, charming!"
Whoever produced this charming romp must be congratulated! Armitage's astonishing reading, the pace provided by a clever abridging of the text, and incidental music which is of the period and actually contributes to the progress of the story all combine in a gem of a story, many parts of which are laugh-out-loud slapstick. It takes great artistry by a team of people to produce something which delights as effortlessly as ' Venetia ' does. The characters are all so vivid ( how DOES Armitage do it? ), so appealing. This recording has made me a Heyer fan. More please!!!!!
"Richard Armitage is the best narrator ever! Fact."
One of the best!
Richard's different voices
All of them
Brilliant! Just such a shame it's abridged.
Richard Armitage makes the books come alive. The different voices and accents make the books so much more fun and he reads Georgette Heyer's book perfect
"Wonderful in spite of abridgement!"
A thoroughly entertaining listen; Richard Armitage once more proves himself to be very much the talented narrator, with his experience as a screen actor especially shining through in his facility with regional accents and his capacity to afford each and every character a voice of their own and to keep them separate from each other with great ease.
The book itself, while abridged, still manages to be a delightful romance, without the clichés that I feel pervade modern romantic fiction and the irritation that comes with those for me. I found Venetia to be a lovely character, a young woman (albeit somewhat more mature than the usual Regency definition of "young", being 25) who knows her own mind and is determined enough in personality not to have her wishes circumvented by her family and overly-possessive suitors, while still quite sweet in nature. Damerel was equally well-drawn, and voiced to match.
I shan't detail more specifics as I don't wish to spoil the story, but it may be best to listen to the abridged audiobook before you read the unabridged paper or ebook tale, as then you shan't miss anything. Enjoy!
"My first audiobook experience"
It's the first, so nothing to compare it with yet! But I enjoyed it tremendously and it made my train journey a lot more bearable!
Venetia. She's a great heroine. Comparable to Lizzie Bennett.
I was interested to see how he would perform using only his voice and I wasn't disappointed. I am always very impressed by the way he 'lives' and gets under the skin of his characters, which inevitably makes his performances very moving and compelling to watch. He showed great versatility here, with the variation in pace and tone as well as accent. All in all, another 5 star performance from Mr Armitage.
I enjoyed the book in its entirety and don't think I could pick any one 'moment' that was more moving than another.
I shall be using the audiobooks when I'm travelling or walking my dog. It's a way of maximising my time.
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