©2008 Georgette Heyer; (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
This is my first experience with this author and narrator. They are impressive. This is a kind of fairy tale along the lines of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice with the fiery Elizabeth crossing swords with Darcy. I also think of Jane Eyre as she is confronted with Thornfield and its moody master which should give an idea of the relationship between hero and heroine. There was obviously intensive period research into the time and setting of the story. While I wasn't looking for any false notes, I didn't detect any. Georgette Geyer writes as if she were a contemporary of Austen or Bronte. An author who can bring to life espionage, treason, murder to say nothing of a solid romance, all at a rather creepy mansion is an accomplished writer. Geyer writes with a kind of tongue in cheek amusement, a potential pitfall which Cornelius Garrett embraced as his own. His narration took the book seriously while allowing its innate humor full play. He shines! This is one of those books which I would never buy at say Books a Million. Can you imagine me, a rough, sixty year old man in jeans and work boots browsing in the women's section much less walking around with actual chick lit in my hands? I don't think so. Don't you just love the anonymous nature of audio books? Only Audible, the six people who actually read this review and myself will ever know.
I've been waiting for this one to appear for download and I was over the moon when I saw it had been added. I love the opening interview, the hero's kid brother and his dog, and all the misunderstandings. I have the cassette version, which I had to order from the UK, so I'm thrilled to get the download version for my iPod. The narrator is great and I just want to give audible a great big THANK YOU for making it available.
Georgette Heyer wrote about a period that had all the quaintness and charm of being a hundred years in the past. Anyone approaching a Heyer novel today has to recognize that Georgette herself is now almost a hundred years in OUR past, and must be willing to forgive her for political incorrectness that didn't exist in her day.
Heroines like Elinor Rochdale, who can drive her own phaeton and who doesn't hesitate to argue and snipe with a peer of the realm, would have seemed lively and modern to an English reader in the 1930s, though she seems ridiculously tame and even annoyingly dependent to us in the 21st century.
I give this audiobook four stars because despite the outdatedness of the material, Heyer's grasp of Regency language, her ability to build vivid characters entirely through sparkling dialog, and the lively, very G-rated, and mostly harmless romp she takes us on is a lot of fun.
What's more, Cornelius Garrett brings just the right degree of plummy upper-crust RP English (with some lovely regional dialect) to the story, and a nice blend of narration and acting. As another reviewer has said, his Francis Cheviot is absolute genius. The production itself is simple but entirely professional. It was nine hours of very enjoyable listening.
Thank You Audible for having recorded so many Georgette Heyer books. I have read all of them but I really look forward to listening to them. I hope you can keep on recording other books of hers to audio.Cornelius Garrett does a great job reading these books as do the other readers. I especially like him reading A Quiet Gentlemen. I look forward to seeing in audio format of Sylvester, Frederica, The Grand Sophy, and Simon the Cold Heart. Thank you again Audible for the great service you render.
This is probably my favorite of Georgette Heyer's romances. It has suspense, humor, and romance. The narrator is very good. Voices are distinct but not weird except for the lisp of Mr Cheviot. I've read all of her books many times but somehow listening to them brings out points I've missed before.
More of the murder mysteries would be wonderful too!
Garrett's portrayal of Francis Cheviot is one of the most entertaining interpretations I have ever heard. Garrett brings all his characters to vivid life. Well done.
I could sit down and listen to this one again and I just finished it. I laughed -- not only at the humor of Georgette Heyer, but at the wonderful vocal characterization.
You will enjoy this one.
Funny & intelligent, somehow I had missed The Reluctant Widow in my exploration of Georgette Heyer. Perhaps not as perfect as The Grand Sophy or Cotillion, still a very pleasurable experience. The reader was excellent. Thank you, Audible, for finally making so many of Heyer's book availble. More please!
I have listened to a few other Heyer books and have not thought that they stood up well in the audio format. Fortunately Cornelius Garrett does an excellent job on this title.
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