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These Old Shades Audiobook

These Old Shades

Regular Price:$27.39
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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 (652 )
5 star
 (415)
4 star
 (138)
3 star
 (68)
2 star
 (19)
1 star
 (12)
Overall
4.6 (494 )
5 star
 (359)
4 star
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3 star
 (27)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (7)
Story
4.2 (491 )
5 star
 (279)
4 star
 (106)
3 star
 (58)
2 star
 (24)
1 star
 (24)
Performance
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  •  
    Marian 11-28-09
    Marian 11-28-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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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?

    8 of 9 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.

    7 of 8 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
    496
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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
  •  
    bebe South Carolina 06-04-10
    bebe South Carolina 06-04-10

    Attorney - love to listen to audio books

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of Georgette Heyer's best books"

    These Old Shades is one of Heyer's best novels. It is the tale of the notoriously bad Duke of Avon and the dirty little "boy" named Leon he resuces from the street and makes his page. The Duke has his own reasons for rescuing Leon - which unfold through out and finally fully explode in a very dramatic chapter toward the end of the book.
    Heyer's humor is ever present in the characters (the Duke's brother Rupert is a riot!) and the romance is also very much a part of the story line. As always, Heyer's romance books are very romantic and passionate but she does not resort to sordid details. Heyer's subtle portrayal of romance is much more passionate and intense than books that have explicit details of the sex act.
    These Old Shades has an excellent plot and will delight you for hours. I was a little afraid to purchase this Audible version of the book because some of the reviews criticized the reader, but I took a chance and bought it. I am so glad that I did. I found the reader to be good. He has great accents and is able to prounouce the many French words that are included in this book. I was not turned off by his performance. Don't let the bad reviews deter you. This is a good performance/reading of a truly great Heyer novel.

    14 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristin Texas 10-03-12
    Kristin Texas 10-03-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
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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 2017

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

    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
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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
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
    16
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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
    6
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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:
  • Kate
    Chipping Norton, United Kingdom
    6/27/11
    Overall
    "Badly read"

    If only I'd listened to Alison's review (at the top) and not bought this. I have read this book many times and it's one of my favourites. However as soon as Cornelius Garrett did the voice for the Duke of Avon my heart sank and I was just so irritated by it that I couldn't listen to any more. If only he'd just read the entire book in his normal voice - which is pleasant enough - but he makes the Duke not only sound much older than his 40 years but a like a complete twit! Also he seems so busy putting on this drawling twitty accent that he fails to get any expression into the conversations and it comes out like someone who can't act. The humour in the written speech is totally lost with the stupid accent - aaaaagh. I am really annoyed as you can probably tell!

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • 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.

    8 of 10 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
  • Kindle Customer
    4/4/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great book completely ruined!"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I can only imagine someone enjoying this if they've not read the book and therefore don't understand anything about the character of the Duke of Avon. Even then it would fail to make any sense as the story develops and he is shown not to be the pantomime villain the narrator has chosen to depict.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story is one of my favourite Georgette Heyer books. I find it very hard to believe that the narrator had read the book before he started! If he did then he completely failed to understand the characters in it.


    What didn’t you like about Cornelius Garrett’s performance?

    I can't imagine anyone enjoying such appalling overacting. I could only listen to the first two chapters as any subtlety between Avon and Leon in the book had been removed by the portrayal of Avon as a braying arrogant fop.


    Any additional comments?

    So disappointed that I've wasted my money. Will have to re-read the book again to get the awful voices out of my head.

    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?

    9 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Miss N R Jones
    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 6 people found this review helpful
  • Christine Hewison
    8/26/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "lovely romance of the old style "

    loved it!! kept you guessing all the way through and wonderful colourful characters don't miss it

    0 of 0 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

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