Monday, January 16, 2017

Sylvester by Georgette Heyer

When Sylvester, the Duke of Salford, first meets Phoebe Marlow, he finds her dull and insipid. She finds him 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 begin a new-found liking and respect for each other. Sylvester calls to mind the satirical genius of a Jane Austen novel and is adored for its wit and a fast-paced plot that ranges across a myriad of settings

I first listened to this book just under 3 years ago, but I never did post anything about it, which was remiss of me but I think not really unexpected. After I finished The Passage and then another audio book, I was trying to decide what to read next. I do have a few books that I have already purchased but not yet listened to, as well as a list of books I'd like to get to someday, but none of them really tickled my fancy. And then I hit on the idea of listening again to a Georgette Heyer novel as narrated by Richard Armitage, mainly because it is my idea of aural bliss to listen to him read anything, but he does seem to be particularly suited to narrating Heyer novels.

He has the right tone in his voice that lends itself to upper class accents and his characterisation is so good that it doesn't matter whether the character is old or young, or female or male, each character is individual and recognisable.

Now, I should mention up front that this is an abridged audiobook, but it is a well done abridgement. I don't think I have missed anything through the story so it might be interesting to read in full one time to see what was cut out. That's not always the case. Years ago I listened to a novel where the abridgement wasn't quite so good. At one point the main character was regretting having kissed someone other than her husband and I was like wait...what.

What about the book itself. It is Heyer, so it is all Regency ballrooms and dukes abound, but it is a fun read. I don't want to recap the plot as such because I don't want too start to feel like I should write a full review, rather than just commentary. I will see that I did find myself wondering how much of the language that Heyer used was made up. I am sure that I heard somewhere that she did.

I fully expect to listen to more of the Heyer books Richard Armitage has narrated. It is a totally enjoyable treat.

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