These Old Shades

Customer Reviews

203 Ratings

Overall Ratings

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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4 out of 5 stars
By Lindsay on 06-06-12


I found the voice given to satanas the Duke of Avon querilous when it should have been assured and sardonic. although he sees himself as a great age he is only in his forties and while life was shorter then perhaps, he was a handsome, active virile man not a papery thin elder.

other voices were Ok to me but the romantic interest should always have the most beguiling voice. We are meant to be bewitched by him while seeing his dark side and this did not happen for me.

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14 of 14 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Scout on 12-09-14

Dreadful Voice for a main character

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

The book is great because you have your own character voices in your head.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Avon is my favourite character which makes the poor voice characterisation even worse!

How could the performance have been better?

A different narrator or even the same one but with a better voice for Avon!

Any additional comments?

Please, please, please re record this with a different voice for Avon.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Mrs on 10-12-14

Absolutely AWFUL!

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

Anyone who has read and loves this book will be appalled by the totally inappropriate voice given to the main character (the Duke of Avon) by the narrator. Other reviews have remarked on this too. I wish I had not wasted my money. Someone else suggested it should be rerecorded by Michael Drew who narrated the sequel brilliantly. I agree. I listened to the first chapter then turned it off and if I could totally delete it and get a refund I would.

What other book might you compare These Old Shades to, and why?

Devil's Cub, the sequel. That's a good reading!

Would you be willing to try another one of Cornelius Garrett’s performances?

Absolutely not, especially if he is reading Georgette Heyer.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I DO LOVE this book. I have reread it time after time. But this audio version is DIRE!!

Any additional comments?

For goodness sake, get another recording of this done. One in which the narration reflects the story. I can't understand how a narrator or those doing the recording could get it so wrong! Garrett bellows a line of dialogue that ends "said the Duke softly". How can you do that if you are narrating properly?

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By HelgaCabbage on 08-07-14

Awful narration, great story

Would you try another book written by Georgette Heyer or narrated by Cornelius Garrett?

I love Georgette Heyer books, and own almost all of the unabridged ones.

Would I try another narrated by Cornelius Garrett? No. His voices are all wrong for the characters, and I have only listened to this book once as a result, unlike my other Heyer audiobooks, which I enjoy over and over again.

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favourite character is the Duke of Avon because he is so devilish and clever but is capable of great feeling.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Cornelius Garrett?

Michael Drew, who narrated Devil's Cub brilliantly (with many of the same characters) or Clifford Norgate, who did a wonderful job narrating Frederica.
Or Phyllida Nash, who narrates many other Heyer novels wonderfully.

Could you see These Old Shades being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

I don't know because Hollywood so often messes up the original stories we love so much.
If it was done well and stayed true to the source material, I would definitely want to see it.

Any additional comments?

Please, please, please, get this audiobook re-recorded with a different narrator.I listen to Devil's Cub (the sequel) a lot, and I wish I could enjoy this one as much, but the narration makes that impossible.

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11 of 12 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Mrs on 12-08-12

Awful narration!

I have read this book several times over the years. One of the main characters, the Duke of Avon, is portrayed wonderfully by the author as somewhat sinister, cool and softly spoken. I imagine a voice similar to Alan Rickman in my head! Yet when reading his part, the narrator gives him a loud, almost shouting voice, with a strange accent that almost sounds like a speech impediment! Leon/ie has a sweet French accent, but he gives her French brother a cockney accent, totally incongruous. Such a shame, one of my favourite books of all time, but I had to stop listening after 2 chapters as I couldn't bear it anymore. I shan't be purchasing any more books read by the same narrator.

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11 of 12 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Village Views on 01-06-14

Good story, disappointing narration

What did you like best about These Old Shades? What did you like least?

Excellent storyline but narrator rather disappointing. Had a wide variety of voices but some not very credible. Duke of Avon came over as too old and too suave.

What was one of the most memorable moments of These Old Shades?

The building up of tension when Avon tells his story to denounce St. Vire.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Didn't like his portrayal of Avon and thought Lady Fanny was a pastiche.

Did These Old Shades inspire you to do anything?

Go back to read the original in book form.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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