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Perhaps best known to American audiences as Livia in "I, Claudius," Sian Phillips has a very expressive voice that is a wonderful match for Heyer's prose--she can convey volumes in her reading of a syllable or two. This is a reading of exceptional wit and style.
This title would be an excellent introduction for anyone unfamiliar with Heyer's work. It contains fine examples of all of the critical elements: wonderful characters, sparkling dialogue, and an independently-minded heroine who is still very much a product of her time and place in society. Oh, and a rattling good love story!
17 of 17 people found this review helpful
This was the first purchase I ever made from Audible. When each of the last three books I've listened to turned out to be more sad and depressing than the one before, I decided I desperately needed something upbeat and to take no chances. I re-loaded "Bath Tangle" onto my Ipod and even though there are passages of this book I can recite from memory, I listened again and was not disappointed.
Lady Serena Carlow is the poised and headstrong only child of a politically powerful earl who, after many years of widowhood, suddenly decided to "take a bride out of the schoolroom," presumably in the last-ditch hope of "getting an heir." The book opens with the earl's funeral, as his sudden unexpected demise from "contracting a chill" followed hard on the heels of his marriage (and without the hoped-for heir).
Serena is left with a stepmother several years younger than she is who is her complete opposite in personality. She is also horrified to learn that her considerable inheritance has been left in trust, and that the trustee is the haughty Marquis of Rotherham--the fiance she jilted two years ago!
Thus the set-up for the "tangle" of the title. Every character in this story is a delight, and Sian Phillips (the wonderful British actress who played Livia in "I Claudius") gives a sparkling and energetic narration.
Georgette Heyer essentially invented the Regency Romance. She may not be Jane Austen, but her best novels are just as entertaining despite (or perhaps because of) the predictability of the eventual outcome. This is certainly one of her best and transcends the genre.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
I am gradually working my way through the Georgette Heyer books and this reading by Sian Phillips is lovely. She brings the characters to life delightfully, and once again I am transported to another period. A dashing heroine, strong hero - what more could I want as I tackle the ironing!!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
Having found on several of Ms. Heyer's books I've enjoyed the spoken version even more than the original written one, I'm not quite sure why this is the other way around. The book I've always liked - it has all the usual Heyer elements, Serena the main female character is mature, determined and headstrong, Ivo Rotherham is autocratic, Fanny is sweet and gentle, Emily naive and her mother Lady Laleham a beautifully drawn social-climbing horror. The obligatory 'character' is the glorious Mrs Floore, and it's her, in this version, that comes over as the most sympathetic. I heard Sian Phillips read Sprig Muslin wonderfully, so don't know why this one never really comes alight. It may be because the voices aren't always clearly defined and Ms. Phillips uses her own voice for both the narration (obviously) but also for Selina, which can be confusing. Not bad, it's a good book and I wouldn't want to return it, but I don't think it's the best.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
For me, Miss Heyer's Regency research and storytelling are unsurpassed. I recommend her to all.
Another Heyer classic, a feisty heroine, a crescendo of events and great supporting cast. Read very well.