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Phyllida Nash's excellent performance lets the quirky, likeable characters sparkle in this wonderful, witty comedy.
After a few calm pages that let us find our balance, Kit learns that his mother and brother are teetering on the brink of crisis. After that, it's unexpected turns and convolutions all the way to the end.
The story would be amusing and thoroughly satisfying even if you've never heard of Regency England. But having more background lets you appreciate its breadth and depth of authenticity.
If this were a movie, it would get a whole bundle of Oscar nominations: screenplay, leading and supporting character performances, costumes, setting, cinematography, and direction. It all seems light and effortless, but wow, it's a delightful masterpiece.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful
Phyllida Nash is my favorite reader for Georgette Heyer books. Heyer builds her stories with sparkling dialog, and Nash is spot on with all voices. As with many Heyer book's this one relies on situational comedy, and Nash has unfailingly perfect timing in her reading that makes the most of the comedy. I had read this book in print, and I will say that Nash's performance makes it even better.
As the story unfolds, I was reminded of Shakespeare's comedies and some Wooster/Jeeves misunderstandings, but even when Heyer's characters are silly, she draws them with so much affection, they don't come off as completely ridiculous.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
I'm a longtime Georgette Heyer fan, and have read this title in print several times before. I decided to give it a go in audio format, and I'm pleased that I did.
For those who haven't encountered Georgette Heyer before, she is the Regency author that all others aspire to match. Her characters are plausible and likeable even in the ridiculous situations the genre often puts them in. The women are empowered, enterprising and enchanting. The men range from good-hearted fools through dashing heroes to villians with enough humanity for our sympathy and their redemption. Heyer's strongest works are usually held to be "The Grand Sophy", "Frederica" and "Sylvester", but I'd throw "Cotillion" in there too.
"False Colours" is not Heyer's absolute best, but even her average work still makes for very entertaining light reading. Without revealing two much of the plot: the eldest of a pair of twins gets engaged and then disappears. His "more sober" younger brother returns from overseas and is talked into impersonating him at a dinner party. He becomes trapped in the new identity as things spiral out of control. All of the main characters are likeable. The side-characters appear as entertaining stereotypes, but are have a habit of revealing an extra dimension.
The reading by Phyllida Nash is competent and smooth. I found a female narrator a bit disconcerting because even though the author is female, the protagonist, Kit, is male and does more than his fair share of the speaking. This may just be that I've read the book before and the narrator gave Kit such a different voice than I imagined.
Overall this works well as an audio book. I was a bit nervous about spending a credit on a light novel that I'd read before, but it made for an entertaining diversion.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
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Anyone who had nothing better to do than read my few reviews is going to reckon I have no discrimination - I've given straight 5s to virtually all the Georgette Heyers. That's because they are good. This is another slight surprise. A good book but not one I rated as one of her greatest. The usual Heyer cast of characters; twin brothers Kit and Evelyn who look and sound identical but are very different in character, their completely daffy and feckless but loving mother whose grasp of economics is non-existent, a classic Heyer heroine in Cressy; not especially young, not especially beautiful, but with warmth, common sense and a real sense of humour. They are all leavened by a elderly grandmother used to laying down the law, some gloriously awful relatives and a rather nice anti-hero in the way of a grossly overweight and lazy elderly friend of the Prince Regent. The icing on the cake is the rather over the hill lady of easy virtue who puts in a virtuoso, and very funny, appearance towards the end. The plot? One twin goes missing at a vital time in his life, the other steps into the breach, misunderstandings, twists, turns and confusion and a nicely convoluted happy ending. Typical Heyer really and very enjoyable. The slight surprise? How much better it was listening to it rather than reading it. After more years than I care to remember lovingly revisiting my dog eared paper backs, dragged around the world with me since my teens back in the dark ages, I'm loving the commute to work playing them in the car. The reader is Phyllida Nash, and once again she really brings them all the life with all the voices individual and believable Try it yourself - see if you don't love it!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Listening to a Georgette Heyer is my favourite way to while away an afternoon. True, there may be no great surprises but when read well, as Phyllida Nash does, there is something soothing and sweet, with a good sense of fun. Her storylines have a 'feel good' effect that I am yet to find equaled in another author.
This is one of Georgette Heyer's delightfully funny romances with well drawn characters and authentic detail.
Narration was well done and only disappointment is that about the last fifth of Chapter 20 is missing. I dislike abridged audio recordings and as this was an unabridged version I assume it is a production fault rather than a deliberate cut.