Past Imperfect

  • by Julian Fellowes
  • Narrated by Richard Morant
  • 16 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Damian Baxter is hugely wealthy and dying. He lives alone in a big house in Surrey, England, looked after by a chauffeur, butler, cook and housemaid. He has but one concern--his fortune in excess of 500 million and who should inherit it on his death. Past Imperfect is the story of a quest. Damian Baxter wishes to know if he has a living heir. By the time he married in his late 30s he was sterile (the result of adult mumps), but what about before that unfortunate illness? Had he sired a child? He sets himself (and others) to the task of finding his heir.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Modern Great Gatsby

I loved this book! Julian Fellowes writes beautifully and Richard Morant has the perfect voice as the long-suffering friend of all the debutantes and the quietly bemused observer of British social history. Fellowes uses a small group of debutantes from the 1960's to demonstrate the huge changes to the British social structure from the last half of the 20th century to the present. But this is not "Sex and the City Goes to England", although it is just as lively and topical in references. I was struck by how much it mirrors The Great Gatsby in theme and characters. This book is every bit as good as that old war horse.

As an ex-video clerk from Sacramento, CA I have no personal experience with British Aristocracy but there's something about authenticity, you can smell it like a ripe peach, and Julian Fellowes writing has all that.
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- Carla

Read Snobs instead

I loved Snobs and immediately downloaded Past Imperfect. I have to say I was very disappointed. The idea is good, but poorly executed, making the stories of all the characters seem way too disconnected.

Julian Fellowes, who makes his point about the British Upper Class so masterfully in Snobs, sounds more like a lecturer here. Instead of letting us "see," he tells us what he knows (and goes on and on about each point, interrupting the storyline constantly). It sounded more like an anthropological treatise than a novel. At times, it was even boring.

Yes, there is one scene towards the end that is incredibly well written and moving because of it -- but I wish there had been more like it.

That said, I would definitely give Mr. Fellowes another chance if he were to write another novel -- simply based on Snobs and Downton Abbey (which I had not seen until after I listened to these two books and to which I am absolutely addicted to now).

Richard Morant is absolutely perfect as the narrator. I think I could listen to him read the London phone book and be engrossed.
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- cristina

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-10-2009
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.