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Another great Heyer romance, though unusual because the main character is male, unlike most of her works. I really enjoy Heyer's talent for creating characters who are intelligent, dryly humorous, and kind to everyone, whether servants or peers (even to those selfish individuals who don't really deserve it). I also especially like it when a female character who isn't traditionally beautiful or a giddy girl just out of the schoolroom is able to find happiness with a man who values her above the frippery around him. Therefore, this novel was exactly to my taste. Some of the above qualities reminded me of SPRIG MUSLIN and A CIVIL CONTRACT, so if you liked those books, then you will probably enjoy those of this one, too.
I felt that the narrator did a wonderful job, despite what some other reviewers have written. Each character sounded distinct from the others, and the proper inflections for what Heyer wrote were correctly performed (meaning, that I didn't notice Garrett ever saying a passage without irony when it was obviously meant to be ironic, for example). I didn't find any female voices to be grating myself; if, for example, the stepmother seemed to some listeners to be voiced unpleasantly, that seemed fitting because she was a very selfish and unlikeable character. I think that all of the voices fit their characters, personally. His voice for the main character reminded me a little of the one he used for the Duke in THESE OLD SHADES, but I had no problem with that because I enjoyed both characters and could see some similarities in common.
One thing that surprised me was that I figured out a twist in the plot very early on, and normally, I'm not someone who does so, for the most part. However, this is the ninth Heyer novel that I've listened to, so maybe I just have figured out some of how her mind worked by now.
I hope that Audible offers more and more Heyer titles, since there are many not yet available on audio.
I buy Heyer's comedies whenever Audible adds them. I hope they soon add more of her mature, best books: Frederica, The Grand Sophy, Sylvester, The Unknown Ajax, Cotillion, False Colours . . .).
That said, try Devil's Cub (good-humored dashing romance), Sprig Muslin (light-hearted comedy), or A Civil Contract (surprising twists that reverse stereotypes and expectations) before this one. Frankly, they're better books, and Michael Drew, Sian Phillips, and Phyllida Nash each give far better readings Cornelius Garrett does with The Quiet Gentleman.
Garrett's reading here is uninspired, and his shrilly over-the-top characterization of the stepmother makes the recording hard to listen to. Heyer's world is fun despite these flaws; the other recordings are just much better places to start.