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For anyone who likes historical romance, you have to give Georgette Heyer a try. Her books are so well written and so accurate to the period, they are easy to get caught up in and hard to put down.
This one is not her typically romance and most of the plot is dedicated to the mystery of who is trying to kill The Earl of St Erth. But the book is so well written and the characters so well developed, that you are quickly engrossed in the story. What I lover about her books is that all of the characters seem so real and their actions and motivations are believable. The stories, on the surface, seem simple, with her stout, level headed, and even tempered main characters, but then you realize subtle mini dramas that play as the backdrops for her stories are masterfully blended to create a final product that is dramatic, vivid and intriguing.
Only bad thing is the books end too soon...today I am spoiled by epilogues.
One other note to the reader/listener, most know, but some do not: these books were written in the 1920s and 1930s so you are not going to get the overt sexual references that you read in most romance books, if that is what you are looking for in a romance novel, Heyer may not be for you, bu if you like historical romance, you should try one of her books...I recommend Frederica to start.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
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.
46 of 49 people found this review helpful
What did you like best about The Quiet Gentleman? What did you like least?
The story is good with a wide range of (potentially) interesting characters but the irritating and 'over the top' reading and unnecessarily loud narration makes them almost indistinguishable. Do all the characters (except Miss Morville & the Earl) really need to shout at each other all the time? Equally irritating is the mis-pronounciation of words such as 'valet' 'phaeton' and the names of houses, estates and families. This is a historical novel - written with humour - but not treated seriously or researched properly.
What was one of the most memorable moments of The Quiet Gentleman?
When I decided to return it to Audible. The first time I have done so. I know I will never listen to this recording again.
Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Cornelius Garrett?
Phillida Nash? Eve Matheson? Almost anyone could do it better with more understanding.
Do you think The Quiet Gentleman needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?
Yes. please re-record. Heyer fans tend to collect the books (myself included) and this is a very good story. A shame not to be able to keep it.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
It's a long time since I read this book before, in fact I didn't recall it was set in Lincolnshire, where I now live, so I was able to recognise place names (and occasionally wince at the narrator's mispronunciations).
The romance itself is delightfully quiet and Georgette Heyer initially attempts to mislead the reader about the heroine. I don't think that's a spoiler as other reviews give her away, but it does show the author's skilful craft.
The book starts quite gently, but by mid-point the drama intensifies and we can swoon over the thought of a handsome wounded hero.
There is great comedy as well, particularly with the dowager's complete self-centredness. The one point where the narration was not completely up to scratch was her voice. It was too much like a man who has dressed as a woman for a play - think of the headmistress in the St Trinian's films. As her son is in his early twenties it seems unlikely she would yet be fifty, but she sounded much older. On the other hand Heyer herself seems to think of her as elderly so might have approved of this characterisation.
This has certainly made me look out the other Heyers which I have put aside for a few years.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
The Quiet Gentleman is another of Georgette Heyers well- written tales, but quiet is hardly the word for the reader. He shouted far too loudly one character, poorly represented all the female characters, and generally missed the mark envisaged by the author. Do you or do you not listen to auditions by readers or do you willy nilly say, oh just let so and so read it. Not good enough!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Gervase Frant is the new Earl of St. Erth and faces hostility from nearly everyone in the family he now heads after returning to the family seat. His quiet intelligence and good humor are needed as he finds himself facing attempts on his life and discovering who is his assailant with the assistance of those loyal to him. A charming story.