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Set before the French Revolution, an English duke rescues a French "guttersnipe", with murky plans for his(?) future, but the brat turns the duke's plans on him -- Cinderella with a touch of Romeo and Juliet. This has always been my favorite Georgette Heyer book, and I love them all. "Devil's Cub" is the sequel, set in the next generation.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful
Having discovered Georgette Heyer's books more than 30 years ago and enjoyed reading and rereading many of them since then; I was thrilled to discover them in audio. So far I have listened to three Heyer books from Audible and...well, it has been a mixed bag. These Old Shades has been a difficult listen. Perhaps it is because my own imagination has developed a strong vocal idea of what certain characters should sound like. So I found myself gritting my teeth to get through this audio. As an example, the main character Justin is shrill, grating, and very "old" sounding. As if Justin was a man of 60 rather than a man of 40. Accents were a strange mish mash which didn't match the locations of the characters. For example, the story opens in France and characters have British accents. Leon the waif rescued by Justin, has a French accent but her brother sounds like a working class Brit. Details like this can really make or break a audio rendering. So while I still love Georgette Heyer, I really wish that this story had a different reader.
20 of 21 people found this review helpful
I found the voice given to satanas the Duke of Avon querilous when it should have been assured and sardonic. although he sees himself as a great age he is only in his forties and while life was shorter then perhaps, he was a handsome, active virile man not a papery thin elder.
other voices were Ok to me but the romantic interest should always have the most beguiling voice. We are meant to be bewitched by him while seeing his dark side and this did not happen for me.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
Would you try another book written by Georgette Heyer or narrated by Cornelius Garrett?
I love Georgette Heyer books, and own almost all of the unabridged ones.
Would I try another narrated by Cornelius Garrett? No. His voices are all wrong for the characters, and I have only listened to this book once as a result, unlike my other Heyer audiobooks, which I enjoy over and over again.
Who was your favorite character and why?
My favourite character is the Duke of Avon because he is so devilish and clever but is capable of great feeling.
Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Cornelius Garrett?
Michael Drew, who narrated Devil's Cub brilliantly (with many of the same characters) or Clifford Norgate, who did a wonderful job narrating Frederica.
Or Phyllida Nash, who narrates many other Heyer novels wonderfully.
Could you see These Old Shades being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?
I don't know because Hollywood so often messes up the original stories we love so much.
If it was done well and stayed true to the source material, I would definitely want to see it.
Any additional comments?
Please, please, please, get this audiobook re-recorded with a different narrator.I listen to Devil's Cub (the sequel) a lot, and I wish I could enjoy this one as much, but the narration makes that impossible.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Dear Cornelius - shouting does not create good characterisations - if you cannot 'do' decent male voices, let alone female voices, I suggest that you just 'read' the story, or, preferably, not do it at all.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
a wonderful story by an excellent author (one of her best) brought to life by a very good narrator. enjoyed every minute of listening so pleased I bought this audio
1 of 1 people found this review helpful