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Audible Sample

Venetia Audible – Abridged

4.6 out of 5 stars 245 customer reviews

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Audible, Abridged, May 14, 2010
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Product Details

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 4 hours and 51 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Abridged
  • Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks
  • Audible.com Release Date: May 14, 2010
  • Language: English
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jana L.Perskie HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
Not only do I think that "Venetia" is Georgette Heyer's best novel, I think Venetia is one of her best characters, and certainly one of my favorite heroines in all romance fiction. She is extremely intelligent and well read, possesses poise, a wonderful sense of humor, and lots of common sense. She is down-to-earth and earthy in a very ladylike way, and a charming, caring person. Venetia is also quite lovely, but her character is so good and strong, that were she only half as beautiful, she would still outshine her peers.
Venetia Lanyon is twenty-five years old, orphaned, and responsible for her frail younger brother Aubrey, who is crippled by a disease of the hip-joint. She is also legally responsible for the family manse and lands in Yorkshire, while their older brother and heir, Conway, is away at war in France. Although Venetia has much going for her in the way of looks, charm and intelligence, and has two loyal suitors nearby, she is determined not to wed unless it is for love. Her father, when he was alive, was a recluse and showed little interest in his children except to forbid Venetia's coming out in London society, sponsored by her very willing aunt. Unaware of the unattached treasure in Yorkshire, London society and many probable excellent matches had to get by without Venetia.
Then, quite by accident, Venetia meets her neighbor, Lord Damerel, who has rarely visited his land since he returned from exile. Damerel is charismatic but not handsome, middle-aged and quite the worst rake, having flown the country with another man's wife years before. Since that liaison broke up, he has been leading a fast, devil-may-care existence and is not received in respectable society.
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Format: Paperback
I am biased. I love this book, and have loved it since I first discovered it. Yes, it is a late Heyer, with all that entails (older hero and heroine, less swashbuckling with Heyer in fact poking fun at a young fire-eater, sometimes slow). But on the other hand, it has all of Heyer's best features: humor, wit and irony; an exquisite sense of time and place; wonderfully lyrically descriptions of the North; very realistic descriptions both of the lifestyle of a middle-aged rake and of the uncomfortable road journeys of the day (and the discomfort such journeys could inflict). And can I say - I love the literary references, the brother who is a bookworm (and who insists on reading even after he is in bed recovering from an accident), the wryly realistic attitude of the heroine towards all men and particularly her brothers, the realistic attitude that she also holds towards her lover. It is less poignant than A CIVIL CONTRACT (which is also a strongly realistic Heyer) but which some detest for the less-than-attractive heroine and for what they see as Heyer's snobbery.
This is not a tale of high adventure, and yes, Heyer has written that type, particularly in her earlier years. It is a tale of a beautiful young woman who has nevertheless resigned herself to spinsterhood and to life as the hostess for her younger brother who is unlikely to marry. Into the neighborhood however comes a rake, who is a slightly unlikely figure in that he is not handsome nor appealing at first sight. But he is attracted to Venetia and she to him, perhaps united by their shared sense of the ridiculous. [Warning: Do not read this book on public transportation or in public libraries, if you do not want to draw attention to yourself].
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Format: Paperback
Everyone looking at the reviews here about this novel will know the plot and that everyone who has posted something loved it. Me, too! Damerel is the very best rake in the Regency canon in my view.
However, re-reading this over the holidays I was struck by the great achievement Heyer made in fixing her characters firmly in Regency soil. So many of the more recent pretenders in this genre insist on applying the moral and ethical values of their own time to characters fixed in a fictional world 200 years old.
So here we have Damerel admitting to his shortcomings, Venetia on the verge of being "cabined, cribbed & confined" to Edward, a young man with a disability that won't magically be cured and a host of friends and relatives whose moral outlook isn't crammed into the garments of 21st century behaviour. Brilliant!
Although first published in 1958, this novel is charming, witty, cleverly plotted and exquistely written. It is full of engaging characters who are allowed to act out an amusing and clever story without bowing to modern prejudices. Invaluable!
If you have never read anything by Heyer, try this one first. You will fall in love with Damerel and be charmed by Venetia and find yourself lost in a long-gone world that Heyer makes come truly alive on a private stage for us between the covers of this novel.
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Format: Hardcover
I love just about everything Georgette Heyer's written in the Regency genre, but this book is the best of an excellent crop. Venetia is a delightful heroine, mature and intelligent while at the same time extremely naive about men and the ways of the world - so much so that she has absolutely no notion just how much danger her new next-door neighbour, the wicked Lord Damerel, could be to her. And yet it is her innocence which is her greatest protection where he is concerned.
Their growing friendship, assisted by Venetia's young brother, and the interference of Venetia's other suitors, is portrayed with humour and a light touch by Heyer. But once he decides that he cannot in all conscience seduce her, Damerel believes himself to be unworthy of her. Even when she needs him most, he appears to turn his back on her.
Of course, being a Heyer book, all works out in the end, but the journey to that denoument is alternately witty, sparkling and heart-wrenching.
Like most Heyers, this book is now out of print; however you manage to get a copy, keep it! This is a book you'll want to read over and over.
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