Reviews

The Quiet Gentleman, by Georgette Heyer

haewilya's review against another edition

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4.0

I love the heroine and her parents. Haha

avalydia's review against another edition

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4.0

Easily tied with Sylvester for my favorite Georgette Heyer book. This was so good! A pragmatic heroine and a refreshingly non-alpha hero, with commentary as scathing as Pride & Prejudice in its treatment of ridiculous characters, not to mention a mystery thrown in for good measure, this was an excellent book and hugely enjoyable.

exlibrisbitsy's review against another edition

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4.0

Gervase Frant returns from fighting in the Napoleonic wars to inherit his seat as the Earl of Stanyon. His family is not at all happy to find that he is still alive as they all assumed he would die a horrible death and leave his half brother to inherit the estate. As his step mother says, in droll English fashion, serving at the front lines of a war is, to her mind, “most unhealthy” and it really was a pity that he didn’t die doing it. But, he is alive and his family now has to deal with a step brother heading the household and no one is happy about it. In fact someone is so unhappy that “accidents” begin to befall the new Earl and he soon realizes that not only does someone not want him at Stanyon, someone wants him dead.

This novel was a delightful mix of mystery, historical and regency romance all twirled into one with lots of intrigue, suspense, mystery and yes just a touch of romance making this a wonderful read.

I also liked the heroine was named Drusilla and wasn't necessarily considered a beauty. She was sensible, a little plump, short, and didn't have anything really to recommend her aside from her ability not to fall down into fits the moment something tense happens requiring a swoon. A rarity in the regency, unheard of in romance novels, but Georgette Heyer makes it work to comedic effect and makes you love the character all the more.

With Heyer's witty dialog, engaging and sparkling characters and her humorous portrayals of characters, repartee, and the situations that come out of them this was truly an engaging and wonderful read. It was a breath of fresh air after I was finally starting to get a little sick of regency romances. Not sick of them anymore! I think I might even be interested in giving her modern day mystery novels a whirl, if they are anything like The Quiet Gentleman I won't be disappointed.

Favorite Quote:
"Depend upon it, you are just the sort of girl a man would be glad to have for his sister! You don't even know how to swoon, and I daresay if you tried you would make wretched work of it, for all you have is common sense, and of what use is that, pray?"
-Drusilla Morville

melindamoor's review against another edition

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4.0

RTC

elizabethcaneday's review against another edition

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3.0

I almost DNF-ed this at 40%. It just wasn't holding my attention like the majority of Heyer's other books have for me. But I kept reading, and I'm mostly glad I did.

ccgwalt's review against another edition

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4.0

Reviewed for Audiogals- Romance Audiobook review site. http://audiogals.net/

Narrated by Cornelius Garrett
Narration 5*

Book
4.5*
Grade A

Over a decade ago a friend urged me read a book by Georgette Heyer, even though I mostly read mysteries and fantasy at the time. At her insistence, I located a few Heyer books (then out of print) at a used book store and found I enjoyed them as much as she said I would. Not long after, I found a copy of The Quiet Gentleman on audiocassette at my library. I scrounged up a Walkman from the bottom of one of my children’s closets, located fresh batteries, and found myself immersed in the language and humor that is classic Georgette Heyer. Heyer’s books, while fun in print, are pure pleasure on audio.

The Quiet Gentleman opens with the return of the heir, Gervais (Ger), to the family estate to claim his inheritance. Hated by his father the Earl due to the actions of his mother, Ger is resented by his stepmother, the Dowager, and his half-brother, Martin. Both the stepmother and Martin had hopes that Ger, a soldier in the campaign against Napoleon, would die in battle and the estate would pass to Martin. Martin has been raised to think himself the rightful heir and makes no secret of the fact that he wishes Ger dead. It seems Martin may get his wish when unexplained accidents threaten Ger’s life.

Gervais is calm, reserved, and quite intelligent. He is also unfailingly courteous to his stepmother and cousin, enduring their insults and insinuations with grace. Cornelius Garrett’s voicing of Gervais perfectly conveys these qualities to the listener. Garrett manages the right amount of irony in Ger’s voice, conveying both his good sense and his humor.

Several other people figure prominently in the story. Drusilla, a young lady staying with the Dowager while her parents are traveling, is relatively plain but also intelligent and sensible. Theo, Ger’s cousin and estate manager, is also living in the manor house. Rounding out the main cast of characters are Lucius (Lucy), a well-to-do friend of Ger’s, and Marianne, a beautiful young lady of a neighboring estate that all the men fall in love with. Garrett gives each of these characters not only a voice, but a personality that fits that character to a tee. His women sound female without using a falsetto, and his men’s voices sound appropriate for each character’s age, class, and personality.

The author skillfully intertwines the stories, revealing each person’s motives and personality. The main storyline is the mystery surrounding the attempts on Ger’s life. The secondary plot involves the beautiful Marianne and her many admirers, including Ger. Then there is Drusilla, the calm sounding board with steady good sense who keeps many of the more troublesome characters in check. While the plotlines are well done and interesting, The Quiet Gentleman is more a character driven story than a plot driven one.

One reason I enjoy Georgette Heyer so much on audio is the quality of narrators. All the narrators I’ve heard read her books are top-notch, although I do have my favorites. Cornelius Garrett is one of those favorites. His timing is perfect, and his voice is both beautiful to listen to and perfectly suited to the language of Heyer. Garrett’s character voices are always spot on, as well. The wonderful and varied accents of the British Isles can be a challenge to read in print, but come alive in the hands, or should I say voice, of a talented narrator like Garrett. The language in Georgette Heyer’s writing is beautiful, and never more so than when read aloud by someone who can do justice to the quirky characters and dry humor so common in her books. The talent of the author and the narrators explains why I find myself returning again and again to Heyer on audio.

(originally rated 9/2010)

sweetlittledagger's review against another edition

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Dnf. GH is generally a win for me but I just found this one dull. There’s hints of the interesting characters throughout this book that I generally find endearing but this time it only felt annoying. The plot also was incredibly slow and together just not the book for me.

eli44ka's review against another edition

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emotional lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No

4.75

helen's review against another edition

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3.0

Sensible heroine helps to foil a plot to murder the soft-spoken hero.

Well rounded and believable characters, and a plot that kept me guessing. Contains Heyer's usual classism, and a young female character being blamed for a near assault (she flirted too much you see).

Content notes:
Spoilerattempted murder, guns, mentions of an "estate" in Jamaica, victim blaming

shoelessmama's review against another edition

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3.0

7/10. Most of Heyer's novels land in the 3 star range but a lot of them are more of a 5 or 6 out of 10. This one was definitely at the high end of the 3 stars. It was nice to have a little intrigue -which was pretty easy to figure out but still some extra fun. The main characters were interesting in that the characters surrounding them were the more animated ones. Usually when I love Heyer's characters they are a little more... something. I really liked these characters but in a much more subtle way, which was enjoyable because it was different.