An invitation to join Gussie and Jeremy for a cosy weekend on a canal barge came like a gift from the gods. However, the other part of the foursome was tycoon Gareth Llewellyn, and he certainly managed to thwart her plans....
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By Maggie on 02-04-18
Is this really 40 years ago? Still fun...
All of a sudden, so many of Jilly Cooper's well loved novels are being recorded, and that's great. Thank you Audible.
Amongst them are the set of 'single name' books Jilly wrote 40 years ago. Anyone hooked on the Rutminster Chronicles may not realise that these, the Harriet / Prudence / Octavia's etc pre-date Riders and Rupert Campbell Black by a long way. All of them are of their time, novels of the 70s, and that shows..
Octavia is not nearly as nice a person as, say, Harriet or Imogen, two of my favourites in the series. She is someone who is beautiful, has always been rich without having to work for anything, and is accustomed to getting anything she wants. In this case her old school friend's boyfriend, and she has no qualms about how she does it.. But it's a classic case of beware of what you wish for...
Even after this time gap it's still an enjoyable read with a cast of character sketches so clear that you can visualise the people exactly (I think we've all met a ghastly Pamela), and as Octavia is forced to turn over a new leaf in her own life eventually reaches the usual Cooper happy ending.
The only fly in the ointment of this new Audible drive to record Jilly's novels is that there seems to be no consistency to the narrators, and the standard does differ. I found this narration a bit flat, with Gareth in particular, who should be a really forceful character, anything but.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By perfectionist on 22-07-18
The narration leaves much to be desired
I first read Octavia in the early 80s, when it seemed a very racy read. Now it's certainly something of a period piece (and the social mores of the 1970s often strike an unpleasant note) but putting that to once side I still revisit the book every once in a while, usually when I'm ill in bed – it's a true comfort read.
Re. the audio, the narration is execrable. The straight 'reading voice' isn't too bad but there are loads of jarring mispronunciations ('John Don' for John Donne [should be pronounced John Dun] and 'langorius' for langorous were just a couple) and the character voices and dialogue are APPALLING. Octavia's supposedly plummy accent keeps sliding into estuarine English and Gareth's rather womanly sounding 'Welsh' accent was dreadful and stripped the character of any sex appeal. Joan Seaford, the snooty company wife with a voice supposedly honed from shouting at gun dogs and charity committees, was given a Northern accent. She and Ricky should have sounded like Jennifer and Brian Aldridge from the Archers. As a previous reviewer said, Gussie sounded as if she was constantly on the verge of an asthma attack, while sexy Robert Redford lookalike Jeremy sounded like a pompous headmaster. Come one Audible, you must be able to do better than this?
1 of 1 people found this review helpful