13/08/2010

RA FRIDAY - RICHARD, HEYER OR ... AUSTEN?

1. GEORGETTE HEYER, THE CONVENIENT MARRIAGE (Naxos Audiobooks)

You put your CD in the player, push the play button to make it start and, when the caressing voice comes out and begins to tell you the story,  you can’t really concentrate on the words and their meaning . It’s just a pleasant mind/body sensation totally out of meaning. So when you realize the story has gone on and you didn’t catch much of it , you pause the CD, try to convince yourself to act your age and behave sensibly, try to remind yourself of Georgette Heyer’s mastery on wit , romp and romance and , finally, you start it over again. This time you concentrate on the skillful reading and characterization of the talented reader (trying NOT to think of his penetrating blue eyes and gorgeous look), on the intriguing nuances of his voice but especially on his involving performance of this entertaining story , on his elegant Northern – British accent and… you find yourself totally immersed in 5 hours of heavenly delight. A delight you want to prolong and are sad to be parted from after the last incredibly romantic moments are over. I shivered from head to toes at listening to those deep seductive whispers with which Lord Rule teases young Horatia and reveals at the same time all his love and admiration for her.

OMG! This is not the proper way to start a review of Georgette Heyer’s THE CONVENIENT MARRIAGE ! Red-Self is having a bad influence on me. More than  I thought possible! However, I hope you’ll forgive my informal , atypical review since this is my RA Friday post and… Richard Armitage is the alluring , mesmerizing reader of this Naxos Audiobook ( abridged version of Heyer’s novel).
“Richard Armitage couldn’t be a better choice for reader” was written in a review of his SYLVESTER ( again Georgette Heyer, again Naxos Audiobook) and that is so TRUE! You say I’m biased? Definitely YES! But I am not of totally unsound mind! And Richard Armitage is INDEED  incredibly good, brilliant,  at using his voice to give life to a  parade of convincing characters: from young, brave, a bit naive Horatia with her stammer to funny, adventuresque Pel and Pom, from delicate, beautiful Elizabeth Winwood to gallant, treacherous Lethbridge. How can he be so good at keeping all those different voices in his mind and avoid being confused? He thoroughfully prepared himself , of course, but he's also got talent.
In my mind he was Lord Marcus Rule. Precisely, Rule owned  his tall, dark, handsome appearance in my mind and his voice perfectly matched the enigmatic, attractive Heyer hero.

Do you think I should say something about the story? I think I’d better say as little as I can in order to avoid spoilers.

But if you asked me , I ‘d just say - hoping you wouldn’t take it as a spoiler - that the convenient marriage of the title takes place immediately , in the first pages, differently from many other novels where the marriages or the proposals are the climax. I ‘d add that there are very hilarious moments, tricks, duels, adventures, flirts, highwaymen’s hold-ups ,  quests  for a disappeared brooch and to save the reputation of a lady and , obviously, very romantic scenes.

My advice is:  try to read the book, if you can, before you listen to the audiobook. I did it while coping with the “hard task” of listening and... it took me more time. I fragmented, diluted the pleasure, which is not always negative.
I noticed they had cut a lot from the original version, maybe too much for Heyer fans (entire scenes and characters, for instance) , so I stopped the CD and read the book instead. Then I re-started listening and... so on. It also happened that I got lost in the world created by Richard with only his voice and forgot I had the paperback in my hand! As I told you, the best thing would be to read before, then listen to the CDs.

I particularly liked the recent interview in which Richard explained and analyzed his work on audiobooks. I even transcribed the whole of it in one of my RA Fridays (HERE) ! I’m sure you have already listened to it, but if you haven’t, take some time and do  it. You’ll appreciate this audiobook even more.

My Richard  Armitage/ Heyer Top Chart

1. The Convenient Marriage
2. Venetia
3. Sylvester

 What's yours?

2. RICHARD IN AUSTEN?

I've met lots of  Janeite and RA fan friends via Twitter (follow me on Twitter) and it's such a great pleasure to chat with them. This is because I don't know many JA  or RA aficionados in real life so I find it so extraordinary and stimulating to compare my fondnesses (obsessions?) with so many interesting people. A couple of days ago, for instance, @SalonJaneAusten and I were discussing the possibility of having a new Persuasion adaptation. So many Emmas, several P&P and S&S. Why so few Persuasion, Mansfield Park or Northanger Abbey adaptations? I'd love to see a new Persuasion, on a theatre screen possibly. We (@SalonJaneAusten and I) have already our mature, handsome, tall and dark Captain Wentworth in mind: Richard Armitage.  They had a survey at their forum, El Salòn de Té de Jane Austen,  hundreds of members,  and all of them want Richard as Wentworth.
What's your opinion on their suggestion?
Would you like to see Richard in a dashing, smart British Navy uniform? Who might his  Anne Elliot be? Would you subscribe a petition for a new RA Persuasion adaptation? If you like the idea, help us spread the word!

Members of the Spanish forum have even prepared a videoclip with their Persuasion dream cast: Kate Winslet and Richard Armitage. Have a look and ... think about it!



 
 

OMG! Who's shouting like a helpless animal?!? Red - Self! Can you stop it , please? I remember. Perfectly remember: I promised you a little space this week,  too. Mind you, I won't bear one bad word or ... ok, ok, ok. I'll try to trust you. Since last week you had a whole post for yourself, this time you MUST be very brief. This is our agreement.

It's time to go for me, then!  Fingers crossed. Enjoy your weekend!

RED-SELF'S CORNER

*Rolls eyes * Oh! Off , at last!  Breath, relax, breath, relax, Reddie. I hate how she can make me feel. OPPRESSED! I need to forget her. Breath, relax, breath... Here we are.
Are you Ok? I hope so. I'm disappointed and so ... FURIOUS !!! I've got only 5 minutes she told me. Now, what can I tell you in five minutes?  I'll try to do my best . Actually I couldn't do much this week. Have you ever been guarded by a vulture? GRRR...I couldn't move. I had to be with her all the time! 
Let's see if I can finally forget black-self for a while and think of "His Gorgeousness".  I liked listening to Richard reading that romance, The Convenient Marriage, but I was there all the time waiting for something saucier to happen. Unsatiable? Maybe... well... well, it was fun, I can't say it wasn't.  I liked Horatia. She was cheeky and daring. She, a 17-year-old stammering girl proposed to the Earl of Rule -and he accepted! - to save her elder sister from a marriage she didn't want.  Well done, Horry! She even saved herself from a rape. Wow, Horry, incredible!  She faced perbenism, gossip and social conventions. Great! Horry,  you are my heroine! I also liked the duels, the adventures, the comedy . BUT  ,  you ask? But  I wanted more, something more. How can I explain? I must be short and effective, 'cause I have no time. I'll show you what I mean with a clip. And what a clip! I love it. Do you know how hot Guy can be? Very, very, very, immensely MUCH!

Have a look and... thank me!




What? I can't watch the clip with them?!? Why?  Time over?!? The clip lasts only 4 minutes!  Whaaat? That wardrobe again? No, thanks. I'll obey you. Ok, ok. I'll see it with you after dinner. We'll watch it together.

*Rolls eyes again*. I think I'd better go.  Have a cool weekend!

11 comments:

Karen said...

Hi MG, I can't but heartily agree with your lovely review of TCM! Since this novel has always been in my Top 5 Heyer books, I was afraid I'd be disappointed, silly me! Yes, the cuts are too many and too large, and I can't forgive Naxos for having (slightly, thanks Heavens) shortened my favourite scene (the confrontation between Rule and Lethbridge at the inn) and for having practically suppressed so many characters, not to mention Pom's Great-Aunt.
But Richard's performance was absolutely wonderful, and I believe Red Self at least would openly agree with Laurel Ann's last sentence in her review at Austenpose ;)
I particularly loved hearing him (perfectly) mastering all the french terms used in the novel <3
As for RA in Persuasion, I'm sorry I can't see him as Wentworth: he's far too goodlooking - to say the least - to be the Captain (as RPJ was)!
Have a nice w-e everyone!
KB

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@Karen
Do you mean "petit mort"? I'm sorry neither black nor red- self speak a word of French! :P
What? What does it mean that Richard is too handsome to be Captain Wentworth? In my mind Wentworth has always been hugely attractive, so hansome! So...:P
(The :P signs have been added by Reddie. Bye, Karen!)
A nice weekend to you!

onemorelurker1 said...

I haven't heard TCM, I'm half the way with Venetia and tomorrow I'll get from the post office LOTN (jumping happily!), I totally believe you when you say how good RA is reading TCM.

He's so good with the voices, the story/characters come to life easily, especially the heroes/rakes (:P).
Also has happened to me, having to re-listen the audiobooks, cause his voice as narrator sweeps you into a relaxing state and his deep voice for the heroes is so thrilling...sigh

That vid is great, I've seen it before and still gives me the chills. Oh those looks he gives Marian, those luminous blue eyes, that deep voice...

I like Kate Winslet and I think they'll be great in a period drama together. Maybe someone of TPTB sees it and realizes what a great idea it is.
I think RPJ is more the 'pretty boy' than RA is, IMVHO.

OML :)

mesmered said...

Must order TCM as adored the others. Loved the clip too, if only because one sees the tangible emotion between she and Guy. It was so much more real than the boy-next-door flirting with Robin. I'll never get to understand how the producers/writers thought the shallower love would work. Maybe it was all to do with the superior on-screen chemistry between the actors and that Robin and Marion just didn't really gel. Thanks for another great RA Friday, MG and shall try and follow up with a good follow-on in The Sheriff's Collector.

Karen said...

Forgot to reply to Reddie abouth her * COUGH * interesting * COUGH * video suggestion ;)
Thank you Reddie, here's a video response for you. I'm SURE you'll like it, but I wonder if this will be a bit too much for Black Self poor nerves? ;-P

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dn1IiOrUaLg

Have a nice Sunday you both, despite the bad weather!
*HUGS*

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@mesmered
I know, I know what you mean. I hadn't totally realized RA's potentiality as a seducer watching him as John Thornton. I was intrigued but ...I was totally struck when I first saw him as Gisborne in a clip on Utube. Then I had to see RH!
I've read the latest chapters of your The Sheriff's Collector using the new page. Great idea! Very useful! Big Hug, Prue.

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@onemorelurker
Enjoy your TLOTN! 11 hours, tough job! Have a nice weekend!
@Karen
Thank you! Since the weather is bad ... we'll have the time to have a look at your vid! Too much for Black-self? I'll help her if she faints. Reddie.

ElizzyB said...

Nice you posted! Oh, Richard must be Wentworth in a theater screen!! OMG! :), we gotta move this!!! :D

mulubinba said...

I'm waiting for TCM to arrive. As a Heyer aficionado(a), I'm hoping they haven't cut out too much. I would like to hear RA narrate Sprig Muslin, These Old Shades - I think he would do those well. I must read TCM again before listening.

I've been sick for a few days and the only thing I've been able to do is listen to a narration of P&P. I then watched the 1995 version of P&P on my laptop in between naps. At the moment I have a bad case of "Darcyitis" ...lol! Watching P&P, I was of course wondering if RA could ever be cast as an Austen hero in an adaptation. I have RPJ in Persuasion on DVD so in my minds eye I still have him as Captain Wentworth. After seeing this vid. however, I think RA would make a believable Wentworth although it is a while since I read the book. I certainly can't see him as Darcy, can you? (aside: I was shocked to read that Colin Firth regrets ever playing that role - I was truly disillusioned :( ). Are there any other Austen adaptation roles you can see RA in?

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@Elizzy
Thanks for dropping by and commenting. I hopw something happens to make our dreams come true: Richard in an Austen adaptations, preferably Persuasion. Cheers! MG
@Mulubinba
I hope you are better now! Richard in any other role...I'd love to see him as Wentworth (my best favourite Austen hero) but he would be a great Mr Knightley. He's more or less the age and Richard is so "knighley"!
Colin Firth has always been bothered by the fame of sex symbol he got after performing in P&P. He IS Mr Darcy.
Thanks, Mulubinba. Have a very good weekend!

Traxy said...

Haha, Red-Self! :D Your post made me giggle - that's how I reacted when I listened to a clip of "Sylvester". Listened, loved it, then realised I didn't have a clue about what had actually been said in the past 10 minutes! :)

RA as Captain Wentworth... ah, there's a thought. :) Would be funny, considering his "Spooks"-buddy Rupert Penry-Jones played that role in 2007! :)