My Heyer odyssey continues, I've read 4 since Monday and wish I'd bought a 5th away with me this weekend. It's about 4 years since I started blogging, it's something which I think has basically been good for my reading habits - I certainly read more and with more discipline which means I tackle books I probably wouldn't have bothered with before and make myself finish things (I had a terrible habit of getting half way through a book and then abandoning it because I was distracted by another book). Another thing that's changed is that I don't often re read books, I guess this is one of those downsides of growing up - earning a living means I can buy a quantity of books but doesn't give me nearly as much time to read them. Back in my teens I owned a few hundred books (a fairly even mix of Georgette Heyer, Jane Austen, Dorothy Sayers, and Terry Pratchett) which I read over and over, favourite books were very familiar friends.
Generally speaking I'm too caught up in the excitement of discovering books which are new to me to spare much thought to what I might be missing by not re reading more but this week with Heyer is making me consider it more. 'Regency Buck' is a Heyer which I liked well enough back in the day and have certainly read a few times, but not one which was a particular favourite. Reading it then I would have considered it mostly as a romance because that's how I'm inclined to remember all of Heyer's historical novels. Reading it over the last couple of days I'm more inclined to think of it as more of a thriller albeit on with quite a lot of romance in it. Sadly I remembered the twist, although that gave me plenty of opportunity to appreciate how Heyer misdirects the reader, something I'm sure she enjoyed doing. I think we know from the start that we are being misdirected but it's still done neatly. For a romance she also spends a lot of time describing boxing matches, racing, and cock fighting (the last in quite off putting detail). I also noticed, again, how much trouble she takes over developing the character of her heroine, yes she's rich, attractive and spirited, but Heyer also gives her the temper tantrums and general bloody mindedness that are likely to characterise a girl just out of her teens - it's a nice touch.
I'm lending 'Regency Buck' to D, he says he might read it if he gets the time (he sounded like he wanted to find the time) I hope he does - it'll be interesting to see what he thinks of it, I suspect he'll enjoy it if he does read it.
This was one of the first Heyers I read. For years I remembered it as one of my favourites but it has slipped a little in my opinion since then, mostly because I've now seen what Heyer was capable of at the height of her powers. The extended descriptions of sporting events are what wear my patience. I think it's wonderful that Heyer did such detailed research but sometimes she felt the need to show it off a little too much!ReplyDelete
What I really like about this book is the way that Heyer takes Peregrine and Judith and makes them so real. Now I have a brother just into his twenties I can better appreciate what she does with Peregrine, and Judith is a great character - still quite childish at the beginning, much more of a grown woman by the end. I used to be impatient with all the sporting detail in this one, but reading it this time I liked the way it slowed the plot down and the slightly darker feel it gave to the book - a lot of it's quite bloodthirsty. It's still not a favourite but I have a much higher opinion of it than I did at the start of my Heyer binge.Delete
You are really encouraging me to re-read more Heyer, even though I had a huge binge at the start of the year. Blogging has definitely made me think about the use of my time in re-reading. But some books are so special that it would be like cold-shouldering a dear friend to spurn them! Also there are time when comfort is more important than anything else. ;-)ReplyDelete
I think blogging, and by that I mean reading others blogs more than anything else makes me aware of so many great sounding books that I don't often think about re reading something older. I've always bought and kept books with an eye to retirement (since I was in my early 20's) but it's still a long way ahead of me and I'm really enjoying my Heyer binge.Delete
I've never read Heyer at all but every time I come across a review or see her mentioned I think I should.ReplyDelete
Thanks for another nudge.
Caroline - do it! She's a lot of fun and well worth a try :)ReplyDelete
Still about nervous about trying a Heyer. I know that I won't be able to help comparing her with Austen - which isn't fair - but that is what is stopping me.ReplyDelete
You are right that working gives you more money to buy books and sadly less time to read/review/blog.
She's not an Austen, but as a romance writer with a genius for comedy, or for gentle thrillers with a bit of romance - or any combination of those elements she's wonderful.ReplyDelete