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Restoration

Written by: Rose Tremain
Narrated by: Paul Daneman
Length: 13 hrs

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Publisher's Summary

When a twist of fate delivers an ambitious young medical student to the court of King Charles II, he is suddenly thrust into a vibrant world of luxury and opulence.

Blessed with a quick wit and sparkling charm, Robert Merivel rises quickly, soon finding favour with the King, and privileged with a position as 'paper groom' to the youngest of the King's mistresses. But by falling in love with her, Merivel transgresses the one rule that will cast him out from his new-found paradise. Determined to be restored to the King's grace, Merivel begins a journey of self-knowledge and soon discovers that the King's pleasure is equally matched by his wrath.... Rose Tremain's novels have won many prizes including: the Whitbread Novel of the Year (Music and Silence); the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Prix Femina Etranger (Sacred Country); the Sunday Express Book of the Year, the Angel Literary Award and shortlisted for the Booker Prize (Restoration) and a Giles Cooper Award (for her radio play, Temporary Shelter). Her novel The Colour, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, and selected for the Daily Mail Reading Club promotion. In June 2007 Rose was made a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

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©1989 Rose Tremain (P)2014 Audible Studios

What listeners say about Restoration

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • AReader
  • 14-02-15

Surprisingly convincing

I can't remember why I bought this - maybe it was a special offer. Anyway, I didn't know what to expect. I was very pleasantly surprised. The narration was excellent, and really made the protagonist come to life. I suspect I would not have liked it so much on the page.

I really enjoyed this and was sorry when it finished.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Kaggy
  • 27-05-15

Two thirds dazzling one third excellent

The character of Merivel bursts out of the opening pages and I was immediately beguiled by his roller coaster account of his life and fortunes. Merivel may be treated as a fool by the King's court but he is not stupid. He is just inclined to follow his own devil may care instincts and as a result gets involved in all manner of scrapes. This book focuses on his relationship with King Charles II and the massive impact this has on his life. The best parts however are his interactions with his best but disapproving friend Pearce, and the ordinary but vividly colourful characters that light up this book.

There are some massively funny sections, for example his frustrations at not being able to paint his Russians or play a musical instrument and his hilarious and exasperated interchanges with the people who try to teach him. There are also some very touching elements and Merivel's words and actions show him on occasion as being a likeable, vulnerable and humane man. You must however not be disillusioned into thinking Merivel is in any way saintly.

Paul Daneman gives many theatrical flourishes to his reading and his fearless approach adds to the comedy and pathos. I have had a recent run of very dull books that have driven me to the point of bored despair but this has restored my faith. This story and presentation is a breath of fresh and extremely invigorating air.

23 people found this helpful

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  • Hannah
  • 13-05-17

Five stars for this wonderful book

Politicians should read this and learn that if their experiences were wider, they'd be less mono-minded and dogmatic. Marvellous reading by Paul Daneman.

5 people found this helpful

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  • DartmoorDiva
  • 08-07-16

Very enjoyable

I enjoyed this hugely. A wonderful story, full of humour as well as drama, great characters and setting. Also, beautifully read. Found myself totally immersed in it. Highly recommended.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Laurance
  • 06-04-17

Restoration

Wonderfully read story, very funny at times, moving and poignant . Beautifully written giving the reader a real sense of witnessing the unfolding events. Must go back to the ending though

4 people found this helpful

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  • Richard
  • 27-09-16

Read by someone who loves the book.

Great main character, superbly well read, thoroughly engaging story. I don't know how true the insights to the times are but I would guess from Ms Tremain's professionalism, insightful!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Baronessnewt
  • 18-11-14

Excellent book in every way

If you could sum up Restoration in three words, what would they be?

Unusual historical novel

Who was your favorite character and why?

Merivel a real character. A very different sort of hero.

What about Paul Daneman’s performance did you like?

Very well read.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No.

Any additional comments?

Rose Tremain is an excellent author. I have only just discovered her and now making up for lost time.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-09-19

Carry On Up the Restoration. A bawdy waste of time

What a disappointment. I persisted with this book in the hope that something, anything, vaguely interesting would happen in the main character's life, that a plot line would emerge.....but no, nothing happens. Nothing. Is this story supposed to be a poor man's Tom Jones or a kind of Samuel Pepys Diary or just Carry On Up The Restoration? The story consists of descriptions of the hero's daily activities (painting, drinking, eating, bonking), interspersed with his and his friends' bawdy behaviour...old men pawing women's breasts at supper, vivid descriptions of bodice ripping bonking with bakers' wives, serving girls and his neighbour, and not much else. Horses farting and shitting in the hallway, old men crawling under the dinner table to see if another old man has his 'member' out. It all became so tedious and frankly just unlistenable. And the narrator made every woman sound like Widow Twankey or Mrs Malaprop. And what to make of the main character? A wastrel bemoaning his life page after page... and who leaves his dying dog to go and bonk the inn keepers daughter? Am I suppose to like this character? Sorry, but I couldn't get further than Chapter 8. And there are 25 Chapters! I tried really hard, but I just couldn't go on with it. I hope the hero redeems himself in the end, but quite frankly, all the characters were so repellant I couldn't care enough to find out. Don't waste your time.

3 people found this helpful

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  • aep
  • 18-09-14

A favourite! A timeless main character

What did you like most about Restoration?

The character of Robert Merivel is engaging, infuriating, hilarious and at times shocking. His excesses and tribulations are entertaining and his search for meaning in his life are well perceived and narrated by Tremain.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

A book to relish - beautifully written and never predictable.

Any additional comments?

I have read many of Rose Tremain's books and this must be her best.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Kirstine
  • 14-11-18

Entertaining historical fiction

I enjoyed this story of the ups and downs of the life of Robert Merival. His fate often altered by the whims of Charles II who wields absolute power over his subjects and raises Merival up and casts him down without a second thought. It's a story rich in details about life in the mid 17th century with its weird medical treatments, threat of plague, devastation by the great fire of London, the parlous state of the destitute and even worse the treatment of the insane. Into this rich tapestry is woven Merival's eventful life.

The narrator is good for older characters but his voice sounds too old for the 37 year old Merival and, though he can voice women, the young women sound like much older women.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Janet Matheson
  • 11-09-19

wonderful story and narration

A marvelous story and with Paul Daneman's narration, a thoroughly entertaining and endearing experience. I highly recommend it.