Heyer, Revisited


Yes, I’ve been neglecting my blog. As result of having PRK/PTK surgery on my right eye, I’m not spending much time in front of the computer these days. The eye is healing well, and eventually I’m going to be able to see both the computer screen and the food on my plate without glasses, which will be a wonderful thing.

The surgery took about 15 minutes. First they gave me valium, and a stuffed critter known as ‘Leo the Laser Leopard’ to hang onto, and then numbed my eye. The first 10 minutes of the surgery were taken up with removing the irregularities from my cornea – caused by map dot fingerprint dystrophy, for anyone who is interested enough to look it up – and the last 5 with retuning my vision via laser.

Recuperation is less painful than annoying. However, it’s no more annoying that the map dot whatsis was.

Since I knew I wasn’t going to be able to read much after the surgery (I pretty much have to do so with one eye), I decided to amuse myself with audio books. While browsing through Audible.com, I came across a couple of Georgette Heyer’s mysteries, which I’d read a zillion years ago, and thought listening to them might be fun.

Georgette Heyer was/is one of England’s treasures, generally considered responsible for the Regency romance phenomena. She also wrote straight historical novels and then-contemporary mysteries. I’m a huge fan of her Regencies, don’t care much for the historicals, and as I remember it, was lukewarm about the mysteries. Too, I’m not a fan of audio books, so I wasn’t expecting much from my downloads.

Boy, was I wrong. Behold, Here’s Poison, narrated (acted out, really) by Hugh Dickson, is close to brilliant. The book was originally published in 1936, and part of the fun is visiting a long-gone world and realizing how very much attitudes have changed. Listening to it is like watching a dated but still witty drawing-room comedy from the best seat in the house. And it well deserves a standing ovation at the curtain’s close.

Heyer lived from 1902 to 1974. Hugh Dickson was born in 1981. The difference in generations makes no difference at all. His characterizations are wonderful, and not a nuance of Heyer’s sly humor has been overlooked.

Next week I go in for surgery on the left eye. Leo the Leopard and I will reunite. And if I can’t read a word of anything for the next few days, it’s fine. I have another Heyer mystery waiting for me to enjoy.

Published in: on November 9, 2008 at 6:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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