Reviews - What do customers think about The Adventures Of Alianore Audley?
Great fun! Jul 17, 2008
I couldn't help myself from laughing out loud at this incredibly witty piece of historical fiction. I loved it.
Historical Fiction Lite Aug 23, 2007
I read this book based on Elizabeth Chadwick's glowing review of it in her list of 10 favorite works of historial fiction. Chadwick's opinion bears weight with me as she herself is an accomplished author in that genre. Her thumb's up vote was bolstered by the wild cheering from other reviewers on this site. Just goes to show that one man's hilarious is another man's ho-hum.
The narrator is a wise-cracking "damosel" whose snide observations pertaining to the life and times of England during the Wars of the Roses form the basis of the book. I realize this is intended to be a send up of "straight" historical fiction and, being pretty well familiar with the England of this period, I think I "get" a good many of the jokes. Although light-hearted, this book is a far cry from a hilarity-filled, rib-tickling rolliker I was expecting based on the knee-slapping, guffawing glee expressed by others. Smart-alecky in a wink wink, nudge nudge kind of way, it is far from the laugh-a-page I was anticipating. I felt grateful for the few puny yuks Alianore's japes did afford.
I'll credit Wainwright with originality, but this book was quickly read and quickly forgotten. Witty, yes. If you expect more, I fear you will be disappointed, as I was. By way of an aside, it has been my experience that readers of these reviews seem to like other reviews which support their own opinions and dislike differing viewpoints. I fully expect this review to be widely deemed "unhelpful" being an unpopular vote in an otherwise adoring "fan base." I only wish someone else had earlier risked offering an opinion that this book is maybe not so 5-star funny after all.
Campy tale of a sassy spy - great fun for history buffs! Jul 1, 2007
I envision Brian Wainwright as a complete history geek who had a blast writing this brilliant book to entertain other complete history geeks. He has done a marvelous job! Brush up on your English Monarchy history from the Wars of the Roses and the Tudors, and keep today's political themes in mind as well, and then dive in to this hilarious "mockumentary" style book.
Alianore Audley is a smart & sassy 15th century wench who is distant kin to the Plantagenets. Her bumbling idiot older brothers do little to look to her welfare, so she relies on her own wiles and is rewarded when they are noticed by King Edward IV. After turning down his first award proposal, she accepts his offer to spy for his government and soon finds herself at the helm of a Middle-aged CIA. She encounters danger, trumps evil, finds love, reluctantly (cough, cough) has sex, and all the while manages to keep her files on various court figures and plotters in meticulous order.
Wainwright's spoof-tale is full of constant sarcasm and history-laden zingers (ie: "You ain't just whistling Greensleeves!"). Alianore's adventures are wonderfully entertaining - the comparison to Mel Brooks by another reviewer is right on target! Alianore is hysterical - this book is great fun and highly recommended, even if you aren't a total history geek. Her sarcasm and the comparisons to more modern politics are obvious to all!
What Fun! Dec 11, 2006
What a hysterical send up of historical fiction. Mel Brooks couldn't have done better. I was laughing through every page, the author's toungue must have been firmly planted in his cheek the entire time. Hard to believe this is the same person who wrote the ever so serious (and brilliant!) Within The Fetterlock.
However, I would recommend that you have a passing knowledge of the Wars of the Roses, Edward the IV and Richard the III. Otherwise, you'll miss most of the jokes. Highly recommended and a breath of fresh air from so many serious works of fiction.
Hilarious, brilliant! Nov 18, 2006
I can't adequately describe how much I loved this book. Not only is it absolutely hilarious, it's also very clever and extremely well-researched, and full of intentional anachronisms which are laugh-out-loud funny. Just a couple of examples: the duke of Gloucester browsing the 'Used Destriers' section of the court newspaper, and Alianore Audley informing Edward IV of his approval ratings. It's also very sympathetic to Richard III, and tells the reader what REALLY happened to the princes in the Tower.... Highly recommended!