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Extended Audio Sample Restoration Audiobook, by Rose Tremain Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,339 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rose Tremain Narrator: Paul Daneman Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2013 ISBN: 9781482927696
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From Rose Tremain comes the Booker Prize short-listed novel that “restored the historical novel to its rightful place of honor” (New York Times).

Robert Merivel, son of a glove maker and an aspiring physician, finds his fortunes transformed when he is given a position at the court of King Charles II. Merivel slips easily into a life of luxury and idleness, enthusiastically enjoying the women and wine of the vibrant Restoration age. But when he’s called on to serve the king in an unusual role, he transgresses the one law he is forbidden to break and is brutally cast out from his newfound paradise. Thus begins Merivel’s journey to self-knowledge, which will take him down into the lowest depths of seventeenth-century society.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Nothing less than superb.”

    New York Times

  • “A regal work—here, brought to triumphant attainment, are those elusive ideals of the historical novelist.”

    Sunday Telegraph (London)

  • “Merivel embodies the contradictions of his era: though he is vain, frivolous, and cynical, he is also a man of sensibility, intelligence, and imaginative daring; his wry, witty voice holds the reader absorbed. A thoroughly satisfying read, the complex plot is augmented by acutely observed historical detail, nuanced character development, humor, and poignancy.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A beautifully crafted work in which almost every event and character, as well as the narrator’s relationship with the reader, richly illuminate Merivel’s life and temperament. Exquisite balance and symmetry as well as passages of lyrical description are certain to please discriminating readers.”

    Library Journal

  • A 1989 Man Booker Prize Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sylla | 2/18/2014

    " In creating Robert Merivel the protagonist of her novel, Rose Tremain has surely created one of the most endearing characters of historical fiction on that period. An excellent book with a great feel for the dereason of this dawn of the Age of Reason. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Doogyjim | 2/17/2014

    " Gloriously enjoyable, an unfettered romp of a book about a giddy fop who learns that pleasure is transient and a king's approval fleeting. Profoundly serious at heart, its stuffed with atmosphere, jokes and a wonderful first person style. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bronwyn Mcloughlin | 2/15/2014

    " Really enjoyable - I have read a number of works about the English civil war, but few about the restoration, so on the purely interesting era of history rating, this was right up there. The story captures its reader effortlessly from the start, with the witty, humorous and confessional reminiscences of Merivel, one time medical student, retainer and fop in the court of Charles II. When Merivel breaks his contract with the king, having the audacity to become enamoured of his own wife, the charade, and wealth to sustain it, ends, and Merivel turns to his Quaker friend Pearce, who together with his brethren is caring for a community of the insane with as much grace and love and kindness as they can. The contrast between the mesmerising debauchery of court life and the plain, simple and difficult life of the mental asylum is absolute. Once again Merival lets physical passion corrode his honour, and when he gets an inmate with child, they are obliged to leave. That doesn't end happily either, but there is hope for Merivel, and his resumption of the medical life that he once trained for returns him to a life engaging with real people and helping where he can to make their everyday lives comfortable within the scope of his era and abilities. Merivel loses his stature when he surrenders to the temptations of court life, and to an extent finds it again when all is lost, firstly in arriving at the asylum, and later with the devastation of the Fire of London. He is a messy man, in his habits (the detail of eggs slopped on glamourous coats at crucial moments cracks me up, but speaks of authenticity in the detail)and in the way his life unfolds, but for all that he does want a better life, a life where his pursuits and habits do not leave him feeling empty and frivolous. At the asylum, there is great discussion about what causes madness, about how there must be a time before madness, and symptoms of its onset, and how if there can be a recognition of how the condition started, then perhaps it can be reversed. There is a humanity at the asylum, despite its uglinesses and unpleasantnesses, that court disguises and perverts. I got so much out of this story, and it is so engagingly written. Such a contrast to The road home, but both equally engrossing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margaret | 2/2/2014

    " Loved it - except, possibly the end! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 K.P.B. Stevens | 1/25/2014

    " This is one of the most beautiful, heartbreaking works of historical fiction that I've ever read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jane | 1/18/2014

    " Really good. Wasn't expecting to enjoy this as much as I did. Heard Tremain on Guardian Books podcast and thought I would give it a go. incredible depiction of the time of the Stuarts and Merivel is a great character "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katharine | 12/15/2013

    " This book is beautifully written as always with Rose Tremain but it took me a little while to get into. Once I did I enjoyed it mostly for the character of Robert Merivel and his picaresque journey through life. The Restoration era came vividly alive in both its loucheness and liveliness and there were some fascinating changes of scene from a Norfolk country house to a Quaker madhouse to London during the Great Fire. I didn't enjoy it as much as "The Road Home" but I'm glad I've read it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hil Sloan | 11/22/2013

    " Overall a fantastic read. It took a while to get going and rather like Lev in the Road Home the character of Merivel took time to feel sympathetic towards. Rather too much happens in the space of what must have been less than 3 years. The end was a damp squib!!! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pamela | 11/21/2013

    " I like historical novels, but this one was pretty loosely based on the era of Charles II. The idea of self discovery and finding purpose in life was too too today. The ending was also pretty flat. The prose reads beautifully but as a whole, the book was pretty ho-hum. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca | 11/3/2013

    " Hmmmm. I really wanted to like this. I tried really hard. It lasted me for ages and quite frankly, I'm not sure it was worth it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Simon | 8/2/2013

    " Not the sort of book I'd usually read (historical fiction) but it was recommended to me. I learned a lot about the late 17th century. Merrivel was painted sympathetically despite all his faults and I like the way he became aware of them through his dealings with others. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wang Han | 7/7/2013

    " The language is beautiful, the story is interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan Wands | 5/15/2013

    " They butchered the film but I loved this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debbie | 4/30/2013

    " What a delightful book.. I will be looking for more Rose Tremaine books "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pauline | 12/24/2012

    " One of my favorite books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Colleen Mcwilliams | 11/19/2012

    " I'm not a big fan of historical fiction but this book was......fun!! As always, Rose Tremains skills as a writer were always in evidence. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anca Avram | 10/2/2012

    " 3,5 Stars - finalul imi este cam neclar. Merivel este un personaj care trece prin mute situatii. UN roman interesant dar nu asa impresionant. Nu am prea reusit sa il inteleg prea bine pe Merivel. Multe situatii descrise in carte sunt lasate fara continuare. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jo | 8/24/2012

    " I absolutely loved this. Beautiful writing, interesting characters "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Polly | 8/12/2012

    " I bought this after seeing the movie. I enjoyed the book - it is a quick and easy read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeanie | 2/24/2012

    " My pick for the book club. My second reading and I enjoyed it again just as much. Nice writing and an engaging story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Suzie Grogan | 2/22/2012

    " This is, simply, one of the best books I have read in recent years. Entertaining, beautifully written in sparkling prose that conjures brilliantly the world of the Stuart Court it is a novel I will recommend to everyone I know. "

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About the Author
Author Rose Tremain

Rose Tremain’s bestselling novels have won many awards, including the Orange Prize, the Whitbread Novel of the Year, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and the Prix Femina Étranger. Restoration, the first of her novels to feature Robert Merivel, was short-listed for the Booker Prize in 1989 and made into a film in 1995. She lives in Norfolk and London with her husband, biographer Richard Holmes.

About the Narrator

Paul Daneman (1925–2001) was an accomplished actor both on stage and on screen. He acted with the Bristol Old Vic Theatre Company and the Arts Theatre, and his long list television credits include The Adventures of Robin Hood, Persuasion, and Out of the Unknown. He also worked with BBC Radio, voicing Bilbo Baggins in the dramatization of Tolkien’s The Hobbit, among other roles.