This book is getting four stars based largely upon the strength of Christian Coulson who narrated the audiobook. You might know Coulson as the young Tom Marvolo Riddle in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. He was absolutely fantastic. He has the most pleasant voice that it made this book so enjoyable to listen to.
As far as content goes, I found Gentleman's Guide to be pretty good. The characters were interesting and the plot, once it started moving, was decent. I was worried at first because it seemed like the book was just going to be Monty rhapsodizing about how amazingly good looking he was...and that got old really fast. In fact, I almost put the book down right before Monty steals the item that kicks the plot off...I'm glad I stuck it out, though, because it picked up from there.
As has been my tendency of late with any historical fiction, let's talk about my biggest issue biggest issue with this genre...anachronism. When I read historical fiction I want the research of the time period and attention to detail to shine through the characters and setting. It drives me crazy when historical fiction is riddled with modern sentiment. Gentleman's Guide had a goodly amount of anachronisms sprinkled throughout that popped up every so often to annoy me. The strength of the writing and the fun characters (even though they were often the vehicles of the anachronisms) made the story worth continuing...I just wish authors would take the time to not promote modern themes in a historical fiction. (Although, part of me wonders if I can really complain about anachronisms in historical fiction when part of the plot centers around successful alchemy...which, while alchemy was an aspect of history, there's no proof it ever bore fruit...so would that make this a historical fantasy as opposed to a historical fiction which would then make my issue with anachronisms pointless? Don't know. I do know, however, that that was most likely a poorly written run-on sentence.)
My complaint about anachronisms aside...<b>Gentleman's Guide</b> was a fun listen with solid character building. Can't speak to the print version, but definitely check out the audiobook for a fantastic listen. Young Tom Ridde does a great job with A Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue.