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Bethesda, MD USA

  • 2 reviews
  • 7 ratings
  • 44 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2014

  • Jaya: A Retelling of the Mahabharata

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Devdutt Pattanaik
    • Narrated By Devdutt Pattanaik, Dramanon Theater

    In this enthralling retelling of India’s greatest epic - the Mahabharata, originally known as Jaya - Devdutt Pattanaik seamlessly weaves into a single narrative plots from the Sanskrit classic as well as its many folk and regional variants, including the Pandavani of Chattisgarh, Gondhal of Maharashtra, Terukkuttu of Tamil Nadu, and Yakshagana of Karnataka.

    S.Palan says: "Shanti, SHanti, Shanti"
    "Mahabharata aptly reinvented for 21st century"
    Would you listen to Jaya again? Why?

    This is worth listening many times on par with Vanraj Bhatia's rendition of bhagavat gita

    What did you like best about this story?

    The compendium of trivia collected from all parts of India and Indonesia about various subplots, their ethics and perspective are very entertaining as well as instructive. Coming from the same province as the author, Orissa, where many people are named after both the villains and heroes of yore; I can also readily relate readily to many caves and stones named after the pandavas, their benefactors or tormentors.

    Which character – as performed by Devdutt Pattanaik and Dramanon Theater – was your favorite?

    Draupadi, there is also a good version of her perspective in the current context developed by Chitra Bannerjee Divakaruni.

    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Ekalavya chopping off his finger: it reminds us that crony capitalism and nepotism are not new and meritocracy does not always triumph.

    Any additional comments?

    I was chagrined by the put on accents of some of the actors (showing off their English medium educational background and upbringing mostly limited to the major Indian cities) who were narrating the tale; get over it, speak naturally as any global indian speaks english today. For example, most of the Rushdie books are read by professional actors that reproduce Indian characters with appropriate diction, Peter Brook's play is also a good example of a globalized rendition of mahabharata minus any pseudo-accents !

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Midnight's Children

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Salman Rushdie
    • Narrated By Lyndam Gregory
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Salman Rushdie holds the literary world in awe with a jaw-dropping catalog of critically acclaimed novels that have made him one of the world's most celebrated authors. Winner of the prestigious Booker of Bookers, Midnight's Children tells the story of Saleem Sinai, born on the stroke of India's independence.

    Marc-Fr says: "Outstanding book, superb narration"
    "I wish they had a proper Indian actor reading it"
    What did you love best about Midnight's Children?

    One of the most enjoyable audiobooks I have heard happens to be Samantha Bond's reading of DH Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover. This bok could have reached similar heights if only the publisher had hired a proper Indian actor like Nana Patekar, Anupam Kher, or Sayeed Jaffrey to read it. This version of the audiobook is read by an English actor with immaculate British accent who mangles most of the Indian names and sounds distinctly uncomfortable in the trade mark Rushdie English, where characters develop through the nuances of Indian idiom and diction and what is locally known as Bombaiya hindi. Imagine a British actor reading EL Doctorow's Ragtime or Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer !!

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Saleem Sinai, of course, for his transformation as the book progresses.

    How could the performance have been better?

    Hire any good Indian actor to read a book about India called midnight's children. I am not talking about hiring another British-born Ox-Bridge accented Indian.

    If you could rename Midnight's Children, what would you call it?

    Ragtime for India. Rushdie did what EL Doctorow did to US history in his novel, Ragtime.

    Any additional comments?

    Any chance we can get a good reader with proper regional Indian accents to redo this book as well as Rushdie's short stories "East West" and Satanic verses into decent audiobooks ? This can be a good movie tie in with recent release of the movie of Midnight's children.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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