© and (P)2002, 2003 BBC Worldwide Ltd
I read this book as a teenager after it was nominated for the Booker prize. This book is one of my all time favourites but is enormous and took me a few months to finish. This adaptation greatly shortens the original but really captures the story of Lata and her journey to finding a husband. The actors and actresses were all excellent and I thoroughly recommend this audiodrama.
It is my own fault because I didn't know what dramatized meant, but it turns out I don't like that format. I would MUCH prefer the actual book being READ. I don't like the background sound effects. I will probably come back to this one at some point, after I have run out of other things to listen to, but I personally MUCH prefer actual reading of the unabridged book. I wish I had not purchased this now, as I will ultimately need to buy it again as a BOOK. but again, my own fault.
The charectors were all very well potrayed. The version is too short however to encapsulate vikram seths original book which is very thick. The build up to charectors hence is too short to enjoy the story and the chapters change rather abruptly and sometimes hard to follow.
I never expected to find an audiobook so interesting. With the clear play of music at the appropriate times, listening to the audiobook is as refreshing as reading the book, and we hardly ever miss out on any part.
I'm an illustrator/concept artist currently living about an hour away from town via public transport. During these times, audiobooks, radioplays and podcasts are my best friends.
As a radio play it felt more like listening to the soundtrack of a film (of course, without being able to see what's going on.) From listening to a lot of radioplays, I found that the best ones have scripts written specifically for radio... it felt like this one didn't. And I don't know but I feel like I've heard this kind of story a hundred times before. Not my cup of tea. I get the feeling I'd enjoy reading the book more.
Top 30 of my Favorite books
Sarita and Lata's mothers character...Very well portrayed.
Their enunciation and amazing grasp on their characters.
I'm a great fan of Vikram Seth's big novel, and have read it a couple of times. I have often wished there were a movie of the book. This dramatization brings the novel to life wonderfully, and so far (I'm only an hour in) the radioplay's selection of scenes and dialogue from the novel seems really good. The talented actors, the music, the sounds, all create a vibrant atmosphere. I recommend it highly, especially for people who have read the book. As the several disappointed reviews suggest, it may be difficult to comprehend for a listener who hasn't read Seth's novel, but I wouldn't think it would be impossible to enjoy. The actors fill their readings with sparkle and passion.
I was really looking forward to this great read. One of Seth's greatest talents is the way he talks about music. The producers of this drama decided to include the music he talks about, mixed way too loud, rather than include the descriptions of the music. If you try to listen to this in a car it is nearly impossible to make out the dialogue. This might be fine with headphones but I found it quite annoying.
I could not listen to it. When I downloaded, I didn't realize it was a PERFORMANCE. I don't mind listening to more than one narrator, but I'm put off by a performance of a play when I want to hear the book as if I were reading it. My rating is not based on content, as I only listen for a short time. I didn't like the format.
Cape Town, South Africa
I have reservations writing this review. I could not listen to this book for very long so I can not comment on the story or the writing craft of Vikram Seth (although I believe both are said to be very good). But for those fellow listeners who would not like a dramatised book, do not choose this version of this story to listen to. It is more like a movie without the screen, music and background noise, various people narrating the parts of the different characters. Although the idea is promising it did not work for me, I was so distracted by all the background sounds that I could not hear the character's speech properly, and their acting out of the characters rather than narration of the story made it hard to follow. I had to give up sadly. I shall look out for an undramatised version.
As it is dramatised version, the storyline was hard to follow. Unless you have a good memory for voices - which actor's voice was who, talking to whom? I got somewhat confused so might have to read it as well?
Very good production, and sound effects give this atmospheric feel. Best listened to with both headphones!!!!
"Good and not so good"
I really wanted an unabridged (or maybe a slightly abridged, given the scale of this book!) listen but this was the best I could find. I have the book and tried to read it but maybe because of its vastness, gave up.
This is very atmospheric, the music and background noises add, though they are a little loud at times. It was well acted and I figured out the characters quite readily. But the dramatisation must have removed some of the books 'heart' I feel as it didn't evoke the writing skill that Seth has so much of, and which in the 1/3rd of the book I DID read myself, added so much to the charm (and length!)
So, when it ended, it was abrupt - so much so that I assumed there was another section and my iPod had mis-filed it! But no, it ends sharply and suddenly, with nothing much explained.
Wonderfully entertaining dramatisation, the voices and the music are faultless. Only drawback is it's brevity. Should send you scuttling to the original text.
"What a relief!"
Having struggled to read this epic novel in paperback due to the tiny print, it was fantastic to hear this dramatised version of Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy. The characters are finely drawn and the cast and music bring to life the mood and pressures on the young Indian girl whose mother is seeking a suitable boy for her to marry despite her attraction to another unsuitable character.
I enjoyed the book although on the first listen, found it a bit difficult to follow the different characters perhaps because my ear is not attuned to indian accents, yet it did not matter. The sound quality and production was faultless and even without following the story, it was a pleasure to listen to and i have done so more than once, becoming totally immersed in the picture it was painting. The sound gave a context and created a sense of space and place. The music was carefully woven into the rhythms of the actor's voices and enhanced what they were saying. I wish more audio books were so carefully produced and i would listen to almost any book with the same audio production team, i think their achievements and names should be more prominently displayed alongside the reader/actors.
I have been told that this story is very good, but found that the accents were very difficult to understand.
"A Suitable Boy."
"Unsuitable Associates", I would have named this book.
It gives such a scary example of the class system in Asian culture, where, if a girl or boy was reported just on nodding terms with anyone, there followed a violent third degree by the families, all fearing the worst shame to descent on them.
I'd be out of it on the first flight poss. Honour killings are the norm there and can be painfully slow.
I found it a complex story. Hard to follow. beta inappVoteInfo
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