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The Glass Palace Audiobook

The Glass Palace

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Publisher's Summary

Set in Burma during the British invasion of 1885, this masterly novel by Amitav Ghosh tells the story of Rajkumar, a poor boy lifted on the tides of political and social chaos, who goes on to create an empire in the Burmese teak forest. When soldiers force the royal family out of the Glass Palace and into exile, Rajkumar befriends Dolly, a young woman in the court of the Burmese Queen, whose love will shape his life. He cannot forget her, and years later, as a rich man, he goes in search of her.

The struggles that have made Burma, India, and Malaya the places they are today are illuminated in this wonderful novel by the writer Chitra Divakaruni calls “a master storyteller.”

©2002 Amitav Ghosh (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Ghosh renders the polite imprisonment of the Burmese royal family in India and the lush, dangerous atmosphere of teak camps in the Burmese forest with fine detail––a perfect balance for the broad strokes of romance and serendipity that drive the story forward." (The New Yorker)

"Ghosh ranges from the condescension of the British colonialists to the repression of the current Myanmar (Burmese) regime in a style that suggests E. M. Forster as well as James Michener. Highly recommended." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (419 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.1 (293 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.4 (295 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (4)
Performance
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  •  
    Dart 08-16-12
    Dart 08-16-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    2
    1
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    Story
    "Great historical/cross-cultural story"
    Where does The Glass Palace rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Upper quadrant.


    What was most disappointing about Amitav Ghosh’s story?

    Really a family history intertwined with Burmese history rather than a novel of real personal growth or significant challenges.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Every scene was told with the same reporter style so it was somewhat difficult to get emotionally caught-up. Overall the story (history) was compelling.


    If you could take any character from The Glass Palace out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Simon Vance


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tom eastsound, WA, United States 03-13-13
    tom eastsound, WA, United States 03-13-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "great history, story & reader, very topical now"
    Any additional comments?

    Having spent a month in Burma the end of 2011 the book brought back many memories as many of the streets in Yangon are still named as they are in the book. Yangon is in such disrepair from many years of neglect it has the feeling of melting into the streets. The architecture, for the most part, is still that of the times of the empire. Magnificent but falling down. Was in Yangon for 4 days total but a wonderful city to just get lost in.
    It is my impression that many Americans have little awareness of history or events that happen outside of our country. The idea of people in Asia moving between countries to find work, to marry, to deal with family obligations might seem contrived if one has not delved into the history of some of these countries a bit. In almost every major city in Asia there are significant populations of people from surrounding countries. Sometimes there of their own will and sometimes not.
    Changes in Burma might happen rapidly if the military does not take outright control again. For a look at Burma in the latter part of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century you might like Emma Larkin's "Searching for George Orwell in Burma".

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joan Friedman 12-26-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "BORING AND TEDIOUS"
    What would have made The Glass Palace better?

    EDITING


    Would you ever listen to anything by Amitav Ghosh again?

    NO


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    YES, BOTH SLOW AND PLADDING


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Glass Palace?

    HARD TO SAY BUT IT JUST WENT ON AND ON


    Any additional comments?

    I GAVE UP HALF WAY THROUGH AND I WOULD RETURN IT IF POSSIBLE. IF IT WAS A HARD BACK I WOULD DONATE IT.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cherie L. Rodgers Santa Monica, CA 05-26-15
    Cherie L. Rodgers Santa Monica, CA 05-26-15 Member Since 2012

    Cherie Rodgers

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    18
    5
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    Story
    "Good one third of a book"

    The first thirds very good, second third okay. Last third - author gave up any pretense of having a real story and real characters and slipped into thinly-veiled lecture mode. Good performance couldn't save it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Happy Consumer 02-24-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Compelling historical fiction"

    The story is well suited to audio listening although the numerous characters can be confusing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine Watson Tennessee 12-13-14
    Katherine Watson Tennessee 12-13-14 Listener Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    23
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    "Great book"

    This book held my attention and I really liked the story line. It was a little difficult in the beginning but Burma is an area of the world I know little about and it was fascinating to hear about.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay TRABUCO CANYON, CA, United States 12-09-14
    Jay TRABUCO CANYON, CA, United States 12-09-14 Member Since 2015

    Writer of The Majick Series

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    Story
    "Excellent"
    Would you listen to The Glass Palace again? Why?

    I might on a long road trip. I typically only read or listen to a book one time... There are too many great stories out there to rehash them.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Too many great characters to list just one.


    Any additional comments?

    This is well written and performed beautifully. You will not regret the journey.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Abranches 11-11-14 Member Since 2014

    Book Lover

    ratings
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    28
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing Book"
    Would you listen to The Glass Palace again? Why?

    The book did an awesome job of helping put me the reader in the frame of events occurring in that time period.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Dolly was my favourite character


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    menary kitchen 10-14-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    37
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    55
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    "unheardof brilliance"
    Would you listen to The Glass Palace again? Why?

    i will listen again. so much detail


    What other book might you compare The Glass Palace to and why?

    this is a generational story. many are so. nothing comes to mind that would relate


    Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favorite?

    not sure


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

    many


    Any additional comments?

    one should listen/read this story. i doubt any person could be disappointed

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julia Staten Island, NY, United States 05-04-14
    Julia Staten Island, NY, United States 05-04-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    66
    ratings
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    42
    22
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    2
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    Story
    "Very compelling political history told as a novel"
    What made the experience of listening to The Glass Palace the most enjoyable?

    The second half of the book telling the story of the impact of WWII on Burma and India


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I think Arjuna, although as I listened I would have said others. Now looking back, I think it was him. Also Dinu, who is the most compelling, though I learned more from Arjuna's characte.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Simon Vance?

    He isn't my absolute favorite, but I really do like the books that he narrates so probably yes.


    If you could rename The Glass Palace, what would you call it?

    Not sure, but I think I would use part of the title from Gosh's later book, history told in the guise of a travelers tale. That's really what most of his books are.


    Any additional comments?

    Like all of the Gosh books I have listened to, the very best parts of this book are when he enacts the historical drama in very torn characters. He is wonderful at capturing the ambivalence and complete lack of clarity about what is the right thing to do. I enjoyed so many of his insights, it was the best way to learn about the history of that period. His romantic sections are not so great, in my opinion, they are very predictable and don't shed much light on the characters themselves. He is much more compelling when he writes about conflict and confusion. He is really outstanding at capturing unanswerable dilemmas about the Indian identity and the impact of colonialism on the psyche of those colonized.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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