Michael Wood weaves a spellbinding narrative out of the 10,000-year history of India. Home today to more than a fifth of the world's population, the subcontinent gave birth to the oldest and most influential civilization on Earth, to four world religions, and to the world's largest democracy. Now, as India bids to become a global giant, Michael sets out to trace the roots of India's present in the incredible riches of her past.
©2007 Michael Wood; (P)2007 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
This is one of my all time favorites. I started with the audiobook, then bought the paperback and the DVD set! Michael Wood's tremendous enthusiasm for the subject and the narrator's delightful British accent and perfect pronunciation of Indian names and places adds to the trip like a wonderful guide adds to a real journey. Considering that India will soon be the most populated country on Earth and will soon surpass the GDP of the US, it behooves all of us to know more about the subcontinent. This is so much more than a litany of facts; it is exuberant with the colors, tastes, smells, gardens and incredible longevity of this fascinating country's history. Pure joy from start to finish; now I must save money to go there myself and visit the places mentioned in the book. But if I never make it there, this is surely the next best thing!
Once you realize that this is a "story" and not a "history" of India it goes along quite well. It is the story told through a combination of references to India's ancient literature, archaeology, interviews and a bit of scholarly writing. It took me a while to get my head around the fact that I wasn't listening to what I would strictly call a history book, but it was a good introduction to a subject that I knew nothing about--and now know a bit more about.
I agree with the previous reviewer, this is a wonderful piece of work for someone interested in the history of India. The DVD is also exceptionally well done. It is colorful and very interesting and engaging, covering spiritual and political aspects. India is a fascinating country and this is a great overview. It is educational without being boring -- Michael Wood does such a good job. I've listened to it several times and enjoyed it each time.
All in all, an listening excellent choice for non-fiction.
A compelling and entertaining compilation of history, geography, geology, genetics, anthropology, religion and linguists. Reaches back to the beginning of modern man and reaches forward to the end of the Raj. Depth and breadth, beauty and horror. A great survey of the sub-continent.
I am an audio book enthusiast because I like to do things while I listen. Mostly that's knitting, but also cleaning the house.
This is really about the history of India. It's not a travelogue. I bought it in preparation for our trip to India and it was not exactly what I had in mind. But it is a very well written book and it's fun to listen to. I'll probably give it another try (I stopped 3/4 of the way through) now that we're back and I have some context for it.
Great narration and some interesting stories, but very difficult to follow the chronology and geography. Perhaps this is an audio book where you just need an ancient map at your side to really follow what the author is saying.
This is a lovingly told overview of India’s history, touching on the interactions of geography, geology and cultures. As with all good introductions, it leaves you wanting more.
definitely one of the better books i have listened to from audible.
his performance was a real highlight.
I found this difficult to listen to. The combination of the unfamiliar Indian place and individuals' names along with the narrator's British pronunciation (Him-alya instead of the American Him-a-lAya) was disconcerting. The audible book did make me want to read the physical book, though.
"The Story of India"
Unlike other listeners I didn't find anything wrong with the narration. The book itself is quite "difficult" and perhaps those who come to it from the TV series will be disappointed.
"Good book, stupefying reader"
This book would be as interesting as the TV series it accompanies if it weren't read by someone who sounds like an elderly teacher dragging his way wearily through course material that he's been reading out for the last 10 years to classes who'd rather be anywhere else.
"India, look elsewhere!"
I had this as a present on CD, I have an interest in history and was looking forward to hearing "The Story of India".
I regret to say that 6 months on I only listened for half an hour, the narrators voice is boring and flat, which is a shame because I would really like to listen to the history of India. Perhaps one day someone else will record this potentially interesting saga and bring it to life, as is justly deserves.
"Fascinating historical journey through India"
On the whole, I really enjoyed the content of this audio book - it was both educational and captivating. Michael Wood presents a rich, well-researched and colourful epic history of this vast country and clearly knows his subject matter.
However, I felt at times that the audio book did not make the best use of the sound medium and could have been improved in the following ways:
1. Maybe Michael could have introduced the audio book. This would have added a lot more weight and credibility to the recording.
2. In my opinion, the narrator Sam Dastor's expressive performance would have benefited from an additional Indian voice actor reading those parts of the text that required a native Indian accent.
3. With the introduction of some music clips and sound effects - maybe sourced from the excellent and celebrated BBC TV series? This would have greatly enhanced the otherwise excellent narration.
There is definitely a great amount of research gone into this book to present India from the very early stages. Worth a read if you are interested in learning about different places or in history. This definitely worth a read if you are from Indian Subcontinent (India,Pakisthan, Srilanka & Afghanisthan). Gives a good amount f pride in the subcontinent..
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