In this elaborate mystery, we join Arun Advani, investigative journalist, as the lives of the six unravel: a corrupt bureaucrat, an American tourist infatuated with an Indian actress, a stone-age tribesman on a quest to discover a sacred stone, a Bollywood sex symbol with a guilty secret, a mobile-phone thief who dreams big, and an ambitious politician prepared to stoop low. Each is equally likely to have pulled the trigger.
©2009 Vikas Swarup; (P)2009 BBC Audio
"The author of Q&A (2005), the novel that became the film Slumdog Millionaire, returns with an equally high-concept tale that uses a murder investigation to launch a riotous tour of contemporary India...a teeming, beguiling Indian panorama wrapped in a clever whodunit." (Kirkus Reviews)
"A fizzy romp seems to be the main thing he has in mind. Oddly enough, that ambition turns this formulaic-sounding book into a refreshing oddity. It bears no resemblance to any of the cookie-cutter genre books of this season." (The New York Times)
I'm an avid listener. Audio books are a mini-vacation for me. They fill my "need to read" when I don't have time - which is most of the time. Great element of multi-tasking!
This is a very unique approach to the "who done it," with quirky, Indian cultural sensibility and a great deal of commentary on Indian life between the lines, if you are listening. Excellent dialects with subtle variation for all but the Americans, with the worst Texas accent in the history of the spoken word. It started a bit slow for me, until I got into the rhythm of the story development, but I ultimately enjoyed the book a great deal. The length proved not to be too much, as I had originally thought. It was necessary to fully develop all the subplots.
Funny and engaging story, but I have never, ever, heard a worse southern accent. It is so bad that it makes the otherwise good book painful. Think Ted Kennedy and Forrest Gump, with British emphasis thrown in. I cannot believe that this made it through even a cursory edit - these are not small subtle errors but entire nerve-grating sections with bizarre distortions. If you are sensitive to poor narration, think very carefully about listening to this.
This has the making of a great listen, but could not get past narrators lack of ability to support the accents needed for storyline. Did not finish book!
Farm girl, voracious reader, lover of wine & whiskey.
This has to be one of the most obnoxious and grating narrators I have come across in all of my time as an Audible member - and I have over 100 audiobooks! The worst of it is, the man's normal speaking voice is actually quite pleasant. If he just stuck to his usual voice, this would have been a great listen! Unfortunately, he is melodramatic x 10! I was annoyed long before I got to the Texan accent, but the horrific rendition of what is often already considered a difficult accent to listen to was the last straw - I had to stop listening. There was no way I was going to suffer through another 14+ hours of that! The frustrating thing is, the book seems really good! I'm going to go buy a hardcopy because I'd really like to know what happens, just not with Lyndam Gregory's clownish, insufferable narration.
I can't even entirely blame it on Mr. Gregory - if whoever produced and directed this had just told him to knock it off with the silly voices, he could have done a great job!
Vivek Rai shot bartender (pretty, young, college student) Ruby Gill to death in a restaurant in New Delhi. This murder was witnessed by many and yet Vivek Rai was acquitted. He then throws a party to celebrate his escape from justice and is shot to death at his own party. Who done it!? There are six suspects - ALL of whom have great reasons to see him dead. This is really six stories interwoven by a master storyteller. Part funny, part tragedy, part pure creative imagination. Syntax, vocabulary, structure is beautiful. Wonderfully done! This is a real keeper! The accents (except for the Texan) are great. This is from the author of Slumdog Millionaire.
This book was a lot of fun. It kept me guessing throughout. I don't recommend this book for people who are fans of mysteries but not fans of Indian literature.
My biggest complaint is regarding one of the six suspects. The character is cartoonish and absurd, if likeable.
The narrator is very good with most of the voices. It's a treat to hear him prounounce the names of characters and places.
This book will teach you the difference between funny and silly, the later definitely being the best description of the book.
In the chapter called Mail Order Bride, a character is thrilled to have "a white American" teaching his call center employees how to "talk American". The narrator of this book desperately needed a Texan to teach him how to "talk Texan". I don't know what he was speaking but if he tries it in Texas, he's in trouble.
I'd dearly love to know what the good people of India think of this book and wonder about their opinion of the ridiculous spoken word uttered by the narrator, purported to be "Indian". Perhaps it was meant to be funny, but it slipped into silly and sappy. It's good there is a disclaimer in the front of the book stating that although Mr. Swarup works for the Indian government, the views in the book are not that of said government, or there would be an international scandal, for sure.
This is a great story with complex characters and while you may not like all characters, they are all very real. The author has so much proficiency with the craft of writing that he can deviate from the central point in the history, tell the story of the six suspects and bring all the lines into the central plot where the murder of an unapologetically corrupt man takes place. From then on, we are taken into the conclusion of this brilliant story.
The American suspect. He was just hilarious.
He was amazing! He can change his accent and voice very well and even the American accent was excellent. Kudos to him. He brought this story to life.
YES!!!! I borrowed this CD audiobook from the library first, but could not listen to it just as I drove. I got the audible version and now I listen to it continuously!!!
I am certainly going to look for more work from both the author and narrator. Excellent.
I'm also really interested to know if upper caste Indians really call everyone lower bastards or bi***es and MF. It just seems to exceed what is realistic. Thankfully the end is pretty good and a couple of the story lines are good and that makes it more or less worth the read/listen.
Elizabeth E King
As always VS tells a wonderful story with complex characters. Not only I eager to follow the story - I care about each and every one, even villains have elements of Ghani. I'm a huge fan of VS. He is one of those writers who has enlarged my world. The narration is also fabulous.
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