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Strangler Vine Audiobook

Strangler Vine

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Publisher's Summary

India, 1937: William Avery is a young soldier with few prospects except rotting away in campaigns in India; Jeremiah Blake is a secret political agent gone native, a genius at languages and disguises, disenchanted with the whole ethos of British rule, but who cannot resist the challenge of an unresolved mystery. What starts as a wild goose chase for this unlikely pair - trying to track down a missing writer who lifts the lid on Calcutta society - becomes very much more sinister as Blake and Avery get sucked into the mysterious Thugee cult and its even more ominous suppression.

There are shades of Heart of Darkness, sly references to Conan Doyle, that bring brilliantly to life the India of the 1830s with its urban squalor, glamorous princely courts and bazaars, and the ambiguous presence of the British overlords - the officers of the East India Company - who have their own predatory ambitions beyond London's oversight.

©2015 Recorded by arrangement with G.P. Putnam's Sons, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, a Penguin Random House Company (P)2015 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What the Critics Say

"The Strangler Vine is a splendid novel with an enthralling story, a wonderfully drawn atmosphere, and an exotic mystery that captivated me." (Bernard Cornwell)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (311 )
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4.3 (281 )
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4.6 (283 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer Woodside, CA, United States 07-09-15
    Amazon Customer Woodside, CA, United States 07-09-15 Member Since 2009
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    "Enthralling, sometimes appalling tale of colonial India"

    This beautifully narrated, well written story of India in thrall to the East India Company before the British government took the country over explains a little known bit of history which I had heard before but had not retained. I will never forget it now – the invention of the cult of thugee, the worship of the Indian goddess Kali, in order to support the idea that India desperately needed the firm and civilizing hand of the British.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Boys4me 07-06-15
    Boys4me 07-06-15 Member Since 2013
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    "The reader takes a great book and makes it better!"

    This is an exciting and fascinating story of the British East India Company in India. It never loses its fast pace and there are surprising plot twists. The reader is so good, including his use of different voices and accents for the different characters, that I think I would have enjoyed it less had I read it in a print version.

    I heartily recommend this great adventure story.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl Petersburgh, NY, United States 08-13-15
    Cheryl Petersburgh, NY, United States 08-13-15 Member Since 2011

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Exciting new mystery series"

    I just finished listening to Strangler Vine and have enjoyed every minute. Hopefully this will be the beginning of a series. Alex Wyndham does an amazing job with the story and the accents, making each character come alive. I'm hoping that Avery ends up back in England and continues to bring us adventures for many books to come.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meg 03-12-16
    Meg 03-12-16

    Quack!

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    "Fascinating historical novel"

    This book is engaging from the start. I was not very familiar with the policies and practices of the East India Company (I knew of its existence but not the extent of its power) and I found the historical information in this book incredibly interesting. Add to that a plot and characters that are intriguing and you have an entertaining and educational read. It's action packed and I thought the pacing was perfect.
    I did not care for the end. I'm not the type that needs s happy ending, but I felt a bit short changed by the ending. I was hoping for more.
    The narration is excellent.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Holland Judkins Savannah, GA, US 06-02-15
    Holland Judkins Savannah, GA, US 06-02-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Great escape into India and the East India Company"
    Would you listen to Strangler Vine again? Why?

    Great story with rich detail and fine adventure.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Mr. Blake the anti-hero was compelling in his awareness of the problems with the superior British attitude and his appreciation of native culture.


    Which character – as performed by Alex Wyndham – was your favorite?

    Many to choose from. The Rajah and his court were richly woven tapestries to excite the mind. The British matron who befriends the heroes there was great.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    absolutely


    Any additional comments?

    Just a lot of fun. Definitely a good summer read.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Vilim Dallas, TX 07-28-16
    Eric Vilim Dallas, TX 07-28-16 Member Since 2015
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    "A Recommended Listen!!"

    As for the narration of Strangler Vine, Alex Wyndham is superb! I wish he would narrate more audio books.

    The story itself is enthralling and educational. Although fictitious, it is based on research and written histories from the time of The East India Company and Britain's attempts to rule India in the early to mid 1800's. I had feared the story might be a bit tedious, however it turned out I was compelled from beginning to end.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joann 07-14-16
    Joann 07-14-16
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    "Vey enlightening on many levels"

    I was captivated by the main characters in this historical novel from the very beginning and felt I knew them from the inside out, feeling their frustrations, their desires and their pain. I witnessed the growth in character and sensed the anguish, especially of William Avery as he slowly reached a greater understanding of the implications of occupying another's country. There was manipulation going on behind the scenes on the part of the British military in order to maintain power. The Machiavellian techniques used during that period of history are so similar to those used in our own times as resource wars continue, that it was uncanny. Jeremiah Blake was a fascinating character, both seasoned and wise.

    But it was also the people of India who added a sense of depth as they struggled, each in his or her own way, to survive under foreign rule. There was honor and dignity in the face of ruthlessness and men who would not compromise their own ideals.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Calliope 03-01-16
    Calliope 03-01-16
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    "Exotic adventure in historical British India"

    The historical setting is the British East India company controlled India of the early 19th century, which for me is both a little exotic and a little unique. While it wasn't officially a colony of Britain at the time, the East India Company had a charter from the government and so both politically and economically controlled growing amounts of India. In specific, this book surrounds the mysterious and contentious existence and strength of Thugs - thought to be a culture of traveling thieves and killers who work by ingratiating themselves into the company of other travelers, then strangling them as a sacrifice to the Hindu god Kali.

    The actual mystery is more of an adventure, and really takes second place to the characters and the environment. A naive ensign is paired with a seasoned hand who's "gone native" to set out in search of a famous British poet who was, they were told, in search of the last remaining group of Thugs (Thugees). Our two heros (Avery and Blake) set of on a months-long trip of several hundred miles through the Indian forest, meeting villagers, merchants, thieves, local princes, and Company men along the way. They travel by horse and donkey, kill a tiger, escape from captivity, and discover the truth as well as the poet by the end.

    As for the Strangler Vine of the title? It's a species of tropical strangler fig - it begins living in peace on the bark of a tree, but in time the descending roots grow and spread, stealing nutrients away from the original tree and, as well, often growing so big and strong that strangles the host tree to death. Sounds like an excellent metaphor for many colonial powers.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Apple Valley, MN, United States 07-13-15
    Julie Apple Valley, MN, United States 07-13-15 Member Since 2009

    I love a good mystery. My favorite author right now is Edward Marston. I am enjoying the Great War Series.

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    "I Love this book, listened to it three times."
    Where does Strangler Vine rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It is probably the best mystery book I have ever read, I read on average 2 books a week.

    Good solid mystery, set it 1900 India, concerns the East India Company and two young men who are sent on a mission to find a famous author in the wilds of India.

    Gripping, exciting, full of historical data that does not interfere with the story line.

    The author has been nominated to several awards, google the book for yourself.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Strangler Vine?

    When William shot the tiger and when he had to shoot his friend. ( I am not going to give away which one.)


    What does Alex Wyndham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Excellent reader, adds emotional tone to the story.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The same


    Any additional comments?

    I really like good writing - this author is an excellent writer. One of the best.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sonseenahray Centerville, OH, United States 04-01-15
    Sonseenahray Centerville, OH, United States 04-01-15 Member Since 2009
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    "Descriptive History"

    Loved the book and how visual it became. It was a little slow starting and a little confusing in the first chapter. Once things settled down, the story was exciting! Would like to have more from this author. The narrator was perfect.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful

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