In the India of 1942, two rapes take place simultaneously - that of an English girl in Mayapore, and that of India by the British. In each, physical violence, racial animosity, the coercion of the weak by the strong all play their part, but playing a part too are love, affection, loyalty, and recognition that the last division of all to be overcome is the colour of the skin.
If you have ever wanted to read the Raj Quartet, The Jewel in the Crown narrated by Sam Dastor couldn't be better. His rendition of the characters' voices as well as their accents is so good that much of the time I forgot that this was the same narrator doing all the different voices. Now that I have listened to the first book in the Quartet, I plan to read the other three. My preference would have been to listen to the rest of the quartet as audiobooks, but unfortunately the samples of Richard Brown reading have convinced me that I would not like his narration at all. Oh, to have the rest of the Quartet read by Sam Dastor! Audible, are you listening?
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
It’s 2008, and things are falling apart: Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers are going under, and the residents of Pepys Road, London - a banker and his shopaholic wife, an old woman dying of a brain tumor and her graffiti-artist grandson, Pakistani shop owners and a shadowy refugee who works as the meter maid, the young soccer star from Senegal and his minder - are receiving anonymous postcards reading "We Want What You Have." Who is behind it? What do they want?
This is a perceptive novel about people who live and work on a gentrified street in London in 2007 - 2008, just before the stock market crash. The tone of the book is intelligent, compassionate, and frequently laugh-out-loud funny. Colin Mace's narration is terrific. The author handles his panoramic cast of characters well (think Dickens, Balzac, Zola) and with insight. If you have liked Tom Wolfe's novels but sometimes find his sardonicism mean-spirited or irritating, you will appreciate Capital. I enjoyed this novel tremendously and have recommended it to friends.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Composed in the last years of Roberto Bolaño's life, 2666 was greeted across Europe and Latin America as his highest achievement, surpassing even his previous work in its strangeness, beauty, and scope. Its throng of unforgettable characters includes academics and convicts, an American sportswriter, an elusive German novelist, and a teenage student and her widowed, mentally unstable father. Their lives intersect in the urban sprawl of Santa Teresa - a fictional Juárez - on the U.S.-Mexico border.
I had been excited about listening to 2666 since it had received much acclaim, some of it from literary reviewers I respect. My problem with this audiobook was not with the readers, all of whom in the four parts I listened to were capable; rather it was with the novel itself. The violence is pervasive and graphic, and yes, gratuitous. Although I made it through over half of 2666, I deleted this audiobook from my mp3 player tonight.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful
The solar system most of us grew up with included nine planets, with Mercury closest to the sun and Pluto at the outer edge. Then, in 2005, astronomer Mike Brown made the discovery of a lifetime: a 10th planet, Eris, slightly bigger than Pluto. But instead of its resulting in one more planet being added to our solar system, Brown's find ignited a firestorm of controversy that riled the usually sedate world of astronomy and launched him into the public eye.
This memoir of how Pluto came to be demoted from planethood, by the astronomer who was chiefly responsible, could have been dry and self-aggrandizing. Instead, Mike Brown has written an engaging and intelligent book infused with humor. Underlying the unifying story of how Brown's discovery of a large planet-like object orbiting the sun led to the controversy about Pluto is a portrayal of the life of an academic scientist. Ryan Gesell's narration is perfect. I liked this audio book so much that I plan to leave it on my mp3 player so I can listen to it again.
War and Peace is one of the greatest monuments in world literature. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, it examines the relationship between the individual and the relentless march of history. Here are the universal themes of love and hate, ambition and despair, youth and age, expressed with a swirling vitality which makes the book as accessible today as it was when it was first published in 1869.
This recording of Neville Jason reading War and Peace is wonderful and quite a bargain. I listen to audiobooks when I walk, and it took me three months to listen to all of War and Peace (both Volume 1 and Volume 2). Jason's inflection and pacing are flawless. What a pleasure! Note: he is reading the Maude translation.