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Publisher's Summary

First published in 1963, James A. Michener's gripping chronicle of the social and political landscape of Afghanistan is more relevant now than ever. Combining fact with riveting adventure and intrigue, Michener follows a military man tasked, in the years after World War II, with a dangerous assignment: finding and returning a young American woman living in Afghanistan to her distraught family after she suddenly and mysteriously disappears. A timeless tale of love and emotional drama set against the backdrop of one of the most important countries in the world today, Caravans captures the tension of the postwar period, the sweep of Afghanistan's remarkable history, and the inescapable allure of the past.

©2014 James A. Michener; 2015 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Brilliant...an extraordinary novel.... The old nomadic trails across the mountains spring into existence." ( The New York Times)
"Romantic and adventurous.... [Michener] has a wonderful empathy for the wild and free and an understanding of the reasons behind the kind of cruelty that goes with it." ( Newsday)
"Michener has done for Afghanistan what...his first [book] did for the South Pacific." ( The New York Herald Tribune)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    132
  • 4 Stars
    55
  • 3 Stars
    37
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    4

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    104
  • 4 Stars
    48
  • 3 Stars
    27
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    25

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    134
  • 4 Stars
    52
  • 3 Stars
    24
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Terrible narration

It's a great story but the performance is unbearable. Speeding it up to 1.5 speed was the only way I was able to make it through.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

How to ruin a great book

Would you try another book from James A. Michener and/or Larry McKeever?

I would gladly and eagerly try another Michener book if narrated by someone other than Mr. McKeever.

What did you like best about this story?

It gave me a bit of understanding of the people and place called Afghanistan.

What didn’t you like about Larry McKeever’s performance?

It was almost painful to hear. The cadence seemed all wrong and the affect flat.

Did Caravans inspire you to do anything?

It inspired me to turn it off several times because of the narration, but I kept coming back because I enjoyed the story.

Any additional comments?

I hope to listen to other Michener books, but only if they are read by someone else.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Bland narrator, annoying hippy

The narrator was not horrible, but his monotone wore on my nerves. The story itself is fascinating and insightful on the cultural identity crisis of Afghans. However, the pivotal character is an infuriating regressive hippy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story

Very educational. This is a chance to learn about Afghanistan and why it is what it is today. Totally recommend it for anyone interested in that part of the world.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An old favorite revisited

Loved this book when it was first published. Love it now. Also fascinating to hear what characters hoped would be the future of Afghanistan all those years ago.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, terrible narration

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Larry McKeever?

I don't know who to choose instead, but Mr. McKeever's monotone reading of this story makes the interesting content boring. Good as a soporific, but otherwise not well narrated. The character's voices have no distinctiveness, no voice. The story is read without emotion, so that a horrifying or exciting scene sounds exactly the same as a mundane scenario. I'm not one to enjoy a narrator's personal voice interfering with the story, but this reading is positively dull.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

What a disappointment!

Any additional comments?

I was thrilled when Audible announced that several books by James Michener were finally available. I read most of his novels many years ago. So, I was anxious to revisit these old friends. To my great regret I only made it through the first chapter of Caravans when I had to stop. The narrator, Larry McKeever, read in such a painfully slow monotone that I couldn't go on.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

worst narration I've ever heard

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

If not for the story, I wouldn't have made it past the first chapter. But I was interested in the country of Afghanistan, found the history in the book so relevant, and SO wanted to like this book. But the narrator was just awful.

What did you like best about this story?

Liked the stories of the people of Afghanistan, and the prediction of Mr. Michener that the Russians would take over. They did in the 1970's.

What didn’t you like about Larry McKeever’s performance?

He just read the words, and had the annoyinggggg habittttuh of endingggg every wordddduh that endedddded with a consonant with a hard 'letter'. Very distracting indeed.

Do you think Caravans needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

no. story complete

Any additional comments?

too bad that other Michener's books are also read by this narrator. I won't be listening to any of them. alas.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Narrator, Narrator, Narrator

I was so excited to see all the Michener novels coming to Audible - my favorite author from years ago. I downloaded this title immediately and within an hour I gave up.

The narrator read it - just read it. That may be fine for some listeners - but I found his delivery grating and annoying.

Sadly, he "reads" all the new Michener titles.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Afghanistan Then is Afghanistan Now.

Michener writes long fact filled novels that,while might have some thin characters, is nevertheless absorbing and fascinating. Knowing what I know about Afghanistan now and then entering that world circa 1948 was just eye opening. Great storytelling!

However, I don't plan to listen to any other audio books by Michener until they get a narrator that can actually act with his or her voice. There are literally hundreds of characters in his books and they all have the exact same mid-Atlantic sound. Male/female. Young/old. Foreign/American. Happy/sad etc. ect.

No thanks audio, Hard copy here I come.


2 of 3 people found this review helpful