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Evil Eye

Length: 1 hr and 38 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (20,892 ratings)

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Go Behind the Scenes with Madhuri Shekar

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Our favorite moments from Evil Eye

Usha asks Pallavi about her latest blind date.
You are happy in a different way.
I just heard back from the private investigators...
Sandeep and Usha share an eerie conversation.

  • Evil Eye
  • Usha asks Pallavi about her latest blind date.
  • Evil Eye
  • You are happy in a different way.
  • Evil Eye
  • I just heard back from the private investigators...
  • Evil Eye
  • Sandeep and Usha share an eerie conversation.

About the Author

Madhuri Shekar was born in California and grew up in India. Her plays have been produced across the US and internationally. They include In Love and Warcraft (winner of the Alliance Theatre's Kendeda Graduate Playwriting contest), A Nice Indian Boy, Queen, and Bucket of Blessings. Her upcoming world premieres include House of Joy (Cal Shakes, August 2019) and Dhaba on Devon Avenue (Victory Gardens, April 2020). Her first audio play, Evil Eye, was commissioned by Audible as part of the inaugural class of their Emerging Playwrights Fund. She is a recent graduate of the Juilliard playwriting program, and writes for the upcoming HBO show The Nevers, created by Joss Whedon.

About the Director

Megan Sandberg-Zakian is a freelance theater director based in Jamaica Plain, MA, and a co-founder of Maia Directors, a consulting group for artists and organizations engaging with stories from the Middle East and beyond. Her directing projects include the world premieres of Nathan Alan Davis's Nat Turner in Jerusalem at New York Theatre Workshop, Eleanor Burgess' Chill at Merrimack Repertory Theatre, and Madhuri Shekar’s House of Joy at California Shakespeare Theater. She has previously served as the Associate Artistic Director of Underground Railway Theater (Cambridge, MA), the Providence Black Repertory Company (RI), and The 52nd Street Project (NYC), and, most recently, as Director-in-Residence at Merrimack Repertory Theatre in Lowell, MA. Megan is a recipient of the Princess Grace Theater Award and the TCG Future Leaders fellowship, an alumna of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, and a proud member of SDC, the national union for stage directors and choreographers. She is a graduate of Brown University and holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College.

About the Performer

Nick Choksi is an actor, musician, proud dad, and animator living in New York. His recent theater credits include Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet on Broadway (original cast member), as well as many shows Off-Broadway at Roundabout, Ars Nova, New Group, Kazino, Cherry Lane, Clubbed Thumb, and the Atlantic. A selection of his TV and film credits include Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, New Amsterdam, The Good Fight, Succession, Happyish, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and One Life to Live (in a recurring role). As a composer, Nick conceived and wrote music for Those Lost Boys, wrote music for A Food Odyssey, and, during his daughter's naps, he is hard at work composing a song cycle based on The Ramayana. He was trained at Juilliard.

Photographed by Ben Arons

About the Performer

Harsh Nayyar received an MFA in Acting from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Acting Program. He narrated the book Between the Assassinations by Aravind Adiga for Simon & Schuster. On stage, he's performed on Broadway and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York Theater Workshop, The Culture Project, La MaMa, Vineyard Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Brava Theater, Studio Theater, Cincinnati Playhouse, George Street Playhouse, New York Stage & Film, and U.S. Capitol. Nayyar can also be seen on screen in films such as Hidalgo, Gandhi, The Peacemaker, Making Mr. Right, Night and The City, Traffic, Men in Black, and The Devil’s Advocate. His television credits include Vestige of Honor, Littlest Victims, The Other Two, Madam Secretary, Boston Legal, Dark Angel, Tattinger's, and Tales from the Dark Side.

About the Performer

Annapurna Sriram is from Nashville, Tennessee. As a teenager, she was a championship Irish step dancer and attended the Nashville School of the Arts. Annapurna graduated from Rutgers University with a BFA in acting from the Mason Gross School of the Arts. She has appeared on the New Group stage and on the West End in Jesse Eisenberg's play The Spoils, and in the US premiere of Wallace Shawn's play Evening at the Talk House. Her television credits include Billions, The Blacklist, and South of Hell, and she has been featured in films such as In Case of Emergency, Leave Not One Alive, In Utero, Dom (short), Carnivore (short), and Dopplebanger (short).

About the Performer

Bernard White, a veteran of stage, film and TV, is currently recurring on three critically acclaimed cable series: HBO’s Silicon Valley, Kidding for Showtime, and Claws for TNT. A veteran of countless television shows and more than 40 feature films, including The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Wim Wender's Land of Plenty, Danny Strong's Rebel in the Rye, and It's Kind of a Funny Story. He has worked extensively in New York, notably in Lincoln Center’s productions of The Who & the What by Ayad Akhtar and Blood and Gifts by J.T. Rogers, Landscape of the Body by John Guare at the Signature, and The Tempest with the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park program. Some regional theater highlights include Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar at the Goodman Theatre, the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and the Seattle Repertory Theatre, Dogeaters by Jessica Hagedorn Will Power’s The Seven at the La Jolla Playhouse, and The Clean House by Sarah Ruhl and Blythe Spirit at Williamstown. Bernard is married to writer, director, producer, and actress Jackie Katzman.

About the Performer

Rita Wolf is a Drama Desk-nominated actress whose theater credits include the world premiere of Homebody/Kabul by Tony Kushner, The American Pilot at Manhattan Theatre Club (Drama Desk Nomination), An Ordinary Muslim at the New York Theatre Workshop, and O Jerusalem by A.R. Gurney at The Flea Theater. Her film and television credits include My Beautiful Laundrette (written by Hanif Kureishi and directed by Stephen Frears), Spike Lee’s Girl 6, as well as the British soap opera, Coronation Street. Audiobook narration includes Benazir Bhutto's autobiography, Reconciliation, for Audible.

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Performance

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  • 3 Stars
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Story

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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

Does anyone remember party lines?

This is my first audiobook and it made me feel as if I was eavesdropping on someone’s family. You know sort of like being on a party line from the ’70s where you could listen to someone’s else’s phone call?!? The phone rings sound so real that I almost said hello a few times myself.
I really enjoyed it. The storyline seemed real, until 3/4 of the way through, then it sort of got scary. Great listen, loved the people narrating the story, they were all great narrators!

142 of 165 people found this review helpful

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

Holy Crap!

This started off hilariously. I mean, most daughters know the pressure from their moms about getting married. And I adored the frustrating relationship Pallavi has with her mother Usha, because it's so relatable in this modern day when tradition is still trying to maintain its hold across all cultures, particular Eastern ones. But ohhhhhhhhhmygod, when the plot twist came?? My freaking hands were shaking! This was so perfectly done, Audible, truly a great listen AND a great book in general!

169 of 197 people found this review helpful

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

My Favorite Audible Original This Year

I never imagined that a series of phone calls and messages could cohere into such an intense and suspenseful drama. The family bonds were depicted brilliantly. The fear and awe provoked by new love were realistic as well. The supernatural power of a true maternal bond was a beautiful plot thread. I began listening solely for entertainment, and ended, after tears and laughter, contemplating all that binds a functional family in this era of so many dysfunctional ones. Very well acted, impressively developed, and highly recommended!

43 of 50 people found this review helpful

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

This is an audio book, but still a page-turner

Told entirely through a series of phone calls and voicemail messages, Evil Eye begins as a lightly comic family story: Born in India but raised in the U.S. 29-year-old Pahlavi negotiates the cultural divide between she and her mother Usha. Living once again in India, Usha doggedly and repeatedly arranges dates with suitable gentlemen for an exasperated Pahlavi. Had this story remained centered on loving conflicts such as this one that will feel familiar to many Americans with immigrant parents, I still would have given it a good review because author Madhuri Shekar captures their differences in a way that is both funny and authentic, never belittling the perspective of either character. Shekar, however, has something else in mind for listeners as she pivots the story in a surprising direction that I will not reveal here. Suffice to say, Shekar deftly packages a wry but important reminder that we should always be careful when characterizing the beliefs of immigrants as mere superstition. A delightful and gripping tale.

20 of 23 people found this review helpful

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

⚡️🔥🎭HOLY 🐄 COW😲

Well, this is just plain fantastic. It’s comedy, it’s tragedy, it’s a suspense thriller, it’s a tearjerker...and all in a little over ninety minutes!! This incredibly well-written, well-acted and well-produced radio play is easily the best thing one could ever, ever hope to receive for free, so download it at once without hesitation. It would also be worth it for a credit.

I literally have only one complaint: there’s a very physical scene towards the end of the play, and although the listener can guess the general gist of what’s going on, I would have paid immediately to download the novel or script if it existed, just so I could know exactly what happened.

Grade: A+

30 of 35 people found this review helpful

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

Unique and surprising

No spoilers! but without saying too much, this was a highly enjoyable and very unique little listen. A sweet and different mother/daughter story, just in time for Mother's Day.

43 of 51 people found this review helpful

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

Phone call parental interferance

Evil Eye tells the story of an interfering India mother, trying to manage her daughters love life from half a world away. The entire thing is told almost exclusively through a series of phone and online conversations, Mother and daughter, mother and father, father and daughter. daughter and a friend. daughter and they boyfriend etc. A whole series of short one-on-one conversations, across vast distances. There is some in person conversations and events, but even these are 'captured' by a dangling phone or similar.

When the mother sets the daughter up for a date, the daughter ends up meeting someone else. Someone that seems perfect for her, Yet the mother has concerns and fears, going back to something that happened to her a long time ago. Is this relationship as good as it seems?

The description says that this will keep you on the edge of your seats, and it is is not wrong. This is a great thriller of a story.

I really enjoyed the format. It is something very different from most anything else i have listened to. It is somewhat like an old style epistolary novel, but with phone calls rather than written letters.

The voice acting is very good. With a full cast providing voices for each character. The Indian accent of the mother, and to a lesser extent some of the others, can be a little think at times. Especially when she gets worked up or emotional. But not so much to the point where you cannot understand what is being said.

The audio mimics the 'phone call conversation' style, with some calls sounding echo-y and distant. It gives the desired effect for the style, but from a listeners perspective it's actually somewhat distracting. So how you feel about it will depend on how much 'realism' you want in the sounds and conversations, vs how clean and clear you want the audio to be. Personally I would have preferred something a little cleaner.

Strangely, for something that is going for realism with the phone calls, it also has atmospheric music in the background during some moments. Music that would not be there in realist, thus breaking the realism. Thus music itself is subtle and not overpowering, but it is there.

There is some sound effects throughout - mostly ring tones or dial tomes before each story. It works well to break up the conversations, and different ring tones help define who is calling who and does what. However some of them are very loud, particularly one of the dial tones. Every time it come on I winced a little due to the additional volume. It is only this sound effects which pull down the overall performance score down from a 4 to a 3.

71 of 86 people found this review helpful

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

Pulls you in

This story is told through a series of phone calls. The actors did a great job- there are things spoken in tone where a word spoken just right sent an echoing message.
I got the story because it was an audible original choice for May. What an unexpected treasure! I listened to the whole thing straight through at once.
I look forward to seeing what else this author produces in the future.

24 of 29 people found this review helpful

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

I spy with my little eye... something wicked

For such a short story it sure packs a helluva punch. Love how the story is told solely through the use of phone conversations. It's like you're listening to someone on three way and your mic volume is on mute, so as little pieces of the plot fall together even though you're screaming at them that you've figured it out and "ohmigod don't do it!"... no one can actually hear you. And they do it anyway. Sigh.

My nightly routine is to listen to an audibook for a half hour to fall asleep. I ended up turning off the sleep timer and listened to the whole thing. Then I had to start over and choose something else to actually fall asleep too. Awesome listen.

22 of 27 people found this review helpful

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

Loved It!

This was a great story with a unique storyline. Moms will be moms! This mother/daughter tale takes us thru a series of conversations of marriage and superstition which turns out to be fact. The narration was excellent and you could feel each character's emotions. Athough it was a short story, Audible produced a great story!! I would highly recommend it!

22 of 27 people found this review helpful