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Genghis Audiobook

Genghis: Birth of an Empire

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Publisher's Summary

He was born Temujin, son of a khan, raised in a clan of hunters migrating across the steppe. Temujin's young life was shaped by a series of brutal acts: the betrayal of his father by a neighboring tribe, his family left to die on the harsh plain. But Temujin endured, and from then on, he was driven by a fury to survive in the face of death, to kill before being killed, and to conquer enemies from beyond the horizon. Along with his ferocious courage, it was the young warrior's ability to learn, to imagine, and to judge the hearts of others that propelled him to greater power, bending empires to his will.

©2007 Conn Iggulden; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Brilliantly imagined and addictive....Iggulden weaves a spellbinding story of an exotic and 'unforgiving land' and the enigmatic young man - charismatic, a brilliant tactician and capable 'of utter ruthlessness' - who sets out to tame it. This is historical fiction of the first order." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (1374 )
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Performance
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  •  
    David Houston, TX, United States 01-29-10
    David Houston, TX, United States 01-29-10 Member Since 2008

    Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving or riding my bike.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Move over Bernard Cornwell"

    I was not prepared for how much I would love this book. It caught me by surprise which may have added to my delight. The writing is superb, marked by clarity, consistently apt and powerful images, and a fine sense of pacing. Iggulden's command of the setting and detail allow you to relax and settle into this alien world without reservation. The story itself is compelling from beginning to end and has the unsettling ring of truth. This is a writer who can put deep historical research into human terms which allows us to live with characters we might otherwise find incomprehensible. The afterward, which detailed the historical underpinnings for the book, also surprised me since I had assumed the author had taken far more liberties with the factual record than he actually did. A WONDERFUL read though, as with Cornwell, the violence and gore are very much a part of the fabric of the story as they must be in order to convey authentically what it must have been to survive and thrive in such a harsh world.

    30 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Buda, TX, United States 03-18-12
    James Buda, TX, United States 03-18-12 Member Since 2012

    Is he a dot, or is he a speck? When he's underwater does he get wet? Or does the water get him instead? Nobody knows, Particle man.

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    "An enthralling tale"

    Stefan Rudnicki is one of my favorite narrators. I chose this book for a listen primarily for that reason. He drew me into the story as he always does. No surprise there. The Mongol names and terms especially seem to flow naturally from his tongue. And I always admire how he can alter his mesmerizingly deep voice as required for different characters.

    Having recently listened to a number of young adult stories (including Ender's Game, also narrated by Rudnicki), this book seemed almost to be a continuation of the trend. As the title suggests, this book begins like a coming of age story about the boy Temujin and ends with his metamorphosis into Ghengis, khan of several tribes.

    Temujin is truly a captivating character. I was quite taken aback by the mountain of obstacles put against him and the ferocious courage, vision and key allies it required merely to survive at all. In fact I was so skeptical I did a little research on my own afterward to settle the truth of it in my mind. Satisfied that the facts were essentially true (in afterward the author also explains what he altered for purposes of the story), in retrospect I then found the story to be an even more captivating depiction of what the life must have been like in the family and tribes of Temujin and not just an enthralling story. It is a portrait of a people who value loyalty, honor and courage but who must also reconcile this with the ambition of the strong and the harsh necessities of an utterly unforgiving world.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larry A. Patrick Michigan 11-01-09
    Larry A. Patrick Michigan 11-01-09 Member Since 2013

    Realistic & Vocal

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    "Riviting and Revealing"

    I listened to this book every chance I had. A wonderful historical novel. A glimpse into Mongolian life and culture at the turn of 13th century was fascinating. Well written and narrated. Although the deep voice of the narrator was overpowering at first, it became a natural part of the story. I liked it very much.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jojonow 11-28-08
    jojonow 11-28-08
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    "Riveting"

    The author does an amazing job of potraying the gritty, brutal world that spawned Genghis. Focusing on the future conqueror's childhood and teen years, the book skillfully explores the events, influences and motivations that made Genghis who he was. Though often gruesome and bloody, the grisly details are not superfluous but part of the larger picture of the Mongol culture. Even for one who has read much about Genghis, this book was still enlightening and informative.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shane 08-12-08
    Shane 08-12-08 Member Since 2017
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    "Genghis is an excellent choice!"

    Absolutley an excellent Audiobook. From start to finish it is captivating.
    This Historical Fiction has a story on the same lines as The Glatiator' On top gets betrayed, barely servives and then becomes a legend.
    The facts about Temujin and his story stay true. If a second book comes out I will be in line for it.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Hoffman Kirkland, WA United States 01-23-10
    D. Hoffman Kirkland, WA United States 01-23-10 Member Since 2003
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    "Incredible Find"

    I don't write many reviews but this one deserves the high praise other reviews have given. I got this book not expecting much as many historical fiction books are somewhat dry. This story jumps from the page and you can imagine Genghis' world. The narrator is great too. I will be listening to all the other books by this author. You don't want to miss this one.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bonnie Bellmore, NY, United States 11-21-08
    Bonnie Bellmore, NY, United States 11-21-08 Member Since 2013
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    "Mongol history with a flair"

    Temujin's young life was shaped by a series of brutal acts:Knowing about how the Mongols lived, helped create this really amazing story. It is brutal as was the life of the Mongol. Read wonderfully and written with a passion for history. I cant wait to read the next installments.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary 07-29-08
    Mary 07-29-08 Member Since 2004
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    "A Really Good One"

    Terrific narrator and very engaging story. It's one of those books you sit in your car, listening to, even when you're parked in your garage!

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles LaPorte, IN, United States 11-04-09
    Charles LaPorte, IN, United States 11-04-09
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    "Would be better to read than listen to"

    The story is interesting but it is very difficult to keep up with the character names. Reading them rather than listening would be easier to keep track of them. It complicates it a little more by having narration by each character at varying times. The switch happens and you get confused whose thoughts and circumstances you are hearing

    14 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan Somerville, MA, United States 01-03-13
    Ryan Somerville, MA, United States 01-03-13 Member Since 2005

    Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.

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    "Well-imagined history, unspectacular writing"

    I don’t think most modern people really appreciate how powerful the Mongol Empire was. It defeated the Chinese, who had the mightiest civilization of the day, and did the medieval equivalent of a blitzkrieg through European forces that got in its way (luckily for Europe, internal strife in the empire put an end to plans for a full-scale invasion).

    In this historical novel, Conn Iggulden attempts to tell the personal story of the legendary figure who made all that possible: Tejumin, AKA Genghis Khan. The book begins with Tejumin’s birth and childhood among the nomadic steppe people, when the Mongols were still a collection of disunified tribes, and explores his formative experiences and rise to respected war leader.

    Where the book sticks closely to history, it’s pretty riveting. Iggulden gives a good portrayal of life among a barbarian people, where strength, honor, loyalty, and reputation are everything (along with horses), and the environment is punishing of weakness. I can’t fault him for his grasp of sensory details, either -- I felt like I was right there on the steppes, with the bitter Mongolian winter winds, the pounding of horse hooves, the smell of mutton grease, and the flapping of hide tent covers.

    However, the novel’s strengths are not in character development, plotting, or dialog. It’s possible the author was trying not to take too many creative liberties with his sources, but if so, I wish he’d taken a few more. As it is, there’s not much to the story than Tejumin’s desire for revenge, allies, and building a bigger reputation, and other major characters have little to do besides make declarations of support or try to thwart him. At times, the drama reads like C grade fantasy. If Iggulden has thoughts on the suffering of the people on the receiving end of the Mongols’ slaughter, pillage, enslavement, and rape, they don’t rate more than a few sentences here and there. He seems to identify more with the leadership qualities he perceives in Genghis.

    In sum, not quite as good of a book as I’d hoped, but one I still enjoyed. The audiobook narrator does a good job, reading in a Homeric voice that makes the stilted dialogue a little less noticeable.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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