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In an Antique Land

History in the Guise of a Traveler's Tale
Narrated by: Simon Vance
Length: 9 hrs and 28 mins
4 out of 5 stars (60 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Once upon a time, an Indian writer name Amitav Ghosh set out to find an Indian slave, name unknown, who some 700 years before had traveled to the Middle East. The journey took him to a small village in Egypt, where medieval customs coexisted with 20th-century desires and discontents. But even as Ghosh sought to re-create the life of his Indian predecessor, he found himself immersed in those of his modern Egyptian neighbors.

Combining shrewd observations with painstaking historical research, Ghosh serves up skeptics and holy men, merchants and sorcerers. Some of these figures are real, some only imagined, but all emerge as vividly as the characters in a great novel. In an Antique Land is an inspired work that transcends genres as deftly as it does eras, weaving an entrancing and intoxicating spell.

©1994 Amitav Ghosh (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"In a leisurely blend of travelogue, history and cross-cultural analysis, Indian writer Ghosh reconstructs a 12th-century master-slave relationship that confounds modern concepts of slavery." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Roger
  • South Orange, NJ, United States
  • 10-26-10

Mixed Worlds

This book contains 2 stories of the Middle East and India: a coming of age story of a young, modern Hindu scholar living among Moslems, and a story of the travels of a medieval Jewish merchant living among Moslems and Hindus. Each story is engaging, but the connection between them is tenuous. Ghosh tries to draw comparisons between his experiences and those of his medieval subject, but they are unconvincing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Antique Land

After 19 chapters, both my husband and I are done. We just felt confused by voice of author flipping constantly between his life and the slave he was researching. This is the second book in over 500 books we decided was not worth finishing. We stayed with it so long because the voice of the narrator was done so well. I would guess the tale is done in a style characteristic of a different region.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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Hated it

Boring. Tedious. I kept hoping it would get better, but it never did. The performance was ok but he didn't have much to work with.