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Publisher's Summary

Nikesh Patel stars as Saleem in BBC Radio 4's epic dramatisation of Salman Rushdie's Booker Prize-winning novel of love, history and magic.

Saleem Sinai is born on the stroke of midnight on 14th-15th August 1947, at the exact moment that India and Pakistan become separate, independent nations. From that moment on, his fate is mysteriously handcuffed to the history of his country.

But Saleem's story starts almost thirty years earlier, when his grandfather, Dr Aadam Aziz, falls in love with a woman concealed behind a perforated sheet. That pivotal moment in Kashmir in 1919 sparks a series of bizarre events that will lead to a cryptic prophecy and the birth of a boy with an extraordinary destiny. As a 'Midnight's Child', Saleem has magical powers, and can telepathically tune in to all the other gifted children whose birth coincided with India's division. However, his strange entanglement with the fate of India will have dramatic repercussions for both him and his country....

Adapted by Ayeesha Menon, this dazzling dramatisation of Rushdie's many-layered, magical realist masterpiece is both an enthralling family saga and a riveting history of post-colonialism. First broadcast to mark the 70th anniversary of the Partition of India, it features Nikesh Patel as Saleem, with a star cast including Abhin Galeya, Meera Syal, Anneika Rose and Narinder Samra.

Also included is an interview with Salman Rushdie, in which the author talks to radio drama director Emma Harding about his multi-award winning novel.

Midnight's Children won the Booker Prize in 1981, and was subsequently awarded the 'Booker of Bookers' prize in 1993 and 'The Best of the Booker' prize in 2008.

©2017 Salman Rushdie (P)2017 BBC Worldwide Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Radio drama of the year." (Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph)

What listeners say about Midnight's Children

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Superb

I remember reading this book in college. This excellent production brought back the book as I then imagined it. One of, if not the, best performances of an exquisite book on Audible!

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Too much

The sound effects are distracting and the dialoque is too soft. Couldn't get into it

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Really nice story and great interpretation

I enjoy a lot this audiobook. The story is well thought, and quite interesting, specially if you like India's history. I actually just regret that the audiobook didn't last longer. The interpretation is great. I would only complain that unlike other audiobooks this one required more attention because of the background noises and the fact that some voices overlap a little from time to time. I recommend this audiobook.

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Fantastic dramatization

I was so enthralled by the dramatization that I want to read the original book now! Thank you BBC for making it so unique, it was like watching a movie! Also, I very much appreciated the interview with the author at the end.

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Worthy of “The Big Screen”

“Midnight’s Children” is a delightfully deceptive title for this rich saga that demonstrates the maturity of several decade’s worth of story grounded in a timeless history.

A masterful achievement, Rushdie’s work brings to life with vibrant imagery, imagination, compelling subplots—ranging from comical to profoundly heart-wrenching, the stories of complex characters, told through the eyes of a child from before his birth, through self-actualized adulthood.

It’s the journey of human beings set against the back drop of the evolution of nations, that reminds us of how little control we have over our own destinies despite our deep involvement in our personal affairs and the lives of others. But far from being hopeless, the travels resolve in redemption, making the emotional rollercoaster worth the read for those that crave happy endings, however bittersweet.

I look forward to reading this in print, as the book is replete with subtle allegorical notes that hint, perhaps, at the author’s own spiritual journey and openness to homecomings, which deserve a closer study.

Some knowledge of the culture, linguistics, and historical references on the part of the reader will make this book more meaningful and less of a confusing fairy tale, though curious learners will also enjoy the dramatic character play and magical elements.

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special effects too distracting too loud

background sound effects and different actors voices too distracting . I never finished the book. One narrator would have been better

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I can’t follow radio plays

I have a cochlear implant, and have been listening to audiobooks to retrain my brain. Loved Rushdie’s Satanic Verses on Audible, with a single talented reader. Can’t understand this one, with multiple voices, sound effects, people at various distances from the mic.

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  • Nigel
  • 09-18-17

Another fantastic dramatisation by the BBC

BBC Radio 4 have dramatised Salman Rushdie’s 1981 Booker Prize winning novel ‘Midnight’s Children’ to mark the 70th anniversary of the Partition of India.

A superbly crafted story which in the 13 minute interview at the end, we learn took Salman Rushdie 5 years to write.

Another fantastic dramatisation by the BBC, I really enjoyed it. 5*

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  • Bookish
  • 05-18-18

Moving story

A beautifully written book set in India. The story is very moving and imaginative, brought to life by excellent narration. I was drawn into the story very quickly and my attention held to the very end.

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  • Morse1960
  • 02-26-19

Enthralling and hugely entertaining.

I heard this when it was first broadcast on Radio 4 but having heard more about Rushdie in the context of the 30 year anniversary of the fatwa, (issued for The Satanic Verses) I wanted to listen to this again.

The story is imaginative, evocative of India and gripping. it also uses major events leading up to and following partition to give a historical context to the narrative.

Rushdie won the 1981 Booker prize for Midnight's Children and went on to win the Booker of Booker prize. Well deserved in my opinion.

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  • Princess
  • 05-17-21

Thoroughly Enjoyable Performances

Loved it! Recommend. I enjoyed the entwined of factual events and magical elements intertwined .

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  • Wayne Duane
  • 03-14-21

Great adaptation

I was intrigued to read this book but found it overwhelming. This radio adaptation brings the book to life in an accessible, vibrant and gripping way. I would recommend it wholeheartedly. Great acting and adaptation.

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  • Banjoman
  • 01-11-20

A gem..!

I hummed and harred about listening to this production of Midnight's Children, because I'd seen the film and tried to read the book - but failed as it's overly eloquently written. But I need not have procrastinated so, it is a fantastic dramatisation by the BBC.

You really get a flavour of India and the culture, and the characterisation by the actors is superb. The story is wonderfully brought to life, and it engages the listener in a way that surpasses the book and film.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-12-19

the greatest adaptation ever made

I couldn't turn it off, I'm only in my 30's and found this book on radio 4. they didn't keep the book on BBC sounds and couldn't believe it when I saw it to download on audible.
this story needed to be adapted into a dramatisation. the detail and impact of the story would have been lost with a single narrative. thank you

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  • Susan
  • 03-14-18

great book

Great story, brilliant characterisation. I couldn't stop listening to this book. No wonder it won the Booker prize

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  • Louise
  • 02-10-18

Entertaining

The performances were brilliant and it was easy to imagine the scenes.

I didn’t know the story and found myself having to hit rewind quite a lot, so that I could follow what was happening. There are a lot of characters and I felt that some of them had more to tell than there was room for in a short adaptation. Five hours or so is probably not enough for a story that takes place over thirty years. I think this adaptation would probably be more suited to those who have already read the book and know the intricacies of the story.

I did enjoy the book and I’m keen to listen to another Salman Rushdie novel soon.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-12-17

An absloute pleasure

Would you listen to Midnight's Children again? Why?

What dramatization !!
Background music , sounds and noises were on point.

Who was your favorite character and why?

all the characters were very well dramatized , flawless narration , relatable accents !!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absloutely !!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-26-17

Like listening to a play

Amazing voice acting brings the story alive, the writing really sets the feeling for each character, their experiences, success and mistakes really effect the listener..

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  • guy
  • 08-03-19

So great I don’t want it to end!

I have listened to 4 out of the 5 episodes. It’s been terrific. I read the novel a long time ago but this is a very dynamic productive. It’s not to be missed.