Trade Wind

Narrated by: Karen Chilton
Length: 27 hrs and 48 mins
4.3 out of 5 stars (69 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The scene is teeming Zanzibar just before the American Civil War, when the Isle of Cloves was a center of African slave trade. To it comes Hero Athena Hollis, a Boston bluestocking filled with self-righteousness and bent on good deeds.

Then she meets Rory Frost, a cynical, wicked, shrewd and good-humored trader in slaves. What is Hero to make of him (and of her feelings for him)?

©1963, 1981 M.M. Kaye (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Tightly plotted, crammed with detail and irresistibly romantic." ( Cosmopolitan)

What listeners say about Trade Wind

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Epic historical novel.

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The reader.

What other book might you compare Trade Wind to and why?

Shadow of the Moon and Far Pavilions - by the same author. They each teach us something about actual events, but add the element of personal drama. The stories make me want to research what actually happened in those places long ago.

What didn’t you like about Karen Chilton’s performance?

She gave the main male character -- an intelligent British rogue -- a wimpy southern drawl. He was definitely NOT from Britain, and definitely not the character the author created. The disconnect almost made me stop listening to the story. But I liked the book too much (I've read it many times) to do that.

Any additional comments?

I've always enjoyed this story and all of MM Kaye's historical novels. I'm sad that the reader made it so cumbersome to get through. If there was another reader, I'd trade this version in to try him/her.

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful Story, Beautiful Writing

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

Yes, all the writing by M.M. Kaye is classic, articulate, well-written, engaging.

What did you like best about this story?

The unique plot. Unfortunately, the cover art here, as well as the blurb, portrays the book as a bodice-ripper, which it absolutely is not. It's very well written historical fiction. The characters are developed well, the plot is intriguing, and the writing is top-notch.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Anytime an accent is called for, be is English, Irish, Scottish, whatever, the narrator does it in a Caribbean-Jamaican lilt. It's off-putting. Also, she mispronounces words that were common to the time, such as "blackguard." It's "blaggard," not "Black Guard." Her voice is pleasant, though.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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read this book over and over and love it every tim

wonderful diverse characters in a unique setting at a time of transition in the world. The speakers mispronounciation of so many words was a distraction and everyone sounded Jamaican but the story makes up for the performance.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Great Story

MM Kaye takes you to another world. Her stories are engaging and old fashioned enough to leave all the gory details to your imagination.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good historical fiction, problems with narration

I am a scholar with an interest in nineteenth-century Zanzibar and Oman, so I was naturally drawn to this book. I agree with another reviewer that the cover art is inappropriate; this is not a bodice ripper or a romance novel. I also concur with other reviewers who commented on the narrator's inability to use appropriate accents for the characters; she used a Caribbean accent for anyone who wasn't a native English speaker (except for a reasonable facsimile of a French accent for the character of Therese). I would say furthermore that all native speakers of English spoke as if they were from the American South, although none of the characters are from there. How would a high-brow family from 19th-century Boston speak? Surely not the way this narrator did it. There are many British characters, but the only one she gave anything approaching an appropriate accent was Batty Potter, who's supposed to have a Cockney accent; the narrator clearly does not know how to do upper-class British accents at all. The Arabic and Swahili words were often totally botched; one wishes the narrator could have received some coaching. The Arabic pronunciation of Sultan Majid''s name is MAA-jid; the Swahili pronunciation is Ma-JEED. The narrator pronounced it Mad-jid. It may well be that this is how the author write the name in the book; I noticed that the name is spelt "Madjid" in Sayyda Salme/Emily Reute's "Memoirs of an Arabian Princess in Zanzibar," which was a major source of M. M. Kaye's information. Reute's memoirs were first written in German, and the translator did not adjust the transliteration of names when translating into English. Nonetheless, one wishes that the narrator could have received appropriate coaching; for another example, she pronounces the name of Sultan Thuwaini of Oman as "Thuwaan". Khawla's name should be pronounced as KHOW-la (the KH here represents the sound of ch in German), but the narrator pronounces it CHO-lay, with the ch like the English ch in "cheese". Again, it is likely that the author wrote the name as Chole, because that's how it appears in Reute's memoir, since she was following German transliteration. Even worse, however, is that the narrator mispronounces some common English words: she pronounces "bow" in the sense of "he bowed to her" or in the sense of the bow of a ship as if it were a bow tied in a ribbon. She pronounces "consul" as "counsel". Occasionally the narrator seems to stop in the middle of a sentence before realizing it's not the end. I'm sure it must be challenging to read a novel of this length, but I've come to expect more from narrators on Audible. On the positive side, she does a good job infusing the voices with appropriate emotions and different voices. At one point she sings a bit of a song the protagonist is singing, and it is clear she has a beautiful singing voice. As far as the novel is concerned, it is quite good overall; the description of the cholera epidemic is particularly gripping. I had read in 19th-century British accounts about the problem of the Northern Arabs preying upon the island, but the book really makes this come alive. [SPOILER ALERT:] The character development is pretty good, and there is no description of the sex scenes at all. This latter point makes it difficult to understand the development of Hero's feelings toward Rory Frost at the end of the novel, since until near the end she despises him. I was left wanting to understand more, and to know how her decision at the end of the novel worked out.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Worth reading even though.....

The book is not one of MM Kaye’s best but worth reading. The reader is the worst I’ve ever listened too. It comes close to totally ruining the audible book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Such a grand story

I love M M Kaye. she writes deeply researched and thoughtful historical books that are as good the second or third time as the first. Every 10 years or so I have to delve into all her wonderful books.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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wonderful story

I love the rich detail of MM Kaye's historical fiction. Her books are well researched and transport you to anther time. I have listened to this one, Shadow of the Moon and The Far Pavillions. I think the characters in this book ate the least "likeable" of the three, but their flaws make the story and backdrop that much more interesting. The narrator had a bit of a drawl for British characters, and I was annoyed with the pronounciation of certain words, but the book was still enjoyable to listen to.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good book, terrible reader

I was excited to see Audible version of book I had read and enjoyed many many years ago. This reader was awful, especially for book requiring many accents. The only accent she could produce was Jamaican. Upper class English? Jamaican. Cockney? French? Jamaican. Mispronounced words constantly interrupted my train of listening. Arabic words and names were quite hashed. And ssllooww. I finally put it on 1.25 speed for a major improvement. I will be careful to not get a book read by this actor in future.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great book but...

Awsome book, but I didn't like the narrator so much. For some reason she doesn't suit the story