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The accents ruined it

3 out of 5 stars
2 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-12-20

I am not a fan of most of the accents here, even some of the American ones. The Indian accents sounded like the stereotypical comic mimicry that stand-up comedians do. The narrator, evidently a non-Indian, was pronouncing names of people and places wrong (Bhavnagar -> vavnaguh), stressing the wrong syllables. For such a highly praised audiobook, I expected regional voice actors*. This is not to say that I hated the overall acting, but the accents really threw me off.

Story was ok. I was not blown away by it, but I think it was perfect for an audiobook given its style of writing and simple languge.

*So, there are two very different audiobook versions of this book: originially released abridged version (2007) with extras (the lost files) realesed later, and this unabridged version. The first version has a much bigger cast, regional actors and is the version listed in Wikipedia and in many recommendations. The voice acting was significantly more preferable there, albeit a bit less intelligible to me. Unfortunately I could not find it in Audible India.

To its merit, the unabridged version (the one I'm reviewing) felt more clear to my non-native ears, and more dramatic (in a good way) at places. It also includes a few parts not covered in the original+extras, but I can't recommend it over the original.

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