- helpful vote
The Forest of Enchantments
- Written by: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
- Narrated by: Suchitra Pillai
- Length: 12 hrs and 45 mins
The Ramayana, one of the world's greatest epics, is also a tragic love story. In this brilliant retelling, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni places Sita at the centre of the novel: this is Sita's version. The Forest of Enchantments is also a very human story of some of the other women in the epic, often misunderstood and relegated to the margins: Kaikeyi, Surpanakha, Mandodari. A powerful comment on duty, betrayal, infidelity and honour, it is also about women's struggle to retain autonomy in a world that privileges men.
- By Rahul Srivastava on 14-10-19
Mesmerising narration for an okay story
Suchitra Pillai has one of the most riveting voices and she absolutely arrests your attention for the duration of her narration. Aiding her is pretty good writing by the writer Chitra Banerjee. There are occasional uses of words that make you scurry to a dictionary, but the story is presented clearly and as beautiful as it could get.
However, there is absolutely nothing exemplary about this book. It's the exact same tale that we have been hearing about from ages, excepted that it is narrated by Sita. In the beginning, you are promised the sides of Kaikeye, Urmila and even Sunaina. However, the only single narration you hear is that of Sita and her absolutely ludicrous ideas about love. At some point, the book feels like a justification for Ram's actions and you even begin to feel irritated with Sita. Her character arc gets extremely confusing. From a girl who has been raised with absolute independence, to someone who longs to keep going back to her husband despite his (justified-in-the-story) mistreatment - it becomes difficult to conjure what is happening. It is only Suchitra Pillai's wonderful narration that keeps you trudging ahead.
To be fair, I don't think the writer could have done a lot of difference. There is a tale that is etched into every Indian's conscience since his/her childhood and the writer seems wary of even slightly challenging that. That is honestly what I was expecting.
We never knew what Sita was undergoing while Ram was preparing against Ravan or when she was banished forever, since the telling has always been from Ram's point of view. This book does touch upon it, but there isn't a substantial part of that. That is one more disappointment from this book.
I would suggest that you purchase this audio book only if you want to hear Suchitra Pillai's brilliant narration of a good writing by Chitra Banerjee, but don't expect anything different here.
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The Tattooist of Auschwitz
- Written by: Heather Morris
- Narrated by: Richard Armitage
- Length: 7 hrs and 26 mins
The Tattooist of Auschwitz is based on the true story of Lale and Gita Sokolov, two Slovakian Jews who survived Auschwitz and eventually made their home in Australia. In that terrible place, Lale was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival - literally scratching numbers into his fellow victims' arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust.
Rivetting true life story
- By VKT on 12-03-19
everyone needs to know about this.
Summary: Unbelievably beautiful story, Simple writing, Pathetic reading.
Ludwig Sokolov's real life story of surviving through a concentration camp and waging rebellion against the Nazis by not only surviving but also falling in love needs to be told more widely. His story is the anathema of everything that is wrong in today's world. His story is the potion of hope that so many in the world today need. To imagine what he went through and what he ended up with just because of his unending grit and steadfast stubbornness to live is like getting a fresh lease of life.
Yet, once you read it, the simplistic writing of Heather Morris makes it difficult for you to empathize with 'Lale'. It's not a bad writing, it's pretty simple and can be consumed by everyone in the world. Yet in the quest for simplicity the depth is obliterated and you fail to appreciate the true spirit of his life. Yet, as I said, it's simple and hence I believe a lot of people can partake his journey.
But what's unforgivable is Richard Armitage's performance. It's absolutely pathetic, sorry to say. The pitch changes randomly, the voices change randomly, there is no consistency of voices-sometimes within the same dialogue. It becomes very very difficult to discern who is speaking after a point of time. And that terrible accent- I can't fathom if Richard was trying to voice a Russian or German or an English. He mixed it up all throughout.
Please read the book. Its important that you know Lake's and Geta's story. But don't go for this audible version.