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  • Indian Summer

  • The Secret History of the End of an Empire
  • Written by: Alex von Tunzelmann
  • Narrated by: Stephen Thorne
  • Length: 14 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Asia
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (113 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

At midnight on 15 August, 1947, India left the British Empire. This defining moment of world history had been brought about by a handful of people: Jawaharlal Nehru, the fiery Indian prime minister; Mohammed Ali Jinnah, leader of the new nation; and Louis and Edwina Mountbatten, despatched to get Britain out of India.

Within hours of the midnight chimes, their dreams of freedom and democracy would turn to chaos, bloodshed and war. Behind the scenes a secret personal drama was unfolding, as Edwina Mountbatten and Nehru began a passionate love affair. Steeped in the private papers and reflections of the participants, Indian Summer reveals how the acts of a few players changed the lives of millions and determined the fate of nations.

©2011 Oakhill Publishing Ltd (P)2011 Oakhill Publishing Ltd

Critic Reviews

"A true tour de force:absorbing in it's detail and masterly in the broad sweep of its canvas." (Sir Martin Gilbert)

What listeners say about Indian Summer

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Highly recommended.

Totally loved it. I could not stop listening it tilI I finished it. If you are considering reading this book, you won't be disappointed.

2 people found this helpful

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Good narration!

Perfect reading to know history of Indian Independence concisely. Very well narrated. Loved it thoroughly.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent rendition and a great narrative.

I like listening to every bit of this book. It is so well written. I agree there could be differ perspectives in India’s run to freedom but the book throws light on the machinations behind it. Stephen Thorne is an amazing narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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An amazing narrative of Indian independence

Probably the best narrative of India’s struggle for independence I have read...provides an amazingly balanced view with character insights on the creators of modern India...Nehru Gandhi and the Mountbattens...strongly recommended for all Indians :)

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Good book, but audible messed it up

The book in itself was a good one to learn about the history of India during the independence struggle. It gives a far more accurate description than what you read in the school history textbooks, which are more propaganda than truth.

However, due to the lack of sources and citations, I am not sure to what extent the contents of this book are true, but that is always the case with any work of history.

Audible has done a shoddy job of producing this book. The chapters in audible do not match with the chapters or parts in the book in any way. Forget about actually naming the chapter or its parts.

The narrator was quite good. Apt for a book of this sort.

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Mostly good but somewhat biased

The book is really interesting and I would even say a must read in many respects but I do think it focuses a lot more than it should on the affair between Nehru and Edwina which gives it somewhat of a high school romance vibe rather than a historical take on events. Also, the views on Gandhi seem biased and his person under researched.

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Solid research and a very engaging read

The book tells the story of Indian independence and partition through the intermingled life stories of 5 chief protagonists. What I loved is the ability of the author to weave intricate details, gossips and quirks of these people into the broader chronological narrative.
Accessible to all, it would be really interesting for Indians to compare it with the history of independence taught in our schools.

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Wonderful listen

The book sweeps over a long period of time, broadly covering the life of Louis Mountbatten. It is almost entirely interesting, the characters, including some lesser known political players, are well rounded, humanized. Even potentially scandalous aspects like the private lives of the Mountbattens and Nehru is dealt with a view of how that affects politics, rather than as salacious titbits.
The narration was great, and I plan to listen more books by the narrator.

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Right version of history during distorted times

This book carries a right version of history and in current scenario its important for every Indian to understand it. The book unfolds the sequence of events of India's independence. The book also give lots of insights about the contribution of various factors and forces in India's independence.

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Captivating!!

beautifully written and matched in narration. the intricate and unbiased details make it splendid and spellbinding.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sumit
  • 22-04-14

Very well detailed audio book

What did you like best about this story?

Its gives a very detailed account of India's history. It's struggles and candid look inside the lives of the people who affected it's fate the most. Nehru, Gandhi and the Mountbattens have been covered very well.

1 person found this helpful

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  • ann
  • 07-01-13

A clever,succinct and a jolly good read

If you could sum up Indian Summer in three words, what would they be?

I thought this was an excellent read, the telling of an important event from enriched by the complex and fascinating characters who participated in the partiiton of India. The narration was excellent. I would recommend this book to anyone who was interested in the history of the Raj. Ps Sorry about the grammar the program won't let me correct it properly.

1 person found this helpful

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  • mas3338
  • 30-08-17

Excellent

Excellent storytelling by both the author and the narrator. The work powerfully transports the reader back to the era described.

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  • apoorva
  • 30-07-17

beautiful clear engaging narration. eye opener boo

beautiful clear engaging narration. eye opener book which is very engaging. nostalgic yet refreshing on such different notes

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  • Himanshu Amin
  • 17-09-17

Great but narrator let it down

Great read but the choice of narrator let it down. Why choose a man to read a book by a woman? Usually I get the author or closest thing to the author to read it? And on top, why a man who clearly can't pronounce any of the Indian words, names and places. This is an Indian history book! I had to frequently stop listen to find the written version of what he said because I couldn't understand his terrible pronunciation.

Other than that, fab and interesting content.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Soranus
  • 01-12-15

How and why the British Raj ended.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Definitely. This not only gives a very readable history of India but also an insight into the characters involved. There is a very interesting insight into the relationship between Lady Edwina Mountbatten and Jawaharlal Nehru. It also made me realise that Gandhi was not quite the force I had thought.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I did not have favourites. I did however come to view characters I thought I knew in a different light.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This made me embarrassed to be British and made me very thoughtful about other more modern events we have been, and are, involved in.

Any additional comments?

I found this book very easy to listen to. Stephen Thorne reads it well and kept my interest.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • M. SAUNDERS
  • 13-04-13

Indian Summer: The Secret History of the End of an

Covering a vast subject the end of empire in India will interest many people . Its intelligent and scholarly but still entertaining and informative , well read too. Certainly a book worthy of your time and investment.

2 people found this helpful

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  • A Ejindu-Wright
  • 10-02-16

Loved it!

An eye opener for me regarding the recent history of India and it's partition. Beautifully narrated.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mr
  • 07-04-13

The characters tell the story

I felt this book was like a collection of biographies, interwoven to tell the story of India becoming independent from the British Empire. The Mountbattens (Louis and Edwina, the latter being a substantial figure herself rather than just "the wife of"), Nehru, Gandhi and Jinnah form the nucleus, but others such as Chuchill and the British Royal Family make plenty of appearances. The approach works extremely well and the overall effect is a thoroughly enjoyable account of the period. The later lives of the main players are also covered - there is no abrupt ending with Indian independence - which adds to the biographical feel of the book.



I did feel that Louis Mountbatten, who comes out of the book rather badly, was probably unjustly treated here. I just don't believe that someone who held the posts and achieved what he did can have been as bad as is made out.



That criticism aside, this is a fine book which I will probably listen to again at some point. It is well narrated too. I have no difficulty in awarding it 5 stars and recommending it to anybody with any interest in India or the period.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-03-21

excellent read

Well read and written. Fascinating insight into a momentous time. It is well worth reading.

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  • Asil Hindi
  • 15-03-21

Marvellous

Marvellous read, full of details.
Informative for anyone interested in the largest Empire in the world history (by land expansion).
Intense but in a good way. It tells so many stories of important names such as Dickie Mountbatten and his wife, Gandhi, first Indian PM Nehru and the founder and First governor of Pakistan Jinnah.

Rich details on the independence of India, Pakistan then Bangladesh.

Highly recommended.

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  • Rog
  • 08-08-20

Superb

Fantastic story of the creation of two new nation's India and Pakistan and an unlikely romance set to the backdrop of India's independence from Britain in 1947. Superb narration by Stephen Thorne.

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  • Neil Green
  • 08-06-20

Excellent listen on a fascinating time.

Very well read. An informative and at times amusing history with some great characters. Amazing people. A good listen

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  • RKG
  • 14-05-20

Creation of Pakistan from the Indian Sub-continent

Don’t know where the writer gets her facts from and since she sounds so sure and certain, it would have been interesting to know the sources of this historical narrative?? If it is that.

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  • Richard
  • 02-12-19

Interest but drawn out

Dickie Mountbatten was a flawed cuckold. His wife strange, moody and mercurial. I made myself finish the but wouldn't recommend it.