Get Your Free Audiobook

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
Categories: History, World
4.5 out of 5 stars (55 ratings)

After 30 days, Audible is ₹199/mo. Cancel anytime.

OR

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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    34
  • 4 Stars
    18
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    34
  • 4 Stars
    13
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    32
  • 4 Stars
    16
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good narration!

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

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Amazing Book

A very good book with indulging naration. Time flies by when one gets deep involved into the story and understands how the struggle for freedom and life after freedom would have been for Frontline politicians.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting - depends much on British sources and narratives

It’s a good addition if one is interested in the subject of Indian partition and the key personalities of the time.

The perspectives are however mostly from British sources and contexts. There are many portions, where the inability of the author to understand the cultural and social contexts of the Indian dramatic personae appear quite evident.

A deeper study of the thoughts and works of Jinnah, Nehru, Patel and VP Menon amongst others would have made this a definitive work.

So definitive is what this work is not. It is a good addition to insights on that place and period of history but an educated and well rounded view would need more sources and books to refer.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A must listen for all Indians

A thoroughly researched book. Even though it’s a historical book but hard to put down. I listened in one go. It’s also unbiased towards all main characters.


  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Best book to know about stuggles of partition

narration is of good quality but chapters are not synced.
i came across very interesting stories about partition very interesting even for history scholar

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

sensational book

Book is almost undownputable due to very interesting story in fluid language and vivid narration . Although can't agree with everything in the book but it tells the story of India with focus on lives of its prime makers (Mahatma, Nehru, Mountbattens) with as neutral perspective as possible for any British Author.
Giving only four stars as I think in 2-3 places audio skipped and possibly missed few lines and suddenly jumped to next para/topic.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A good read

for those interested in the history of Indian freedom fight. Follows through the lives of Gandhi, Jawaharlal, Jinnah and the Mountbatten couple.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    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

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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

  • Overall
    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

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mrs M E Burstow
  • 27-04-20

Fascinating Listen

My knowledge of the partition of India was very poor.

This book fills in the gaps, explain the roles of the key players and not holding back on the appaling massacres.

Some fabulous quotes on Mount Baton and his long suffering wife Edwin's.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • T. W. Burton
  • 18-04-19

Good Narrative of the end of Empire

A good story, however some of the production lacks finesse. Random brakes and pauses. A very good narrative however on the exit of Britain from India. Strong back story, but at times used for filler.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • 03-04-17

Excellent

Informative, entertaining and often harrowing. This provides a comprehensive assessment of the partition of India with lots of background on all those involved. It looks at the leading figures and their competing hopes for the future and considers the involvement of the Mountbattens who had an impossible job. Enjoyed it all.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Haris amin Chaudhry
  • 22-06-16

articulate

story of a lucky guy, play girl and a pandit cooperation together in indian interest.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • 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.