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Midnight's Children

BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation
Written by: Salman Rushdie
Length: 4 hrs and 54 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (140 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Nikesh Patel stars as Saleem in BBC Radio 4's epic dramatisation of Salman Rushdie's Booker Prize-winning novel of love, history and magic.

Saleem Sinai is born on the stroke of midnight on 14th-15th August 1947, at the exact moment that India and Pakistan become separate, independent nations. From that moment on, his fate is mysteriously handcuffed to the history of his country.

But Saleem's story starts almost thirty years earlier, when his grandfather, Dr Aadam Aziz, falls in love with a woman concealed behind a perforated sheet. That pivotal moment in Kashmir in 1919 sparks a series of bizarre events that will lead to a cryptic prophecy and the birth of a boy with an extraordinary destiny. As a 'Midnight's Child', Saleem has magical powers, and can telepathically tune in to all the other gifted children whose birth coincided with India's division. However, his strange entanglement with the fate of India will have dramatic repercussions for both him and his country....

Adapted by Ayeesha Menon, this dazzling dramatisation of Rushdie's many-layered, magical realist masterpiece is both an enthralling family saga and a riveting history of post-colonialism. First broadcast to mark the 70th anniversary of the Partition of India, it features Nikesh Patel as Saleem, with a star cast including Abhin Galeya, Meera Syal, Anneika Rose and Narinder Samra.

Also included is an interview with Salman Rushdie, in which the author talks to radio drama director Emma Harding about his multi-award winning novel.

Midnight's Children won the Booker Prize in 1981, and was subsequently awarded the 'Booker of Bookers' prize in 1993 and 'The Best of the Booker' prize in 2008.

©2017 Salman Rushdie (P)2017 BBC Worldwide Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Radio drama of the year." (Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph)

What listeners say about Midnight's Children

Average Customer Ratings
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It is the best Audible treasure out there

The very best audible till now. This is just awesome engaging drama. The sound effects and music have added a new dimention to the hearing. DO NOT MiSS IT. It is a treasure.

4 people found this helpful

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Musically wonderful.

Indeed a magical experience. Loved every bit of it. Takes you on an emotional journey.

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Surreal

The imagery captured by the voce actors was nothing short of magical. I was transported. like an Indian version of a Greek Tragedy, MC by BBC took me through a journey that was equal parts awe and shock. Must read

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Beautifully narrated and dramatised.

The narrators did s great job with the script. Since it is such a busy prose, I was earlier sceptical of how it may sound, but loved it.

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one of the best audibles around!

Spectacular performances backing a great story. Brought the novel to life in the finest form.

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Must heeding

It keeps playing on your mind , the characters and their hopes . Great mix of history and fiction

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Disappointing

Unfortunately, I was pretty disappointed with this adaptation by BBC. The story and theme are complex, like every Salman Rushdie, but it becomes so difficult to keep track because the background music drowns the plot at many points. While the artists are trying their best to keep it engaging, the narrative is choppy and incomplete.

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pickled to perfection..!!

Best place to start the audible journey. You live. with the characters through their journey. Chutnification of contemporary with fiction gratifies senses..

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Loved it

Narration is good. It includes words of Hindi to make the conversation more real. Story is covering a lot of characters personality and experience from narrator's perception.

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  • Aa
  • 25-10-19

A well dramatised book

Loved it, though there was a tinge of melanchony. it's worth it. Makes it more interesting as it is dramatised.

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  • Sharey
  • 16-11-18

Superb

I remember reading this book in college. This excellent production brought back the book as I then imagined it. One of, if not the, best performances of an exquisite book on Audible!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 13-09-18

Too much

The sound effects are distracting and the dialoque is too soft. Couldn't get into it

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  • Eduardo Guisa
  • 27-04-18

Really nice story and great interpretation

I enjoy a lot this audiobook. The story is well thought, and quite interesting, specially if you like India's history. I actually just regret that the audiobook didn't last longer. The interpretation is great. I would only complain that unlike other audiobooks this one required more attention because of the background noises and the fact that some voices overlap a little from time to time. I recommend this audiobook.

2 people found this helpful

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  • CAVALLO ELENA
  • 04-12-17

Fantastic dramatization

I was so enthralled by the dramatization that I want to read the original book now! Thank you BBC for making it so unique, it was like watching a movie! Also, I very much appreciated the interview with the author at the end.

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  • A. R. Masters
  • 08-04-20

I can’t follow radio plays

I have a cochlear implant, and have been listening to audiobooks to retrain my brain. Loved Rushdie’s Satanic Verses on Audible, with a single talented reader. Can’t understand this one, with multiple voices, sound effects, people at various distances from the mic.

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  • Nigel
  • 18-09-17

Another fantastic dramatisation by the BBC

BBC Radio 4 have dramatised Salman Rushdie’s 1981 Booker Prize winning novel ‘Midnight’s Children’ to mark the 70th anniversary of the Partition of India.

A superbly crafted story which in the 13 minute interview at the end, we learn took Salman Rushdie 5 years to write.

Another fantastic dramatisation by the BBC, I really enjoyed it. 5*

3 people found this helpful

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  • Morse1960
  • 26-02-19

Enthralling and hugely entertaining.

I heard this when it was first broadcast on Radio 4 but having heard more about Rushdie in the context of the 30 year anniversary of the fatwa, (issued for The Satanic Verses) I wanted to listen to this again.

The story is imaginative, evocative of India and gripping. it also uses major events leading up to and following partition to give a historical context to the narrative.

Rushdie won the 1981 Booker prize for Midnight's Children and went on to win the Booker of Booker prize. Well deserved in my opinion.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Bookish
  • 18-05-18

Moving story

A beautifully written book set in India. The story is very moving and imaginative, brought to life by excellent narration. I was drawn into the story very quickly and my attention held to the very end.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Banjoman
  • 11-01-20

A gem..!

I hummed and harred about listening to this production of Midnight's Children, because I'd seen the film and tried to read the book - but failed as it's overly eloquently written. But I need not have procrastinated so, it is a fantastic dramatisation by the BBC.

You really get a flavour of India and the culture, and the characterisation by the actors is superb. The story is wonderfully brought to life, and it engages the listener in a way that surpasses the book and film.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-08-19

the greatest adaptation ever made

I couldn't turn it off, I'm only in my 30's and found this book on radio 4. they didn't keep the book on BBC sounds and couldn't believe it when I saw it to download on audible.
this story needed to be adapted into a dramatisation. the detail and impact of the story would have been lost with a single narrative. thank you

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  • Susan
  • 14-03-18

great book

Great story, brilliant characterisation. I couldn't stop listening to this book. No wonder it won the Booker prize

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-12-17

An absloute pleasure

Would you listen to Midnight's Children again? Why?

What dramatization !!
Background music , sounds and noises were on point.

Who was your favorite character and why?

all the characters were very well dramatized , flawless narration , relatable accents !!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absloutely !!

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  • E. Harmer
  • 04-12-17

Really annoying constant background music

Would have been enjoyable but for the constant, annoying background music which made it difficult to hear the actors. Also way too much inane giggling from the actresses! This audible dramatisation threatens to ruin a good book- beware!

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Grumpy1
  • 12-11-17

An enjoyable listen

I first heard this on Radio 4. Was very pleased when I found the audiobook.

Thanks Audible.

Definitely worth listening to more than once.

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  • Georgina
  • 06-11-17

Brilliant work from the BBC

This is a great story, the narration, acting performances and sound effects took me on a real journey. I loved this adaptation.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-10-17

Like listening to a play

Amazing voice acting brings the story alive, the writing really sets the feeling for each character, their experiences, success and mistakes really effect the listener..

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  • guy
  • 03-08-19

So great I don’t want it to end!

I have listened to 4 out of the 5 episodes. It’s been terrific. I read the novel a long time ago but this is a very dynamic productive. It’s not to be missed.