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ProfJ

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  • The Golden Scales

  • A Makana Mystery, Book 1
  • By: Parker Bilal
  • Narrated by: David Thorpe
  • Length: 13 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12

Makana, a former police inspector who fled from Sudan to Cairo, lives on a rickety Nile houseboat. When the notorious and powerful Saad Hanafi hires him to track down a missing person, Makana is in no position to refuse him. Hanafi is the owner of Cairo’s star-studded football team; his most valuable player has just vanished and Adil Romario’s disappearance threatens to bring down not only Hanafi’s private empire but the entire country. But why should the city’s most powerful man hire its lowliest private detective?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good story, wrong narrator

  • By ProfJ on 14-11-15

Good story, wrong narrator

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

Reviewed: 14-11-15

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I enjoyed the story and will likely read more in the series. However, I found the narration painful to listen to, and eventually bought the Kindle edition so I could finish the story without listening to it. The narrator attempts different foreign accents for each of the characters and while he does well to distinguish the individual characters, the accents were not remotely Egyptian or Sudanese – they sounded more generically Eastern European. In addition, his pronunciation of many of the Arabic words was entirely wrong. As someone who lived for many years in Cairo, I found this too difficult to listen to. This may not be a problem for listeners who are not familiar with Egypt or Arabic.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Strangler Vine

  • By: M. J. Carter
  • Narrated by: Sam Dastor
  • Length: 11 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 140
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 132
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 129

Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of M. J. Carter's The Strangler Vine, read by the actor Sam Dastor. India, 1837: William Avery, a fresh young officer in the East India Company, arrives in Calcutta expecting to be seduced by its ancient traditions. Nine months later he hasn't learnt a word of Hindoostani, is in terrible debt, and longs to return home before the cholera epidemic finishes him off.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • "Ripping Yarn" revises our view of Brits in India

  • By T on 15-05-15

Captivating read

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

Reviewed: 19-08-15

Would you listen to The Strangler Vine again? Why?

No, but only because I almost never re-read novels. I would love to listen to the sequel if/when it becomes available as an audiobook.

What about Sam Dastor’s performance did you like?

I enjoyed his Indian accents in the Vish Puri books but here the British/Scottish accents sometimes didn't work. Nonetheless, a very good narration.

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

No, it just kept me totally engaged. I had recently travelled to many of the areas described in the book, which added to the sense of place. I found the historical perspective fascinating and really enjoyed the short explanation of historical context at the end.

Any additional comments?

I love the mix of true historical perspective and exciting fictional story telling.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Case of the Missing Servant

  • By: Tarquin Hall
  • Narrated by: Sam Dastor
  • Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 75
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 61
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 61

Meet Vish Puri, India’s most private investigator. Portly, persistent and unmistakably Punjabi, he cuts a determined swathe through modern India’s swindlers, cheats and murderers.In hot and dusty Delhi, where call centres and malls are changing the ancient fabric of Indian life, Puri’s main work comes from screening prospective marriage partners, a job once the preserve of aunties and family priests

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Charming

  • By Anonymous User on 11-03-15

So Enjoyable

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

Reviewed: 21-07-15

If you could sum up The Case of the Missing Servant in three words, what would they be?

engaging, humorous, informative

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mummy-ji, such a clever woman on so many levels.

Which character – as performed by Sam Dastor – was your favourite?

He does them all so well - and often made me laugh out loud

Any additional comments?

This book is a truly enjoyable mix of murder mystery, humour, and serious commentary on Indian society.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful