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Summary

Revised to stimulate and engage an undergraduate student audience, Richard Feinberg's updated account of Anuta opens with a chapter on his varied experiences when he initially undertook fieldwork in this tiny, isolated Polynesian community in the Solomon Islands. He explores dominant cultural features, including language, kinship, marriage, politics, and religion topics that align with subject matter covered in introductory anthropology courses and he looks at some of the challenges Anutans face in the 21st century. Like many other peoples living on small, remote islands, Anutans strive to maintain traditional values while at the same time becoming involved in the world market economy. In all, Feinberg gives listeners magnificent material for studying the relations between demography, environment, culture, and society in this changing world.

The book is published by Kent State University Press.

©2011 Richard Feinberg (P)2017 Redwood Audiobooks

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

Interesting story, but disruptive performance

I was given this book for free, and asked to provide a review in return. Unfortunately, I could not finish it. I tried listening, but the performance was a dealbreaker. It was extremely choppy, with the tone of voice going up and down in wrong parts of sentences which makes following the story extremely difficult. At times I thought that the text was read by a "text to speech" computer programme. All the words in native language are pronounced as if it's the first time the reader ever said them out loud. Even though the actual content of the book is interesting, I don't think the audio part is ready for audiences.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Shahda
  • 25-07-17

Discovering a new world - Anuta!

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I believe that the structure of the book was pretty much like a text book, which is why I felt that it covered uninteresting aspects of the life their in detail, while some of the parts I would have like to explore more, were briefly described. I would have enjoyed it more if it focused more on drawing comparisons between western lifestyles and the lifestyle of the Anutans.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

It was a very interesting topic because we often do not get to learn about new cultures and new people, so I really appreciated this opportunity. The style of writing was easy and accessible and I often felt that the delivery of the narrator was on point when conveying feelings of surprise, shock and affection.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

I often felt that the delivery of the narrator was on point when conveying feelings of surprise, shock and affection. I disliked that the narrator seemed to be pulling some words (saying them in slow motion) at certain intervals.

Do you think Anuta, Second Edition needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

It would be interesting to see how they have adapted to globalisation and the internet and all the benefits (and harms) of technology. Maybe a 2017 follow up would be interesting to draw conclusions about the effects of advancement in technology on a seemingly happy community.

Any additional comments?

I was given this free copy by Audiobook Boom in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • EP
  • 10-10-18

A Utopian Society

I really enjoyed this audiobook, which was written by an anthropologist who lived with and extensively studied the people of Anuta, starting in the 1970s. The author periodically returned to Anuta in the decades that followed to maintain relationships and to continue his studies of the Anutan culture and way of life.

This audiobook is informative, detailed and interesting. It provides the listener with an extremely clear understanding of the Anutan people and their culture. The Anutans, a Polynesian people who live on a small island in the Pacific, maintain their existence though fishing and small-scale farming, and by adhering to a communal culture governed by "aropa", or love for others. The bonds of "aropa" are typically formed through blood or marriage ties, but can also form when outsiders adhere to Anutan culture and commit to demonstrating "aropa" to a group of Anutans. Any person who adheres to these things-including total strangers-are COMPLETELY accepted into the Anutan clan as FULL family members-with all of the benefits and obligations that are given to anyone else in the clan. Even the nomenclature used with a person who's been absorbed into the clan is identical to that which is used to describe blood relatives who occupy the same role (e.g. brother, daughter, etc.). For Anutans, expressions of "aropa" are similar to the way other cultures express love for others (e.g. kindness, affection, loyalty, etc.), but Anutans also view "aropa" as an economic relationship that, for the most part equates to "what's mine is yours, and what's yours is mine".

Interestingly, Anutans demonstrate Christian principles of love, generosity and kindness better than most Christians, and freely adhere to the socialist principles of collectivism and distribution of wealth better than most Marxists! And they do it freely!

In my opinion, the narrator didn't do a very good job narrating the beginning of the audiobook-but he improved over the course of the book. By the midpoint, he was enjoyable to listen to. My primary complaint was the author's overuse of Anutan terminology in the book. The use of certain Anutan vocabulary did contribute positively to the audiobook, like when the author sought to communicate important Anutan concepts to the reader/listener, especially when those words were repeated often. However, the author also included Anutan vocabulary for things that were NOT vital to the story; this, in my opinion, took away from the audiobook-especially when those words were only used one time.

I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review.

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  • Reader
  • 13-07-17

A fantastic view into a small Polynesian island

As a young anthropologist, Dr Feinberg conducts his first field work in the small, isolated Polynesian island of Anuta. He describes in detail the relationship networks, the lifestyle and world views of the nearly self sustaining islanders, as well as creating lifelong friends. He returns to the island a couple of decades later, documenting the changes caused by greater contact with other islands, the introduction of outside concepts and technology, as well as how the Anutans fare when living in other societies.

This book condenses a lifetime of scholarly work in an easily accessible manner for the lay reader. The only downside to the audio format are the somewhat complicated kin structures, which would have been easier to follow in writing (and preferably with pen and paper to sketch out the groups).

Unfortunately, the narrator didn't do this book justice. Too often, he drawled out words and sentences in a manner that I couldn't help interpreting as somewhat smug and self satisfied, in an odd contrast to the personality Dr Feinberg shows in his writing.

I received a copy from the author in return for this unbiased review.