India, 1857 - the year of the Great Mutiny, when Muslim soldiers turned in bloody rebellion on their British overlords. This time of convulsion is the subject of The Siege of Krishnapur, widely considered to the one of the finest British novels of the last 50 years. A witty and individual take on the many traditions and follies of Empire, it is also a gripping account of survival under siege, illuminating how extreme conditions can influence and affect people's behaviour and the human spirit.
©1974 The Estate of J.G. Farrell (P)2013 Canongate Books Ltd
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"This is an Abridgement"
This isn't an actual review. More a comment to warn potential buyers that this audiobook is mislabelled as being "unabridged" and is actually cut approximately by half. The book is just over 300 pages and the corresponding audiobook should therefore be over 10 hours. I didn't notice the length when I purchased it, just got excited because I love Tim Pigott-Smith as a narrator, and he does indeed deliver a great performance here. But do yourself a favour and get your hands on the complete work because J. G. Farrell is a fabulous writer and the details in his novels are worth poring over.
"Empire at its silliest..."
This was a very fast listen and probably deemed a novella. Yet, it won the Booker in 1973 and deservedly so. Its writing and storyline are marvelous with lots of comedic situations interlaced with horrific death and mayhem. The sense of fair play, pompous attitudes, constrained lifestyles, witty interludes of conversation and utter idiotic and flamboyant behavior are all intertwined within a narrative of residents trapped by a mutiny. This all takes place in a faraway residence in India under the East India Company. Well where else would it be? There is nothing more sinister or comedic, based on your interpretation, than reading about the local residents camping out on a hill, viewing the battle between the sepoys and the residents play out amongst cannon fire and vultures bloated on corpses. Finally, the residents emerge, not quite victorious, but thin out of hunger, diseased and rather smelly. A metaphor for the British Raj I am sure. Great book!
this is an abridged version of the book
please correct this
the book however is fantastic
"Unabridged is abridged"
Yes and no. I have read "Troubles" and "The Singapore Grip" and would very much like to listen to them as well. Unfortunately, only one of them is available at Audible - and then abridged.
Yes, the book is very well narrated by Tim Piggott-Smith. The novel depicts British rule in India with irony, humour and seriousness. The storyline is both entertaining, interesting and informative.
I strongly object to the book being sold as "unabridged" when it is not - which I might have realized from the recorded time. The "siege" should have been allowed to take its time. For example, you assist at the Sepoys' initial attack on Krishnapur and without transition you find yourself in a crowded room with half-clad women on their mattresses with stinking chamber-pots in a corner.
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