India is in transition. Since the publication of Culture Smart's first guide to India in 2003, the nation has been transformed from a developing third-world country into the world's fastest growing economy. This completely new and up-to-date volume by American author Becky Stephen is unrivalled. It highlights the many subtle and not so subtle changes that are taking place in Indian society; describes and explains those areas of life where traditional attitudes and practices continue to prevail; and offers original insights, practical tips, and vital human information to guide you through the pitfalls and delights of this complex, vibrant, and increasingly important country.
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"Worth a listen"
Worth a listen
As a non-fiction guidebook there is no story per se. Nevertheless, if you're like me and hate reading or prefer to multitask while absorbing information then the audio book format works really well and the information is relevant for anyone interested in travel to India.
Peter Noble was always clear and easy to understand though for the first chapter of this book I felt as though it was being read to me by Siri. I don't know if I just got used to it but by chapter 2 I no longer felt this way. One aspect of the narration that continued to amuse me through the final chapter was Peter's perfect diction, the emphasis on a word's final "t" in particular. It reminded me a little of Roger Waters' vocal style. The bottom line is that Peter was competent but his voice and style did nothing to add to the listening experience. Considering the subject matter that is probably all one can expect.
As a non-fiction guidebook, there is no story to keep you engaged but most of the subject matter is interesting and relevant—particularly if you are planning a trip. Even the final chapter on business in India proved valuable in understanding the culture. Don't skip it just because you might not be going to India on business.
I re-started chapter 1 over and over. In fact, I thought I had made a mistake by selecting this book. The parade of facts, figures, dates and geographical references is much more suited to the written page. I will be listening to it a 4th (?) time while sitting in front of a map. That said, I'm glad I stuck with it. Once the subject matter transitioned from facts, dates and statistics to more conceptual topics the listening became easier and enjoyable.
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