• Incarnations

  • India in Fifty Lives
  • By: Sunil Khilnani
  • Narrated by: Vikas Adam
  • Length: 16 hrs and 51 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (52 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

For all of India's myths, its sea of stories and moral epics, Indian history remains a curiously unpeopled place. In Incarnations, Sunil Khilnani fills that space, recapturing the human dimension of how the world's largest democracy came to be. His trenchant portraits of emperors, warriors, philosophers, film stars, and corporate titans - some famous, some unjustly forgotten - bring feeling, wry humor, and uncommon insight to dilemmas that extend from ancient times to our own.

As he journeys across the country and through its past, Khilnani uncovers more than just history. In rocket launches and ayurvedic call centers, in slum temples and Bollywood studios, in California communes and grimy ports, he examines the continued, and often surprising, relevance of the men and women who have made India - and the world - what it is. We encounter the Buddha, "the first human personality"; the ancient Sanskrit linguist who inspires computer programmers today; the wit and guile of India's Machiavelli; and the medieval poets who mocked rituals and caste. Incarnations is an ideal introduction to India, and a provocative and sophisticated reinterpretation of its history.

©2016 Sunil Khilnani (P)2016 Tantor

What listeners say about Incarnations

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great listen, the author is biased

The book reflects the authors very anti-pakistan and pro-hindu biases (Sikhs are missing to a large degree, as are interesting Muslim stories), but otherwise, incredibly interesting to hear the stories in the book.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Perfect way to introduce India!

What did you like best about this story?

Character development, complexity and caution in an era of radical simplifications.

What about Vikas Adam’s performance did you like?

Much. Although he gets some of the pronunciations wrong such as Gokhale (the accent is on the last e). It is obvious he has not been educated in Indian schools from the errors he makes. On the other hand his pronunciation of southern Indian names are much stronger than what most northern Indians do with them. The inevitable consequence of a land of so many distinct languages.

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

Almost.

Any additional comments?

Terrific book and narration.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

India in 2500 years through 50 personalities.

the hardest part was to cover these 50 amazing personalities in such concise stories but packed with information, thoroughly enjoyed a review of India and also author's opinion on few issues, I might not agree with all, as it is always hard with any historical subject.

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  • DK
  • 12-08-16

Great selection of Indian lives to shed light on

Where does Incarnations rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best in history for a perspective on India and its emergence over millenia

What did you like best about this story?

The selection of Indian lives

What didn’t you like about Vikas Adam’s performance?

Horrible narration of very common Indian words. The pronunciation of almost all of the Indian names and rituals have been botched. Everytime a name was uttered, it made me cringe. Other than this harsh review on one aspect which is central to an Indian book, I the narrator did quite well.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

prodding and dull

The writing, reading and presentation was ponderous and uninteresting. Don't recommend this book.Try to find another authors take on India. I kept waiting for it to get better; it never did.