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Publisher's Summary

Earth is long since dead. On a colony planet, a band of men has gained control of technology, made themselves immortal, and now rule their world as the gods of the Hindu pantheon. Only one dares oppose them: he who was once Siddhartha and is now Mahasamatman. Binder of Demons, Lord of Light.

©2022 Roger Zelazny (P)2022 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Lord of Light

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

How could a performance be so wrong?

I've waited years for this book to be released on Audible. Now, having heard this performance, my disappointment knows no bounds. The reader's voice and the author's words combine upon the aural palate like toothpaste and orange juice.

I understand that Zelazny's star has dimmed in the decades since his passing, but was there no one else they could find to undertake the reading of this Hugo-winning novel, this archetype of the New Wave of science fiction?

I think I'd enjoy a hard-boiled detective novel read by Matt Godfrey, but a science masterpiece, set on a planet that evokes a fantastical India, populated by those who have fashioned themselves into the gods of the Hindu pantheon is utterly beyond his abilities as a performer. Characters discussing the finer points of metaphysics sound like redneck car salesmen, bickering over the merits of aluminum siding. The voices he uses for the characters differ very little, and almost all sound vaguely like (American) Southerners, or rural yokels. I'd have loved to hear a person of South Asian descent as the reader--or even a Briton (or someone who happened to be both).

On the bright side, the reader pronounces many of the Hindu names and terms more authentically than the typical American or Brit. He did, it seems, put in the effort in that regard.

While I'm pretty sure I'll never re-listen to this production, Audible has cleverly insured itself a future purchase, should Lord of Light be remade with a reader whose voice has a even a chance to carry a reader across the stars to an exotic world that evokes mythic India.

12 people found this helpful

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A great story, but the narrator doesn’t do it justice

The story is an amazing introduction to Indian myth, and and characters and plot are detailed and ambitious. I loved the previous version of the audio book.

The narrator kills the enjoyment though. He’s voice is clear and he’s technically ok, but his voices lack the dignity the characters embody. They are supposed to be gods among men, who have ruled over the centuries. But they come across as cowboys tryin ta talk all fancy like. The flow of the story is also broken by his strange pauses and pacing.

No offense to the narrator, he does a good job. For a different story, he would have been an ideal choice. But I don’t think this is one of them.

7 people found this helpful

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I think this narration job might be considered a crime in some countries…

Nothing against the narrator but what even happened here?


So many things had to fail in order for this work to exist as it currently does. A work of modern art and surrealism if done intentionally but I do not believe that was the case.


This whole thing is like a MadTV parody of the names and cultural touchstones of Hinduism and Buddhism.

Imagine someone with a heavy Indian accent doing an audiobook version of East of Eden or Blood Meridian…

5 people found this helpful

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How do you break a fan?

By giving them something that they’ve waited for many, many years but deliver it broken. This has been my favorite novel by my favorite author since I first read it in 1970. I’ve probably read this book at least annually since then.
The choice of narrator is so wrong - Matt Godfrey, Matt freakin Godfrey?!? Jesus, this a lyrical story about assumption by man of the attributes of the Hindu pantheon and the opposition by one using the teachings of the Buddha. Matt’s narration is what might generously be described as a mid-western twang and is ill suited for a novel of this depth. I forgave his sins with Creatures of Light and Darkness so pleased was I that this lesser novel appeared in Audible. But not this, never this.
I’ll have to live with this but man what a disappointment.

5 people found this helpful

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His followers called Him Mahasamatman

And said He was a god. He dropped the Maha- and the -atman and called himself Sam.

This is one of my favorite sci-fi books and my favorite Zelazny standalone novel. Zelazny’s story moves swiftly and confidently. There’s many memorable scenes, from Sam’s return from his magnetic field exile to the destruction of Hellwell to the battles with the gods. Zelazny’s prose is dramatic and poetic. I particularly like the battle of Keenset and, earlier (or later, the story doesn’t begin at the beginning) Rild’s combat with Lord Yama. It’s a great read.

My only misgiving is the narrator. He sounds sort of like an American cowboy. He would be perfect for American western gunslinger novels or civil war tales. But Lord of Light is a lyrical and imaginative work set in the distant future on a colony planet where the settlers are, or were, mainly Hindus. Sam is a philosophical world-weary man with an epic mission. He's not an unemotional American private detective solving a case.

Anyhow: great book, miscast narrator. I'll probably eventually listen to the book again - but I'm certain I"ll read the Kindle text version first. All those memorable scenes, like the aftermath of Agni's first encounter with Taraka, are better read than listening to cowboy Sam.

5 people found this helpful

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Great story, wrong narrator

This has been a favorite book for many years so I was happy to see it available as an audiobook. I do not understand the selection of this narrator however. His drawl and accents seem totally unsuited to this story.

4 people found this helpful

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The voice actor for the new version is awful.

The voice actor clearly shows no experience in pronouncing any ethnic names, it’s cringe worthy every time he pronounces Tathagata. Every character sounds the same with a deep southern drawl. The original version was far superior, and it’s a shame, because the story is one of my favorite Zelazny books. The readers need to be careful when dealing with terms from cultures they’re unfamiliar with.

3 people found this helpful

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Long waited for, brilliantly done!

I have been looking for this audible book for a number of years. One of my favorites of Mr. Zelazny. The reading of this is extremely well done. The tone and differentiation of characters is engaging and leaves me thanking the producers for choosing this performer to read it.
Loved it and the wink, wink aspect of it. Touching in parts.

Hear this delightful performance of this Nebula award winning novel! You won’t regret it!

1 person found this helpful

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One of the best...

So glad to get an audiobook version. This novel has always stayed with me

1 person found this helpful

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A True Classic

Loved this when I first read it as a kid and loved it just as much now that I’ve finally had a chance to hear it on Audible. A fantastic story read by an excellent narrator that should be made into either a movie or series straight away. If some great producer has not already purchased the rights to this story they ought to do it immediately!!! As Banyon said on Seinfeld - “It’s GOLD Jerry!!”

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