Regular price: $29.95
Buy Now with 1 Credit
Buy Now for $29.95
If you could sum up Return of a King in three words, what would they be?
History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.
What did you like best about this story?
Dalrymple tells the story of the First Afghan War with deep understanding of Afghan motivations, politics and personalities. He is master also of the British and military situations in England and in India, and of the policies and leadership failures of the East India Company in its decline. There is heroism and treachery on all sides, and competence and honor are not always rewarded. This book is essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand the roots of the current situations in south and central Asia. It is also a primer on political and military decision making, and it should be required reading for every Foreign Service officer and for every university student preparing for a military career.
What does Neil Shah bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
The narration is fluid and first rate. Names of persons and places in Asian language that may be unfamiliar to listeners are articulated naturally. This makes it just as easy to follow the sequence of events among the Afghans as it is to follow the British. The Afghan subjects become as real and believable to the listener as the Europeans.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Beautifully and clearly written with sympathy and understanding of all the participants in an ongoing debacle. The portraits of the participants are masterful, although my favorite must be that of Lady Sale (whose Diary I once read, and now will reread with much greater enthusiasm), whose stamina, loyalty, common sense and courage would make her a hero in any age.
Any additional comments?
Return of a King is a triumph of balanced historical analysis. Dalrymple has told the story of the First Afghan War, its causes and consequences, with deep knowledge of the sources from both (or rather, all) sides. It is impossible to listen to this book and not have an enhanced understanding of the current political and military positions in Afghanistan.Did I forget to mention that the book is gracefully written, and that it reflects a real appreciation for the history, culture and arts of Islamic Asia?
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Complete, thorough and well researched it remains lively and entertaining. Shah's narration is on point and not to be missed.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
This is a must for anyone with an interest in the history of the British Raj. This book is very well researched, and every detail is relevant. The various plots and large cast of characters have been presented in such a way as to give the listener an easy passage throughout. My only criticism is that it is a shame that such a quintessentially episode of British history was not read by a British actor. The reader gives American pronunciations throughout, which I,
personally, found somewhat grating.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Would you consider the audio edition of Return of a King to be better than the print version?
Don't know - never read the print version. Dumb question!
What other book might you compare Return of a King to, and why?
What does Neil Shah bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
His pronunciation of the many local names both brought authenticity to the experience and helped me keep track of the unfamiliar names of the many characters. His effortless and smooth style was a joy to listen to.
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Neither. I knew the outline of the story, though some might cry at the pitiable details in places.
Any additional comments?
A wonderful book telling an important story that everyone should hear so humanity stops making such stupid mistakes. I couldn't disagree more with the reviewer who said the story was dull and the narrator had a New Jersey drawl - I don't know what that is but it sounded Asian to me! Definitely recommend this book for anyone interested in understanding how the world is today.