Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of M. J. Carter's The Strangler Vine, read by the actor Sam Dastor.
India, 1837: William Avery, a fresh young officer in the East India Company, arrives in Calcutta expecting to be seduced by its ancient traditions. Nine months later he hasn't learnt a word of Hindoostani, is in terrible debt, and longs to return home before the cholera epidemic finishes him off.
A few months earlier, so rumour has it, the infamous and disgraced poet Xavier Mountstuart leaves Calcutta in order to track down the last of the remaining Thugs, a sinister secret fraternity notorious for strangling thousands of travellers. But after reaching the kingdom of Jubbulpore, Mountstuart mysteriously disappears.Then the Company leads Avery to Jeremiah Blake, an unruly ex-Captain who has embraced native life. Their mission? To cover 700 miles of treacherous road in three weeks and find Mountstuart. A more unlikely duo couldn't be imagined, but they must bury their differences if they wish to succeed - for all is not as it seems, and at the rotten heart of everything lies the secret of the macabre Thugs....
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By T on 15-05-15
"Ripping Yarn" revises our view of Brits in India
The Strangler Vine covers a serious subject, disguised in a rollicking good yarn about the days leading up to the British Raj. Taken simply as a story, it’s thoroughly enjoyable. I liked Sam Dastor's narration, which seemed vocally accurate and conjured the feel of the period and place well.
This fictional account intrigued me such that I did further reading about the history of the period. Since India's Independence, their historians have rightly taken a fresh look at the British versions of the history of the East India Company and the British Raj. It is not a surprise that they find that the British were somtimes cynical and ruthless in achieving their Colonial ambitions. I have no idea whether the 21st century appraisal of the days of the Thuggee threat are any more accurate than that in British histories, but it seems entirely plausible. Until I read this book, I didn’t even know there was a controversy, so I guess it has achieved its job of bringing the subject to a wider audience. But it’s as a good story that most will enjoy it and I can recommend as such.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
By Two Tone on 18-03-16
One of my most favourite audio books - loved it!
What did you like most about The Strangler Vine?
There's nothing to dislike: there is history, adventure, travel, strong characters, murder and mystery. All set in Victoria's Indian Empire with jewels and opium and dust. Most of all it is about the building of an unlikely friendship between the two main characters.
What about Sam Dastor’s performance did you like?
I loved his accent and narration. It seems perfect for the place and time in India.
Any additional comments?
Still waiting for M J Carter's sequel to be turned into an audio book and read by Sam Dastor. Why is it taking so long?!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful