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Download Diamond: A Journey to the Heart of an Obsession Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Diamond: A Journey to the Heart of an Obsession Audiobook, by Matthew Hart Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (219 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Matthew Hart Narrator: Daniel Gerroll Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2001 ISBN: 9780739300787
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On a hot morning in May 1999, three Brazilian garimpeiros(small-scale miners) found a large pink diamond in the muddy waters of the Abaete River, a discovery that captivated the diamond trade. Beginning with this dramatic and revealing story, Matthew Hart takes readers on a journey far beyond the window at Tiffany's, into an obsessive, largely hidden, and utterly fascinating world.

From the fog-bound smugglers' paradise of Africa's Diamond Coast to the Manhattan offices of one of the world's most flamboyant diamantaires; from the London salesrooms of De Beers, which manages the longest-running cartel in modern business history, to a truck-parts shop fronting a diamond brokerage in Brazil, Matthew Hart has followed the diamond trail, encountering characters as memorable as the stones they seek. He recreates the modern history of diamonds, starting in 1869 when a native boy in South Africa found a large crystal on a farm, sparking a rush that brought Cecil Rhodes and Ernest Oppenheimer their glory. He chronicles the sensational diamond strike in the 1990s in Canada's Northwest Territories that has shaken the fortress of the old cartel, and profiles the audacious young female geologist Eira Thomas who, against all odds, discovered near the Arctic Circle one of the richest diamond fields in the world. He watches one of the finest diamond cutters operating on a priceless stone and portrays the lives of the countless, nameless cutters in India who have transformed the industry by making valuable the tiny stones that were once considered worthless.

Diamonds also have their dark side. "Malfeasance rustles in the background of the diamond world like a snake in dry grass," writes Hart as he documents the relentless and ingenious thievery that pervades the business and the even more damaging revelations of "war diamonds" financing brutal conflicts in Africa. The diamond world is at a crossroads, he notes, and "who will rule diamonds now and what form the once-secretive business will take are the issues of the day."

In the end, it is the stone itself that fascinates and bewitches the reader. Diamonds are accidents of nature, carbon crystals compressed deep underground millions of years ago; parts of them may even predate the Earth itself. And they are elusive, carried to the surface only in slender volcanoes known as "pipes," most of which are actually barren. Matthew Hart has captured the essence of an exotic substance and its world as surely as a diamond captures light: bending it, reflecting it, and returning it in a blaze of color. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathryn Bedford | 1/8/2014

    " Briliant! The fist non-fiction book I ever read that I could not put down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Zed | 12/30/2013

    " Some interesting and informative anecdotes. The science (geology mostly) is only treated in a cursory fashion. A bibliography is provided. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 April | 11/21/2013

    " Reconsider the rock! Fascinating, thorough, and passionate ... a page turner from the first sentence. It covers every aspect of diamonds and the trade therein from their first use as adornment through the modern day. You'll never buy another diamond again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erica | 11/18/2013

    " A fairly good book. Covers some gaps in the previous book I read about diamonds, and goes over a lot of the same stuff. Zoellner's book I thought was better written. This one suffered from disorder. But overall not too bad, at the very least it's a super fast read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steph | 9/24/2013

    " Interesting story of how diamonds are found, mined, sold, traded etc. He covers all the stuff you'd expect including the war diamonds problem. Informative adventure and it made me hate diamonds a little less. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Scott | 3/2/2013

    " Not as compelling a narrative as I thought it might be. If you like National Geographic articles, it might be for you. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Keith | 12/9/2012

    " Scattered. Needs a good editor. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Osho | 6/22/2012

    " Natural history plus history plus anecdote plus politics. A pretty good run-down of the De Beers empire, this would provide the background information for reading about conflict diamonds (e.g., Blood Diamonds). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin | 5/26/2012

    " You will never want a diamond! Ever! Adventurous investigative nonfiction about the diamond industry. Fascinating description of the vast economic impact of diamond hunting around the world. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jamethiel | 3/30/2012

    " A fascinating history of the obsession over diamonds. Learned a ton, it was absolutely engrossing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Betsymaclennan | 10/24/2011

    " Very informative history of the diamond industry... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 ideopreneur | 9/5/2011

    " A very interesting book on the shady world of diamond business. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ramona | 4/24/2011

    " Reporters know how to tell a non-fiction story. This book taught me a little about science, a little about business, and made me want to buy a diamond at the same time as it made me glad the only diamonds I own are inherited tiny ones from my grandmother. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ideopreneur | 3/6/2011

    " A very interesting book on the shady world of diamond business. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Scott | 3/24/2009

    " Not as compelling a narrative as I thought it might be. If you like National Geographic articles, it might be for you. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 April | 1/5/2009

    " Reconsider the rock! Fascinating, thorough, and passionate ... a page turner from the first sentence. It covers every aspect of diamonds and the trade therein from their first use as adornment through the modern day. You'll never buy another diamond again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ramona | 1/4/2009

    " Reporters know how to tell a non-fiction story. This book taught me a little about science, a little about business, and made me want to buy a diamond at the same time as it made me glad the only diamonds I own are inherited tiny ones from my grandmother. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin | 8/28/2008

    " You will never want a diamond! Ever! Adventurous investigative nonfiction about the diamond industry. Fascinating description of the vast economic impact of diamond hunting around the world. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Betsymaclennan | 8/20/2008

    " Very informative history of the diamond industry... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Zed | 7/12/2008

    " Some interesting and informative anecdotes. The science (geology mostly) is only treated in a cursory fashion. A bibliography is provided. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Teresa | 6/28/2008

    " Diamond is a great book for anyone who has ever questioned the value of a diamond. Its a good history lesson and exploration of the diamond trade although it is slow at times.

    If you needed a reason to believe that DeBeers is the devil, this book will give you plenty. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steph | 2/22/2008

    " Interesting story of how diamonds are found, mined, sold, traded etc. He covers all the stuff you'd expect including the war diamonds problem. Informative adventure and it made me hate diamonds a little less. "

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About the Narrator

Daniel Gerroll is an award-winning British actor who has many Broadway productions to his credit. He studied law and philosophy at Nottingham University and trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London and has won an Obie Award for sustained excellence in theater. He has also won five AudioFile Earphones Awards.