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Download Everything Is Broken: A Tale of Catastrophe in Burma Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Everything Is Broken: A Tale of Catastrophe in Burma, by Emma Larkin Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (116 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Emma Larkin Narrator: Emily Durante Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A deeply reported account of life inside Burma in the months following the disastrous Cyclone Nargis and an analysis of the brutal totalitarian regime that clings to power in the devastated nation

On May 2, 2008, an enormous tropical cyclone made landfall in Burma, wreaking untold havoc and leaving an official toll of 138,300 dead and missing. In the days that followed, the sheer scale of the disaster became apparent as information began to seep out from the hard-hit delta area. But the Burmese regime, in an unfathomable decision of near-genocidal proportions, provided little relief to its suffering population and blocked international aid from entering the country. Hundreds of thousands of Burmese citizens lacked food, drinking water, and basic shelter, but the xenophobic generals who rule the country refused emergency help.

Emma Larkin, who has been traveling to and secretly reporting on Burma for years, managed to arrange for a tourist visa in those frenzied days and arrived hoping to help. It was impossible for anyone to gauge just how much devastation the cyclone had left in its wake; by all accounts, including the regime’s, it was a catastrophe of epic proportions. In Everything Is Broken, Larkin chronicles the chaotic days and months that followed the storm, revealing the secretive politics of Burma’s military dictatorship and the bizarre combination of vicious military force, religion, and mysticism that defined its unthinkable response to this horrific event.

The Burmese regime hid the full extent of the storm’s devastation from the rest of the world, but the terrible consequences for Burma and its citizens continue to play out months after the headlines had faded from newspapers around the world. In Everything Is Broken, Larkin—whose deep knowledge of the Burmese people has afforded her unprecedented access and a rare understanding of life under Burmese oppression—provides a singular portrait of the regime responsible for compounding the tragedy and examines the historical, religious, and superstitious setting that created Burma’s tenacious and brutal dictatorship. Writing under an assumed name, Larkin delivers the heretofore untold story of a disaster that stunned the world, unveiling as she does so the motivations of the impenetrable generals who govern this troubled nation.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Everything Is Broken is Larkin’s eyewitness account of the cyclone’s chaotic aftermath, both in Rangoon and throughout the devastated delta. Larkin’s writing is graceful, and the final third of the book describing her work with the survivors is all the more powerful for her unobtrusive style.”

    Washington Post

  • “With indefatigable shoe-leather journalism…Larkin reconstructs what happened and indicts the insulated regime for creating a desperately untenable situation for its people.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Narrator Emily Durante’s soft voice belies what the author describes: death, starvation, and upheaval fomented by an incompetent government. Durante’s skillful and taciturn manner matches Larkin’s diplomatic triumph.”


  • “Once again Larkin does a fine job exposing injustice in this impoverished, deeply troubled pocket of the world. An eye-opening, urgent look behind an official screen of lies.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Anne | 6/6/2013

    " fascinating, smart, page-turner "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jessica Jang | 1/6/2013

    " It's unbelievable the injustice that continues to happen in Burma. I really enjoyed the parables of their culture. I hope they can have new leaders in the future that helps their country have more equality and can make a difference in the lives of people who live there. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Edward Sullivan | 2/18/2012

    " A heartbreakingly grim portrait of life inside Burma. Excellent insight from a writer who is well-acquainted with country's dictatorial regime, Buddhist beliefs, and cultural traditions. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Dan | 11/26/2011

    " Book describes the conditions in Burma after the May 2008 cyclone named Nargis killed 138,000 people. The book focused on the challenges created by the national government, which prevented NGOs an foreign governments from assisting in disaster relief. "

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About the Author

Emma Larkin is the pseudonym for an American journalist who was born and raised in Asia, studied the Burmese language at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, and covers Asia widely in her journalism from her base in Bangkok. She has been visiting Burma for close to fifteen years.