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Extended Audio Sample I Am an Executioner Audiobook, by Rajesh Parameswaran Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (395 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rajesh Parameswaran Narrator: Lina Patel, Neil Shah Publisher: Dreamscape Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2012 ISBN: 9781611205695
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In I Am an Executioner, Rajesh Parameswaran introduces us to a cast of heroes, and antiheroes, who spring from his riotous, singular imagination. From the lovesick tiger who narrates the unforgettable opener, “The Infamous Bengal Ming” (he mauls his zookeeper out of affection), to the ex-CompUSA employee who masquerades as a doctor; from a railroad manager in a turn of the century Indian village, to an elephant writing her autobiography; from a woman whose Thanksgiving preparations put her husband to eternal rest, to the newlywed executioner of the title, these characters inhabit a marvelous region between desire and death, playfulness and violence.

At once glittering and savage, daring and elegant, here are wholly unforgettable tales where reality loops in Borgesian twists and shines with cinematic exuberance, by an author who promises to dazzle the universe of American fiction.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “These are very much stories that make us ‘wonder the universe.’”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A worthy addition to your summer reading list and a book that cements Parameswaran’s place as a writer to watch.”

    New York Daily News

  • “This is among the most stimulating story collections I’ve read in a long while, and a reminder of the possibilities that still exist for short fiction in a jaded, post-post-modern world.”

    Sunday Guardian

  • “Don’t be misled by the subtitle of this offbeat debut collection: for Parameswaran, ‘love’ bespeaks deadly passion. These tales, with their grotesque imagery and bathetic reversals in tone, contain flashes of brilliance. Parameswaran shows a mastery of perspective and voice that hints at greater things to come.”

    Financial Times

  • “Parameswaran is a dazzlingly versatile stylist and the conceits and voices here are varied and evocative. An inventive, impressive and witty book.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • A 2012 Washington Post Notable Book for Fiction
  • One of the 2012 Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books for Fiction
  • A 2013 Audie Award Finalist for Short Stories/Collections

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Elaine | 2/17/2014

    " Obviously there are many different kinds of love, including relationships that are difficult and maybe even tortured. So I can appreciate alternative definitions of the the term "love story," but this book stretched that appreciation to the limits. It made me uncomfortable for a majority of the time I was reading it, and not in a good way. I couldn't relate to most of the protagonists, not because some were non-humans, but because the reactions and emotions they had went against what I imagine my natural instincts would be in similar situations. I actually thought the last story (my favorite) featuring the being on a different planet was most relatable. Like other reviewers have noted, a lot of the stories seemed forced, like writing seminar exercises. The narrator's voice was often too stiff and academic. The title story and the secret agent story along with the being story were the exceptions to this critique. Don't read this book expecting to be filled with a warm, fuzzy feeling - these are "love stories" that will leave you feeling cold, empty, sad, and/or helpless. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aaron Cance | 2/11/2014

    " Any publisher will tell you that short stories are a "hard sell" because competition is stiff, but the distinctive stories in Parameswaran's collection are startling in their unique tone, perspective, and language, and are an absolute delight to read. What a great new voice in literary fiction! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Thomas | 2/11/2014

    " An excellent, if not twisted collection of tales fanciful, loving and at times sad. Give this one an open-minded chance. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bob Lorraine | 2/8/2014

    " Content not for everyone "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bobandchumley | 1/24/2014

    " A very strange read that stayed with me to this day - an incredible storyteller. You may grimace at times - an interesting combination of emotions. I recommend. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ami | 1/21/2014

    " NYTBR review "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ma | 1/12/2014

    " I love short stories. These are just what short stories should be--a little weird, a little surprising, and very satisfying. Some are kind of gross. If seeing life from the point of view of the villain doesn't appeal to you, you might want to skip this. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sarah | 12/20/2013

    " I couldn't do it. I read the first two stories but they are too exposing for me. The stories go way way deep into the characters hearts and it is too raw for me. Good luck to you though, some people will devour these stories. Just not me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 12/18/2013

    " If I had quit half way through I would have continued to give this 2 stars. Maybe I stayed up too late reading but the last few stories were lovely. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kali | 12/8/2013

    " The author seems talented and I appreciated the stories, but I didn't enjoy them. The book might just be too contradictory and the characters too dysfunctional for me to appreciate in my current state of mind. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sonya | 11/26/2013

    " While I liked this short story collection, it's really the first story about the infamous bengal ming that I loved. Highly recommend the book for that story alone! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Augusta | 8/6/2013

    " Wildly inventive, thoughtful love stories. Parameswaran explores the relationship between love and power in these highly original shorts. Definitely recommend. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristina | 6/24/2013

    " These stories left a bitter aftertaste. Well written and inventive, but cruel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kasey | 4/8/2013

    " Some of the stories in this book are entertaining. Some, however, are strange and very hard to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Victoria | 2/26/2013

    " Since I just finished The Life of Pi, it's fitting that my next book features a Bengal Tiger on the cover who "mauls his trainer out of affection." These stories are unexpected and compelling and engaging. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda Moore | 2/4/2013

    " Full disclosure: Raj is a friend of mine from law school. Regardless, I really enjoyed these stories. They are funny and disturbing at the same time, an oddly pleasurable kind of discomfort. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica | 1/8/2013

    " The short selection of short stories made this book an excellent choice for my beach vacation this past summer. I really enjoyed it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Megan Penner | 10/9/2012

    " The first and last short stories were the most interesting. Overall just not good though. Was a waste of my time to listen to (I listened to the audiobook). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alicia Grega | 8/24/2012

    " Fun stories, especially in audiobook form. I enjoyed the author's human characters more so than the animal ones, which I had some trouble following, but enjoyed it over all. A relatively light read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Schaleena | 5/4/2012

    " Oh book, you were a waste of my time and ultimately trees. The only positive thing I can say of this book is: it was a compilation of words. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chaitra | 4/11/2012

    " Weird and brilliant. I am an Executioner was my favorite of the lot. I also liked Four Rajeshes and the footnotes in the elephant's tale. Would have loved to read part 2. "

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About the Author

Rajesh Parameswaran’s stories have appeared in McSweeney’s, Granta, Zoetrope: All-Story, Five Chapters, and Fiction. “The Strange Career of Dr. Raju Gopalarajan” was one of three stories for which McSweeney’s earned a National Magazine Award in 2007, and it was reprinted in The Best American Magazine Writing. He lives in New York City.

About the Narrator

Neil Shah is an Audie Award–nominated narrator and voice-over artist who has recorded numerous audiobooks and won an AudioFile Earphones Award. His reading include I Am an Executioner by Rajesh Parameswaran, The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais, and Stringer: A Reporter’s Journey in the Congo by Anjan Sundaram. He is a classically trained actor with an MFA from the Old Globe / University of San Diego program and has appeared on off-Broadway and regional stages, as well as in film and television.