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Extended Audio Sample The Age of Shiva: A Novel Audiobook, by Manil Suri Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (976 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Manil Suri Narrator: Josephine Bailey Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2008 ISBN: 9781400176212
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Following his spectacular debut novel, The Death of Vishnu, Manil Suri returns with a mesmerizing story of modern India, richly layered with themes from Hindu mythology. The Age of Shiva is at once a powerful story of a country in turmoil and an extraordinary portrait of maternal love.

Meera, the narrator, is seventeen years old when she catches her first glimpse of Dev, performing a song so infused with passion that it arouses in her the first flush of erotic longing. She wonders if she can steal him away from Roopa, her older, more beautiful sister, who has brought her along to see him.

When Meera’s reverie comes true, it does not lead to the fairy-tale marriage she imagined. She escapes her overbearing father only to find herself thrust into the male-dominated landscape of India after independence. Dev’s family is orthodox and domineering, his physical demands oppressive. His brother Arya lusts after her with the same intensity that fuels his right-wing politics. Although Meera develops an unexpected affinity with her sister-in-law Sandhya, the tenderness they share is as heartbreaking as it is fleeting.

It is only when her son is born that Meera begins to imagine a life of fulfillment. She engulfs him with a love so deep, so overpowering, that she must fear its consequences.

Meera’s unforgettable story, embodying Shiva as a symbol of religious upheaval, places The Age of Shiva among the most compelling novels to emerge from contemporary India.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Exchanging sentimentality for clear vision, Suri reveals an immense humanity and a tenderness for women making their way in a world of men.”

    Kiran Desai, Man Booker Prize–winning author of The Inheritance of Loss

  • “Suri…shows a deft touch with the larger social canvas as well as with sensual details…An impressive portrait of an era.”

    Boston Globe

  • “A finely conceived, absorbing, and powerful book.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Suris vivid portrait of a woman in post-independence India engages timeless themes of self-determination.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Bailey’s pace is deliberate and steady, except during the story’s few momentous events. In those moments, Bailey is true to Meera’s character, giving depth to her passion but holding it in check.”

    AudioFile

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karima | 2/17/2014

    " This was a timely book for me since it focuses on the mother-son relationship. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeet | 2/6/2014

    " beautiful book...reads well and characters are real and life like...the book has a sad feel to it but I enjoyed it and have recommended to fellow friends... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ming | 1/28/2014

    " A beautifully written book and a compelling story. And having read Death of Vishnu and this book now, I eagerly wait for his third book and any other writing from Suri. He's talented and a strong, poetic writer. The story in Age of Shiva is engaging and clever, keeping me interested and entertained. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Monica | 1/28/2014

    " interesting. history stuff cool. good characters but not sure I understand all the mother/son stuff. Glad I read it though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becky | 1/27/2014

    " Another shocker about women's rights in my generation ... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sona Gala | 1/21/2014

    " Excellent read. A little slow in the beginning, but if you keep with it, the story definitely draws you in. I especially enjoyed the historical aspects of the book-there is quite a bit about the history of India's independence and the subsequent seperation of India and Pakistan. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Morgan | 1/19/2014

    " Liked learning about India just after the British left in the 50s. The story itself was pretty lame though - like the author tried to pull enough Oprah book club elements together to make a hit. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Needhi | 1/18/2014

    " ummmmmmm...hated it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amanda Petrucelli | 1/1/2014

    " While I don't mind reading sad books, this one was more than sad. A woman with a sad life has one good thing happen to her -- the birth of a son -- who grows up and leaves her. Why put myself through that? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Taryn | 12/24/2013

    " Couldn't sympathise with the main character at all, she just came across as a spoilt brat, never content even from the opening introductory line. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Emily | 12/19/2013

    " long, depressing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anjali Enjeti | 12/5/2013

    " I found this book quite disappointing compared to The Death of Vishnu. I struggled to get to the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rajisubbarayan | 11/28/2013

    " This book is a page turner and well written. It depicts life in a typical middle class Indian family. I could totally relate to it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Betsy | 11/14/2013

    " I was disappointed to find it not nearly as satisfying as Death of Vishnu -- missing the complex layering and cohesiveness of the earlier book. Still, it offers a rich view of a part of the world foreign to me. And it contains some of the most convincing use of the second person I have read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Crystal | 11/7/2013

    " So far I like how it's written. The words just flow! About a week into it I stopped reading it. It was a little depressing. I don't like those kind of books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachna Kalra | 7/6/2013

    " Loved the characterisation - Manil is an amazing writer - I liked his earlier book 'The Death of Vishnu' as well, but this one just had me hooked. Highly recommended :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kani | 5/26/2013

    " powerful. and detailed! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sangeeta Prasad | 2/19/2013

    " I liked it. It's not the most uplifting book, but it was interesting and worth reading. Lot about cultural norms and social hierarchy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lorraine | 12/17/2012

    " Beautiful historical fiction story of one woman's struggle to live her life within the confines of her culture, while finding her independance. Well written with excellent index of cultural terms/definitions. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Audrey | 12/15/2012

    " didn't finish it - wasn't getting the point and wasn't interested enough to keep trying. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mathilde | 4/14/2012

    " A sweeping epic that follows the fortunes of one family and the fortunes of India in the violent aftermath of Partition, 'The Age of Shiva' is the powerful story of a country in turmoil and an extraordinary portrait of maternal love. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patrice | 1/16/2012

    " Meera, the narrator, searches for her own voice, path, finding fullfillment when her son was born. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lktrigueros | 8/10/2011

    " Well written but I was left wondering what the author's point was, but then I'm not very intellectual. Informative about Indian culture. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 7/17/2011

    " I was a little disappointed with it based on what i was expecting from the book jacket. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 5/29/2011

    " A little creepy... but an interesting take on women's roles in India set against the changing landscape of the country. I was a little disappointed after the good reviews. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca | 4/8/2011

    " Great insight into India after the Partition. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 3/3/2011

    " I was a little disappointed with it based on what i was expecting from the book jacket. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisa | 2/27/2011

    " Reminded me of Midnight's Children... strong 1st half, with good plot development and characters, but it devolved into a disappointing 2nd half with a main character who was irritating and flat. Could have been a great book if he hadn't seem to run out of steam... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shayna | 10/14/2010

    " Beautiful, evocative writing. Great characters. Interesting setting and historical context. But the story, itself, wasn't the most amazing I've ever read. I recommend it, but not with a "rave." "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Narnia | 10/5/2010

    " Blah. Why does Manil Suri have to take a perfectly okay story and turn it into pulp trash "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jpojer48 | 9/28/2010

    " Pisac je izvrsno opisao psihu jedne žene,ima li tu autobiografskih elemenata.Citav njen život je posljedica okolnosti,da bi na kraju sve kulminiralo opsesivnom majcinskom ljubavi. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Audrey | 9/26/2010

    " didn't finish it - wasn't getting the point and wasn't interested enough to keep trying.
    "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mathilde | 9/22/2010

    " A sweeping epic that follows the fortunes of one family and the fortunes of India in the violent aftermath of Partition, 'The Age of Shiva' is the powerful story of a country in turmoil and an extraordinary portrait of maternal love.

    "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Avinash | 8/10/2010

    " I could never really shake off the thought that this was a man speaking with a woman's voice. how sad. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie | 5/31/2010

    " I was somewhat surprised that this was written by a man. This was a good read with a lot of details about Indian customs. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rajisubbarayan | 5/14/2010

    " This book is a page turner and well written. It depicts life in a typical middle class Indian family. I could totally relate to it. "

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About the Author
Author Manil Suri

Manil Suri, a native of Mumbai, is a professor of mathematics at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He is the author of The Death of Vishnu and the Age of Shiva, and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award.

About the Narrator

Josephine Bailey’s impeccable narrations include the British classics Jane Eyre and The Secret Garden. She has also used her subtly nuanced style to enliven historical fiction and light romances. She has won ten AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award.