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Download The Habitation of the Blessed: A Dirge for Prester John, Volume One Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Habitation of the Blessed: A Dirge for Prester John, Volume One (Unabridged), by Catherynne M. Valente
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (456 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Catherynne M. Valente Narrator: Ralph Lister Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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This is the story of a place that never was: the kingdom of Prester John, the utopia described by an anonymous, 12th-century document that captured the imagination of the medieval world and drove hundreds of lost souls to seek out its secrets, inspiring explorers, missionaries, and kings for centuries. But what if it were all true? What if there was such a place, and a poor, broken priest once stumbled past its borders, discovering, not a Christian paradise, but a country where everything is possible, immortality is easily had, and the Western world is nothing but a dim and distant dream?

Brother Hiob of Luzerne, on missionary work in the Himalayan wilderness on the eve of the 18th century, discovers a village guarding a miraculous tree whose branches sprout books instead of fruit. These strange books chronicle the history of the kingdom of Prester John, and Hiob becomes obsessed with the tales they tell. The Habitation of the Blessed recounts the fragmented narratives found within these living volumes, revealing the life of a priest named John, and his rise to power in this country of impossible richness. John's tale weaves together with the confessions of his wife Hagia, a blemmye - a headless creature who carried her face on her chest - as well as the tender, jeweled nursery stories of Imtithal, nanny to the royal family.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tara | 2/19/2014

    " As usual Valente does a good job of creating a bizarre and yet very real universe. This book continued in her trend of beautiful but visceral phrasing and she makes it come alive. The twisting of the story and the empty spaces were compelling and I finished feeling unsatisfied but in an okay way? I felt like some of the religious connections in this were a little stretched, unfortunately, but not impossible to follow. That could also be my religious background subconsciously being repelled, as well, though, so take it with a grain of salt. Overall, it was a good read and I'm sure I'll eventually get to the books that follow in the series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Amanda | 1/28/2014

    " a feast for the senses. read someone else's review--i can't do the book justice. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Diana | 1/27/2014

    " It took me a bit longer than usual to read this. It's hard to see the words come to life when there's a noisy racket going on - but it was very lovely, and makes me want to look into the history of Prester John myself. Valente's writing is lyrical, and I honestly can't wait to read more of her work. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jeremy Preacher | 1/24/2014

    " When I was a kid, the library had a set of books of mythology from various countries. They were small and mysterious and smelled good, and I have mostly forgotten their contents but I remember where they were on the shelf and how excited I was to go get another one. Valente has written a book that pulls in all of those vaguely remembered remarkable characters and weaves them in with sex, religion, gender, and cultural politics to make something that smells just like those old, beloved volumes and fits in the same place in my head. "

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