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The Enchantress of Florence

Salman Rushdie

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The Enchantress of Florence

By: Salman Rushdie

Narrarated by: Firdous Bamji

© 2008 by Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie is one of the world's most revered literary masters, with a Booker Prize and two Whitbread Awards among his accolades. His unique brand of magic realism is particularly effective in The Enchantress of Florence, the story of a European traveler and the extraordinary tale he shares with 16th-century Mughal emperor Akbar the Great. The traveler claims to be the son of a Mughal princess forgotten by time. If his tale is true, what happened to the princess?

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Total File Size: 366 MB (12 files) Total Length: 13 Hours, 19 Minutes

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Brandon Proia


Salman Rushdie, The Enchantress of Florence
2008 | Label: Recorded Books

One of the literary world’s most prestigious figures delivers a gleeful swashbuckler
Sir Salman Rushdie spent the nearly three decades since publishing Midnight’s Children winning just about every literary award that a living author can collect. Now, in The Enchantress of Florence, he has delivered a tale that — its sumptuous field of historical allusions aside — actually seems designed for pleasure. It is an unabashedly heroic, swashbuckling tale infused with all the sensuality and richness of Indian, Ottoman, and Italian culture.

The storyteller is a Florentine rogue who arrives in the capital of the Mogul empire in Hindustan after a brief ocean voyage that entailed dosing the ship’s captain with laudanum, then robbing him blind. Posing as Queen Elizabeth’s emissary to the Mogul court, the Italian trickster charms his way into Emperor Akbar’s inner circle, then announces unceremoniously that he has a story to tell — and a secret that may change the emperor’s world forever. Spanning continents, traipsing casually through a number of languages (pronounced with admirable gusto and accuracy by Firdous Bamji), and encompassing historical figures like Machiavelli, Amerigo Vespucci and warlords galore, The Enchantress of Florence gleefully and fascinatingly cannibalizes all the history, Eastern and Western, that Rushdie can get his hands on. It’s a rousing, epic tale, a kitchen-sink romance that delights even when it meanders, and one of the most satisfying novels Rushdie has written in years.

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In moments you are pulled in to this beautifully told story of storytelling and history. Rushdie slowly and carefully reveals an array of fascinating and in truth, enchanting, characters. Each comes to the fore as the story weaves across time, around the globe and back. As all the threads are woven together a luscious tapestry emerges. Rushdie's prose is beautiful in and of itself and the treatment of text is given such warmth and feeling by Bamji that some passages sound like music to me. After 13 plus hours of listening I'm ready to dive right back in.

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