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The Years of Rice and Salt

Lu par : Bronson Pinchot
Durée : 25 h et 56 min
1.5 out of 5 stars (3 notations)

Prix : 38,09 €

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Description

It is the 14th century, and one of the most apocalyptic events in human history is set to occur - the coming of the Black Death. History teaches us that a third of Europe's population was destroyed. But what if the plague had killed 99 percent of the population instead? How would the world have changed? This is a look at the history that could have been - a history that stretches across centuries, a history that sees dynasties and nations rise and crumble, a history that spans horrible famine and magnificent innovation. These are the years of rice and salt.

This is a universe where the first ship to reach the New World travels across the Pacific Ocean from China and colonization spreads from west to east. This is a universe where the Industrial Revolution is triggered by the world's greatest scientific minds - in India. This is a universe where Buddhism and Islam are the most influential and practiced religions, and Christianity is merely a historical footnote.

Through the eyes of soldiers and kings, explorers and philosophers, slaves and scholars, Robinson renders an immensely rich tapestry. Rewriting history and probing the most profound questions as only he can, Robinson shines his extraordinary light on the place of religion, culture, power, and even love on such an Earth. From the steppes of Asia to the shores of the Western Hemisphere, from the age of Akbar to the present and beyond, here is the stunning story of the creation of a new world.

©2002 Kim Stanley Robinson (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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Notations

Global

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Histoire

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Il n'y a pas encore de critique disponible pour ce titre.
Trier par :
  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mark Patterson
  • 22/08/2015

Alternate History as Philosophical Vehicle

This is an alternate history in which the POD (point of departure) and even the characters repeated through successive generations are a means for Robinson to explore various topics including religion, to government, power, epistemology and even the environment. The writing is a bit heavy-handedly poetic at times. I like a bit more story myself. But maybe that’s just my Western (extinct in the Salt and Rice world) mind.

11 sur 11 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • 04/08/2015

Fulfilled every expectation!

After having read this novel some time ago I was somewhat hesitant to lesson to this audio version. Do not be afraid. The narrator is spot on. Especially thrilling is that his narration brought out plot development I missed in the first reading. Highly recommended!!

10 sur 10 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • dm
  • 07/09/2015

Wonderful

This book starts out as a very good story and somewhere along the way has me thinking of how to appreciate each day anew. What a fantastic thing. I was at a low spot in my life and contemplating this book and its central ideas have proved uplifting.

16 sur 17 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Alex Levine
  • 13/05/2015

Robinson's best; Pinchot's usual excellence

I run hot and cold on the novels of Kim Stanley Robinson, finding some of them unbearable and pretentious, others sublime, and most somewhere in between. This book represents the sublime end of my own personal Kim Stanley Robinson spectrum. Those familiar with some of his short fiction and essays are probably aware of his deep and abiding interest in the theory and practice of historical narrative. This interest is subtly woven through the sweeping, centuries-spanning plot of this book, enhancing its depth and texture without getting in the way. In other novels, the spiritual proclivities of some of Robinson's characters ring false; here those same proclivities are present, but feel much more credible and sincere. This has less to do with the characters themselves (the Khalid of this book is clearly the same person as the Galileo of "Galileo's Dream") than with the narrative context in which they find themselves.

The story begins around 1400, when advance scouts from the army of Timur (known to us as Tamerlane the Great) enter Eastern Europe (in our timeline Timur never made it further west than Smyrna on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean). The scouts discover that everyone, EVERYONE, in Europe has died of the plague. Western civilization is gone. From this premise, the narrative extends into the 21st or 22nd century, though of course no one is using the Julian Calendar. More can't be revealed without spoilers, but suffice it to say that despite the timescale, there is a surprising degree of continuity.

I read this book when it first appeared in print, and was very pleased to get a chance to revisit it in audio format, especially in the hands of so capable and versatile a reader as Bronson Pinchot. He doesn't disappoint. Even if you don't ordinarily like Kim Stanley Robinson, you may want to give this one a try.

41 sur 45 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Erik A Herndon
  • 20/07/2015

Outstanding version of the Years of Rice and Salt!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Years of Rice and Salt to be better than the print version?

This audio version was skillfully read. The narrator was engaging, clear, and entertaining. I appreciate the narrator's use of character accents, passable foreign language pronunciation, and passion to the story! Also, it was the complete story, unabridged!!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes, Adelba's passing in Book Nine Nsara

Any additional comments?

This is a big book, ambitious in its scope and important in its ideas. I was quite surprised how well it jumped out of the book and into my ears. A good first Audible experience!

11 sur 12 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ryan
  • 27/12/2015

Cerebral but interesting alt history

Alternate history is a genre I enjoy, and this book often appears on "best of" lists, usually somewhere under classics like The Man in the High Castle or Pavane. I figured it was worth a read.

The point of divergence from our own timeline takes place in the 1300s, after the Black Plague wipes out virtually all of Europe, except for tiny populations on remote islands. A Mongol warrior comes into Poland/Hungary with a small scouting party, and discovers a land bereft of all but corpses. He reports back to his Khan, attracts the man's anger, then flees back into Europe, where he wanders around for a while, before being taken by Muslim slavers. He ends up being sold in Egypt, where he befriends an African slave boy who has a somewhat different outlook on the world. Eventually, they both die, meet in purgatory, and are reborn into new lives.

This sets up the template that the rest of the book follows. The protagonists, who I couldn't really tell apart, appear at important junctures in the world's subsequent history, and help steer it in one direction or another, while undergoing their own climb towards enlightenment. It's a little facile of a device (I preferred the enigmatic connections across eras in David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas), but it didn't get in the way.

The alternate history aspects of the novel are more interesting. Robinson's speculations on how the world might have developed absent Europeans are well thought out. It's not a stretch to suppose that China and the Islamic world would have become the two main poles of the civilized world, with India caught between them. There probably would have been a scientific revolution somewhere in the Islamic world, as well as a liberal, reformist movement in newly colonized territories. North America might well have been discovered by Chinese sailors blown off course into the Aleutians, and explored by Japanese fleeing Chinese oppression. The industrial revolution might well have begun in India.

Some ideas seem a little wishful. Might Native Americans have united into a proto-democracy, with a little help from refugees from other places? Might scientists delving into atomic physics in the wake of a horrific world war have collectively decided not to pursue the bomb? The more fantastical elements of the story come into play at such times, with characters "remembering" wrong turns from previous lives. Other chapters crib heavily from real world history, but with the actors and a few cultural details changed around.

This isn't necessarily an "exciting" book. Often, the characters sit around discussing philosophy, religion, science, law, the evolution of culture, etc., caught in the thinking of whatever era they're in, but eager to argue about different paths forward. Yet, this is the sort of thing I enjoy, so I didn't mind so much. In the background is the interesting theme of: could we change the future for the better if we brought the lessons of the past to it? Or is history a river that can't quite be tamed? One chapter expresses it quite literally.

I don't think I would put this at the top of my personal list of alternative history novels; it's not quite as literary as Pavane, nor is it as mind-bending as The Man in the High Castle. But it is a richer reading experience than Harry Turtledove, and it does cast a light today's major non-Western cultures. By showing how they might have evolved without the influence of the West, he gets us to ponder directions they may yet evolve in, or are already doing.

16 sur 18 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
  • JLM
  • 14/06/2015

I liked it and then I didn't...

I felt like this was a very confused book. Am I following a few souls through many incarnations, yes, for a while this seems clear, but then it becomes muddled and hard to figure out who is who. The premise is great, and enjoyed the first third of this book a lot. I think the author gets lost in his own story. I also found that his long religious meanderings were not helpful and became distracting and overlong and did not move anything forward. He also spends a lot of time describing the 'rediscovery' of scientific principles and inventions that were of course discovered in the same way they were in 'our' Euro-centric world, so what is the point of that exactly? Overall I pretty much slogged through the last third simply because I had already invested so much time and kept hoping it would go somewhere after all, which I hate to say it really didn't.

19 sur 22 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • A. Matthews
  • 09/09/2018

Okay book. Should have been better

Book was dull as plain white rice. Every other story was pretty good but too many of them where just boring.
Bronson kept me going, Kim made me want to quite, so it’s even.

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Ray
  • 03/06/2018

Description is quite misleading

There is very little in the story that alludes to the Plague or decimated population, and none of that really has any bearing on the story. It is more an alternative history were the East became dominant instead of the West, and the assumption that reincarnation is real.

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Jazzbea
  • 28/10/2017

Started off okay

The segue into the next chapter was juvenile in book one. Interesting story at first. Book two was so dry and boring I couldn’t stand to listen anymore.

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.