[INDOLOGY] audiobook version of Rāma the Steadfast

John Brockington John.Brockington at btinternet.com
Fri Jul 9 08:51:21 UTC 2021

Dear Colleagues,

Towards the end of last year Penguin Books contacted us about their plan 
of producing anaudiobook version of our /Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa/ translation, 
/Rāma the Steadfast./  In the course of negotiations Penguin agreedthat 
we should be consulted over the choice of reader and should advise over 
pronunciation issues before we signed a supplementary contract for it in 
December.  Earlier this week we contacted Penguin to enquire about 
progress, since we had heard nothing more since then./
We were surprised to be told that the recording had already been made; 
however, an offer to change one small passage suggested to us that it 
had not been finalised.  When we then looked on the Penguin website to 
see if it was yet listed with a planned date of publication, we 
discovered that, without our having been informed in any way, it had 
already been published on 25th March.

We are extremely disappointed with the result.  The audiobook captures 
none of the verve of the original oral narrative (it is read not told) 
and the pronunciation of names and any Sanskrit words retained in the 
translation is frequently mangled.  We must warn you, therefore, that 
this audiobook version is not at all suitable for use in an academic 

With all good wishes

John and Mary

Professor J. L. Brockington

Fellow, Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

Emeritus Professor of Sanskrit, University of Edinburgh

Vice President, International Association of Sanskrit Studies

Mrs M. Brockington

Fellow, Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

Hon. Research Fellow, International Association of Sanskrit Studies

113 Rutten Lane


KidlingtonOX5 1LT

tel: 01865 849438

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