Babel by R. F. Kuang audiobook

Babel: Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of The Oxford Translators' Revolution

By R. F. Kuang
Read by Chris Lew Kum Hoi  and Billie Fulford-Brown

HarperAudio, HarperCollins 9780063021426


Format : Retail CD (In Stock)
  • $67.99

    ISBN: 9798200975853

  • $111.99

    ISBN: 9798200975846

  • $57.99

    ISBN: 9798200975860

Runtime: 21.77 Hours
Category: Fiction/Fantasy
Audience: Adult
Language: English



A #1 New York Times bestseller

An Amazon Editor’s Top Pick

An August 2022 LibraryReads Pick

A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice of the Week

From award-winning author R. F. Kuang comes Babel, a thematic response to The Secret History and a tonal retort to Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell that grapples with student revolutions, colonial resistance, and the use of language and translation as the dominating tool of the British empire.

Traduttore, traditore: An act of translation is always an act of betrayal.

1828. Robin Swift, orphaned by cholera in Canton, is brought to London by the mysterious Professor Lovell. There, he trains for years in Latin, Ancient Greek, and Chinese, all in preparation for the day he’ll enroll in Oxford University’s prestigious Royal Institute of Translation—also known as Babel.

Babel is the world's center for translation and, more importantly, magic. Silver working—the art of manifesting the meaning lost in translation using enchanted silver bars—has made the British unparalleled in power, as its knowledge serves the Empire’s quest for colonization.

For Robin, Oxford is a utopia dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. But knowledge obeys power, and as a Chinese boy raised in Britain, Robin realizes serving Babel means betraying his motherland. As his studies progress, Robin finds himself caught between Babel and the shadowy Hermes Society, an organization dedicated to stopping imperial expansion. When Britain pursues an unjust war with China over silver and opium, Robin must decide…

Can powerful institutions be changed from within, or does revolution always require violence? 

Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“The true magic of Kuang’s novel lies in its ability to be both rigorously academic and consistently welcoming to the reader, making translation on the page feel as enchanting and powerful as any effects it can achieve with the aid of silver.” Oxford Review of Books
“An engaging fantasy about the magic of language…Scrutinizes linguistics, history, politics, and the social customs of Victorian-era Great Britain.” Booklist (starred review)
“Dark academia as it should be.” Kirkus Reviews
“R. F. Kuang has written a masterpiece.” Rebecca Roanhorse, New York Times bestselling author



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Author Bio: R. F. Kuang

Author Bio: R. F. Kuang

R. F. Kuang is the author of the Poppy War fantasy fiction series and was a finalist for the Astrounding Award for Best New Writer. She immigrated to the United States from Guangzhou, China, in 2000 and studies Asian history at Georgetown University. She graduated from Odyssey Writing Workshop in 2016.

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Available Formats : Retail CD, Library CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Fantasy
Runtime: 21.77
Audience: Adult
Language: English