Transcendent Kingdom
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Transcendent Kingdom Audible Audiobook – Unabridged

4.4 out of 5 stars 5,431 ratings

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Product details

Listening Length 8 hours and 41 minutes
Author Yaa Gyasi
Narrator Bahni Turpin Release Date 01 September 2020
Publisher Penguin Audio
Program Type Audiobook
Version Unabridged
Language English
Best Sellers Rank #3,657 in Audible Audiobooks & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Audiobooks & Originals)
#12 in African American Literature
#13 in United States Literature
#141 in Historical Fiction (Audible Audiobooks & Originals)

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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
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Top reviews from India

Reviewed in India on 24 January 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Transcend into brilliance
By Sahil Pradhan on 24 January 2021

It is all we search for don’t we? The word though having it’s origin of meaning in something heavenly and beyond human touch, has its true explanation somewhere deep within the human heart. You let in all the pain and all the hurt that comes with being a human to bind you and clasp you in it’s chain, you too love that state, secretly but surely. But when you fight through it and try to break it, that is when you create your own transcendence state, your own heavenly body within the organ systemic human body. Beyond all the definitions of science and far from all the cautions of religion, you merge with a superior power, that is nowhere but within you, that is everything yet nothing but hope and the bliss it emanates.

Yaa Gyasi taught me this in her sophomore novel “Transcendent Kingdom”. A family broken apart gives rise to the most powerful of beings as the next generation, or the most weakest of bonds and links, for that is what Homo Sapiens make themselves of and affiliate themselves about. Gifty’s father went back to Ghana under the weight and increasing burden of American racism, her brother succumbed to opiod addiction when the doctor advised OxyCotin for a basketball injury, her mother left comatose by all of this spiralled into the abyss of depression and is left bedridden. All signs of escapism, which Gifty and her mother don’t show because they know how to fight.

Amidst all of this Gifty stands strong, does a PhD in neurology in Harvard, takes in her breaking and failing mother, conflicts within the being of neutrality: neither does she stop believing in the beauty of the Bible and it’s thoughts nor does she leave her scientist rationality and believes everything through godly lenses, fights with the silent racism that is in the air they breathe as she says “I did not want to be a woman in science. A Black Woman in science.” She is the actual transcendent state and her kingdom is the one Gyasi has so beautifully and fiercely traded words from.

This is how you break from the “rooster coop” and not through cheating or murdering, through acts of defiance, small and subtle, fierce and beautiful, courageous and enchanting, learn “The White Tiger” (s) learn, this is how you transcendent.

“I wanted to flay any mental weakness off my body like fascia from muscle.”

How complex is being human? In Transcendent Kingdom, Yaa Gyasi allows her pen to dip into the complexes of human minds and it’s myriad chemical transmutations: some giving birth to hatred, apartheid, racism and forms like “their kind has a taste for drugs”, “their kind is likely the one who is poor and thus they steal”, “their kind does not stay clean”, some to being a victim of all of this, some to fighting all of this as Gifty says “I had to prove something and nothing but blazing brilliance was enough to prove it.” Not only does Gyasi talks about the various dynamics of the mental weakness part but even travels through the land of America and the racism it so easily seeps out and does not even care, it is only recently that slowly the chain is breaking.

“Do we have control over our thoughts? When I was a child this was a religious question,” she says, “but it is also, of course, a neuroscientific question.” Gyasi talks about the narrow mindedness of both science and religion, same as Dan Brown discusses at length in his book Angels and Demons, about how scientists working along with her at Stanford are “atheists” and how her family “blindly believes God is everything and the reason for all not science”.“The Christians in my life would find it blasphemous,” she says, “and the scientists would find it embarrassing.” It is amidst through this environment and surrounding that Gifty has to swerve through to emerge victorious at the other side: to find a new life, to grow out of the familial pain, to keep up with the world, to know her worth, to show her worth, but most importantly to find and build her own “transcendent kingdom” which would be beyond human touch and human troubles, where both extremes of science and religion merge and mingle to create magic.

Transcendent Kingdom is intense, in every sense of word. It’s intensity creeps on you, slowly. You find yourself registering Gyasi’s most startling images — an egg with its shell dissolved; a mouse with a psychosomatic limp — only after you are through with the book and have kept it aside for sometime of quietness. It is deceptive, the quiet you are searching for, within all of that niceties there is someone screaming and caught inside a spider web of gossamer and darkness.
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Reviewed in India on 31 March 2021
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Reviewed in India on 19 September 2020
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4.0 out of 5 stars I fell for the good writing and the urgent themes it represents!
By Reading_Tam_Ishly on 19 September 2020
I haven't read the first book by the author but once I started reading this latest release, I got completely hooked!

This is the story of Gifty who now works as a PHD candidate doing research with mice regarding addiction and drug dependence.

The story goes back and forth how she grew up with her mom, her brother and her almost absent dad. The story is centred on depression, racism and discrimination, poverty, a dysfunctional family, drug addiction, death, grief and religion.

This story is heartbreaking. But I feel like the main character is developed in such a way as if to tell whatever hardships come, you have to face them head-on. I love her character. She isn't perfect; she isn't your outspoken female character but what she's is what she is - single handedly took care of her career and her difficult mother till the end.

It tries to tell that as long as you succeed, everybody's your well-wisher. But the moment you lose, everyone just stops caring even if you drop dead. Yes, that's the case here.

The important lesson I learnt from this is that even if you have a toxic family, there's nothing else that's more important than your family. Even if you want to escape and run away, the best is to do something for yourself alongside supporting your family when they need you.

Trigger warnings for drug misuse, addiction, suicidal tendency and self-harm, domestic violence

The writing is beautiful. However, I feel th jie book could have ended better.
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Top reviews from other countries

5.0 out of 5 stars Ticked every box (even those I didn't know I had.. )
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 6 April 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ticked every box (even those I didn't know I had.. )
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 6 April 2021
Yaa Gyasi's 'Transcendent Kingdom' creatively explores the dynamism of faith and mental health amongst 1st/2nd gen immigrants while somehow walking you through a Post-Doc Stanford
Neuroscience thesis in a coherent way?! It ticked every box for me - can't recommend it enough!
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Mrs. J. Watkinson
4.0 out of 5 stars Still a good read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 5 November 2020
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3 people found this helpful
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A. B. Biney
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb storyteller
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 April 2021
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Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a novel about science, religion and addiction
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 May 2021
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow. Best book I’ve read this year.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 May 2021
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