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Sikhism: A Very Short Introduction


Farmer's protest after the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 introduction, in Delhi, 2021

Author: Eleanor Nesbitt –

Publisher: TantorAudio –

Genre: Religion, History –

Overall rating: 5/5 –

Writing: 5/5 –

Duration: 5:28 (medium) –

Narrator: Siiri Scott –

Narrator/performance: 5/5 –

Impressions: n/a –

Performance errors: 0/5 –

Complexity/reading level: 3/5 –

Audience: General


I listened to “Sikhism: A Very Short Introduction” by Eleanor Nesbitt (2016) read by Siiri Scott (2021) in one go. This review refers to the Second Updated Edition. It is not clear if the new content was added to the original audiobook but there are additions made in a slightly different recording set-up and with a more somber tone. The narrator’s performance does not lose any of its quality because of these additions, though.

It quickly becomes obvious to the reader that Sikhism is not only fascinating but is also a very controversial current subject. It is the youngest world religion and the followers of Sikhism are serious about their faith. It is also a new topic for scholars. The field is so fresh that there are controversies about the most basic terminology. It is exciting to participate in such a phenomenon as a reader.

What I most loved about the book was its structure. The subject was interestingly divided into several parts and each part was filled with interesting facts, put together very expertly and not rigidly. Research made in preparation of the book is obviously impressive but it did not make the result overly detailed. As every aspect of the subject is potentially controversial, every point was explained from different facets. I am not sure this book covers certain cultural and sociological characteristics of Sikhism, such as joyfulness and charity of the followers, but it does explain a lot of other points, especially those related to its history and origins. Contrary to the title, the book is not very short. However, the structure and pace of the book make it possible to listen to the entire production without breaks.

I would recommend this book to anyone. However, I believe that the audiobook could be a better choice than the written publication – it comes together with the pronunciation of unfamiliar words in several languages. It is certainly an added value. The best option would of course be to peruse both.

Sikhism: A Very Short Introduction, Eleanor Nesbitt, Audiobook cover

The lettering used on the cover is not very clear but it still looks well. I enjoyed the classic violet-and-orange color combination made in the Rothko style. Adjusting the letters to the right side of the cover makes the book appear professional and thorough.

Cover Photo by Rupinder Singh on Unsplash