I almost gave this 4 stars. Interesting well paced story that creates a vivid picture of a very exotic and little known area and its inhabitants in India. My problem with this book was the characters; they just really never come to life. If the backdrop is enough for you, then you'll enjoy this book. If you want engaging characters, this comes up short.
I listened to this book after once attempting to read the hard cover version. As with the actual book, I was very bored early on and it wasn't easy to get into the story. But give it time. The author tells a great tale, and I learned a lot about the Sunderbans too. As an Indian American, I can relate a lot to the main character, Pia. A nice read.
Amitava Ghosh's writing is sublime and nuanced, and Firdous Bamji gets Ghosh. What more can I say? It is a beautiful book, and a beautiful audio rendition.
I made it 3/4 through, and I'm giving up, can't stay interested. Not a bad reader, but the story doesn't make progress.
I am obviously in the minority here, but this story just never went anywhere for me. I never could relate to the characters. I felt like they were contrived and unbelievable. I love stories about different parts of the world, and this one certainly took me to a place I never knew existed. But I'd probably never want to go there, having read about it -- even with these super-rare dolphins that the main character has given up everything in her life for.
I love Ghosh's writing. The major characters have interesting, sometimes mysterious backgrounds. No superficial cliches. The rural island location is also a major force in the story-line.
This story features cultural friction in an isolated island community: the American scientist (of Indian heritage) come to India, the sophisticated urban Indian returning to his roots, the activist intellectual couple who came to the country side and handle their new lives in very different ways, and the sometimes non-English-speaking locals whose life and community are being encroached upon by outsiders.
I have a weakness for narators who can handle multiple accents with aplomb. He also brought out the beauty of the prose.
If anyone makes it to the end of this book, please let me know if anything ever happens! The reader was so good that he made it SOUND like something was or would happen, but I sure didn't get to that far, if it did.
I enjoyed this book so much. What truly surprised me was Ghosh's ability to write such a sensitive and believable female character, and even fully imagine her reaction to the overbearing, patronizing male characters. As always, the extensive research and detailed settings pay off in a big way. The hours passed happily while listening to this book.
First of all the narration is excellent. The idea of the book is also good. However, the story is not that interesting and the character of Piya is both annoying and unconvincing. The author has her spouting out speeches instead of real dialogue.