From Victorian India to near-future New York, The Calcutta Chromosome takes listeners on a wondrous journey through time as a computer programmer trapped in a mind-numbing job hits upon a curious item that will forever change his life.
When Antar discovers the battered I.D. card of a long-lost acquaintance, he is suddenly drawn into a spellbinding adventure across centuries and around the globe, into the strange life of L. Murugan, a man obsessed with the medical history of malaria, and into a magnificently complex world where conspiracy hangs in the air like mosquitoes on a summer night.
©2010 Amitav Ghosh (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
"The Calcutta Chromosome is one of those books that's marketed as a mainstream thriller even though it is an excellent science fiction novel (It won the prestigious Arthur C. Clarke Award)." (Amazon.com review)
This is a mix of biology, medicine, history, Sci Fi and a whopping good time. The humor is great as is the suspense. At first I had no idea where the story was going and then once I understood the different time frames it all made sense.
I'm going to listen to more from this author.
This was offbeat but quite enjoyable. It has quite a lot of science history in it, told from a dystopic future world, and there is even a bit of ghost story to it. The most amusing part was the enthusiastic bumbling of the main protagonist in the story told in a voice that rings true (I had a co-worker like that once...) I'd recommend it, though there are a few caveats. It started a little slow. Because of the mix of the fiction and fact, it's hard to know which historical data can be trusted and which cannot. Also, the ending felt abrupt and unsatisfying. But until the last ten minutes, I steadily enjoyed it more and more.
Maybe it's because I fell asleep many times while listening to this book on my morning bus commute but I have no idea what happened here other than a vague outline. Yes, I got the characters and the premise of the book was pretty interesting but it skips from past to present to waaay past back to present to lots of other times in between, without a lot of clues. You really have to follow the characters to know where you are. If you are prone to falling asleep on your morning commute while listening to audio books, I would say this one is not for you.
I LOVE Amitav Ghosh and have listened to everything he has on Audible. Without a question, he has improved over time. This early novel contains many of the ingredients that make him great: fascinating historical research into obscure but important scientific topics, multiple characters, a sprawling view of India. The storytelling is quite good, but the novel seems truncated. It's a fraction of the length of a more typical Ghosh novel, and I'm not sure if he just had to publish it under a deadline... it just doesn't quite come together. Where is the rest of the novel? I was just getting into the story!
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