Off the eastern coast of India lies an extraordinary cluster of islands known as the Sundarbans. It is a raw but beautiful area, a place of man-eating tigers, river dolphins, huge crocodiles, and devastating tides that sweep across the terrain without remorse. In this exotic land, marine biologist Piya, fisherman Fokir, and translator Kanai meet. As they travel deep into the remote archipelago, they experience a territory at risk not only from natural disaster, but also from human foolishness and volatile politics.
Hailed as "a novelist of dazzling ingenuity" by the San Francisco Chronicle, Ghosh delivers a rich and evocative story of profound truths staged against an unforgettable backdrop.
©2005 Amitav Ghosh; (P)2005 Recorded Books, LLC
"Another triumph of gorgeous writing, intelligent romance, and keen philosophical inquiries." (Booklist)
"One doesn't so much read Ghosh's masterful fifth novel as inhabit his characters and the alluring if treacherous Sundarban archipelago." (Publishers Weekly)
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.
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.
What can I say except this author makes words become people, color, animals, poetry and sweeps you along breathlessly waiting to see what will happen next. I rank this as one of my favorites and will listen to it again as soon as I can come out of its spell.
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.
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