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Publisher's Summary

Are we deranged? The acclaimed Indian novelist Amitav Ghosh argues that future generations may well think so. How else to explain our imaginative failure in the face of global warming? In his first major book of nonfiction since In an Antique Land, Ghosh examines our inability - at the level of literature, history, and politics - to grasp the scale and violence of climate change.

The extreme nature of today’s climate events, Ghosh asserts, make them peculiarly resistant to contemporary modes of thinking and imagining. This is particularly true of serious literary fiction: hundred-year storms and freakish tornadoes simply feel too improbable for the novel; they are automatically consigned to other genres. In the writing of history, too, the climate crisis has sometimes led to gross simplifications; Ghosh shows that the history of the carbon economy is a tangled global story with many contradictory and counterintuitive elements.

Ghosh ends by suggesting that politics, much like literature, has become a matter of personal moral reckoning rather than an arena of collective action. But to limit fiction and politics to individual moral adventure comes at a great cost. The climate crisis asks us to imagine other forms of human existence - a task to which fiction, Ghosh argues, is the best suited of all cultural forms. His book serves as a great writer’s summons to confront the most urgent task of our time.

©2016 Amitav Ghosh (P)2019 Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about The Great Derangement

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Deranged

This book has two ideas. First that the reality of climate change is so intensely bad that humans can not absorb or accept this reality. This is analogous to the holocaust in the 1940's or the first response to a terminal cancer diagnosis. The second idea is that writers (and other thought leaders) have a singular responsibility to overcome this derangement and address the issue of climate catastrophe to overcome this derangement and call to action.

It was not clear to me why this took six hours.
It did not seem to me this book is even in alignment with its own main points.
Perhap some will be moved by this form of argument to action, if so, good.

I would instead recommend "The Uninhabitable Earth" - particularly in Audible.

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Very well done!

This should be required reading/listening to graduate from highschool. I disagree with some of his assumptions and framing, but these are the questions everyone should be grappling with.

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Excellent ideas, well put

Though I don’t have a special interest in nonfiction, I found Ghosh’s assessment of the novel as an art form fascinating, and his worldview super compelling and new to me. I’ve read the book at least twice, having rewound many sections several times. Please read this.

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What a shame!

Fascinating book but SO badly read. Most names mangled, and many words even. “Entrances” written as a verb, read as a noun. Can only imagine Ghosh with his head in his hands if he heard it.

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Not an easy read

Too many run ons which at times make it hard to follow. Can be a little dry at times.

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Must Listen

An excellent rendition of one of the most important books of the 21st century. Listen to it.

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Fascinating Important and Sad

Ghosh ties together some of the pieces that are often missing in current discussions of the climate disaster: imperialism and power. Its a roundabout way of explaining that the masters of the world, for whom inequality is so important ("the haves") will resist to the death any sort of equity in suffering. They will allow the former colonial states ("the have nots") to burn and drown or both, first.

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Excellent book, patchy narration

A great set of lectures but the content is let down somewhat by the narration with some odd pronunciation throughout.

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Fascinating

Original and insightful look into the potential future of our world. I enjoyed this one!

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An important book.

A vital book on the relationship between art, fiction, and climate change. It also includes important historical aspects on climate change and the rise of fossil fuel. It's a vital read for understanding our world..

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-15-21

Remarkable insight into the roots of the climate crisi

Ghosh gives an explanation of the climate crisis, which goes way beyond the usual stories we hear. My eyes have been opened to reasons that are rarely addressed in western media. I recommend everyone who wants to dig deeper into the reasons behind where we are in the crisis today, to read this book. Especially Westerners like myself, should be more informed about the roots of our problems.

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  • S
  • 07-11-21

excellent text

This was a really interesting book. The reading was okay, but the pronunciation of all the non-Anglophone proper names were mauled, or should I say "deranged". Ironic, given some of the content of the book.