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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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Must Listen

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

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Brilliant and inspirational.

It's got me full speed ahead on a cli-fi project. I love his acknowledgment, with this work, that it is a responsibility of artists to imagine a better future and provide an impetus for seeking solutions.

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An urgent case for the art of climate change

The existential challenge of climate change is strikingly unrepresented in contemporary literature, art and culture. This book explores the why and the how... A great synthesis of diverse strands of thoughts - refreshingly novel and persuasive. The somewhat contrived optimistic ending is the only soft spot... But this grateful reader is happy to indulge this painstakingly sincere author. Love!

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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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Wonderful book & narrator is the best

This is a brilliant book, and I like the narrator's delivery so much that i'm looking for another book narrated by him.