02 May 2008

The Hungry Tide

This book by Amitav Ghosh kept me up past my bedtime last night, although I found it not entirely convincing. Still, parts were enthralling. Ghosh throws together an American cetacean researcher of Indian descent, a translator from New Delhi, an illiterate fisherman, and the turbulent landscape of the Sundarbans, and comes up with a tale that is part adventure story, part romance, part history and resonates with the hybrid mythology of its location throughout.

But while there is much to be savored in this novel, it flounders a bit in describing straightforward adult interactions--people explain themselves (in their thoughts and out loud) rather woodenly.

Still, it kept me reading, and I was glad to learn about a part of the world I'd barely even heard of. But I've enjoyed other Ghosh books more.

UPDATE: Days later, I'm still thinking about it, so it has had more of an impact than I'd have imagined.

UPDATE 2: Coincidentally, just read a fascinating article about the Sundarbans in a recent New Yorker. Isn't it funny how things converge?

No comments: