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Sunday, June 12, 2005

Mixed Tidings

Another mixed, but not unappreciative review of Amitav Ghosh's The Hungry Tide, this time by Charles Foran in The Globe And Mail:

"Not since the sodden Fens of Graham Swift's Waterland has a contemporary novel so abandoned itself to the kind of primordial literary landscape first conceived by Thomas Hardy more than a century ago. For the most part, we fancy ourselves too light-footed and plugged-in to be at the mercy of such 19th-century determinism, a self-conception as pleasing as it is naive."

The reviewer, however, goes on to say: "As he demonstrated in his previous novel, The Glass Palace, Ghosh is also a storyteller with a penchant for the broad strokes of the populist." And he finds the finale a let-down: "It is a Hollywood-style wrap-up, with plot lines tidied and characters confessing, more or less, what they have learned from their experiences. One character, who dies so that another may live, even gets a scientific project named after him. This doesn't ring true to either Ghosh's intellect or to the setting he has created with such skill and ardour. It doesn't ring true for the Sundarbans."


  • Interesting ...i did find the ends too neatly tidied up too- all landscape and atmosphere and not so much story - reall enjoyed reading it while it lasted tho not a story that stays with one

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:31 AM  

  • If one's not mistaken, 'The Glass Palace' also has a too-tidy will have to re-read it to be sure.

    By Blogger PrufrockTwo, at 11:18 AM  

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