Amitav Ghosh’s Sea of poppies: an excerpt and a recommendation

Over at NPR, Jacki Lyden gives one of the strongest recommendations for Ghosh’s book:

Ghosh is a native of Calcutta and speaks five languages. His love for India rings through here — as do his verbal gifts. His efforts are swashbuckling, and his ship, the Ibis, is the most pulsing, heart-rending literary ship to plough the seas since Ishmael climbed the riggings of the Pequod. After a while, you’ll be rocking between all these languages, too — and hoping the Ibis casts off soon for volume No. 2 of this trilogy.

There is also an excerpt of five or six paragraphs. As I noted elsewhere in this blog, I have not yet read any fiction of Ghosh; may be I will start with this.

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2 Responses to “Amitav Ghosh’s Sea of poppies: an excerpt and a recommendation”

  1. gaddeswarup Says:

    Guru,
    I read or browsed through a few of his books. The one I liked best is his ‘In an Antique Land’ which I read in one sitting and browsed through a few times again. The ‘The Glass House’ is a bit like a soap opera and this one too sounds like it. I am not sure of views of history disguised as novels brooking little discussion.

  2. Guru Says:

    Dear Swarup,

    Of all the books of Ghosh, the one I liked best is his Dancing in Cambodia; I also enjoyed several pieces in the Imam and the Indian — especially one about his encounter with the Imam (which, probably, is from In an Antique Land) and the other one about Bomma, a slave from South Canara. I have heard several people tell me that Ghosh’s novels lack the depth of his anthropological writing (which is great by the way — like the pieces he wrote after Tsunami, for example) and that sometimes they sound like a treatise written in the novel format, as you also note. But seeing this one getting compared to Moby Dick and all, I thought may be I should take a look.

    Guru

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