11 March 2013

Low-Water Mark

The Hungry Tide
by Amitav Ghosh

I'm sorry to say I could not finish this. I got about a third of the way through.

I greatly enjoyed The Calcutta Chromosome and Sea of Poppies and have liked other books by this author, some more and others less, but this was unbearable. The setting is squalid and hellish, an island half-drowned in the mud of the Ganges delta. The characters did not interest me, and a developing romance between an Indian-American marine biologist and a Bengali fisherman seemed preposterously unlikely, although in fairness I didn't read far enough to see whether they actually got together. The author keeps harping on Bengali grievances, which are now becoming something of a pedal point in all his writing; frankly, I think it's time he took his foot off that particular pedal.

Oh, it has river-dolphins in it. I've just finished editing a book on Indian Ocean cetaceans, which means I'm in the throes of a fading but still-strong professional fascination with whales and dolphins. For all that, however, Ghosh still managed to bore me with his.

No comments:

Post a Comment