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Saturday, May 18, 2013

THE SHADOW LINES by AMITAV GHOSH



Set across Dhaka, Calcutta, London and in a minor way other cities this story is a narration of a thirteen year spell where the narrator starts with London and ends with his departure from London to Delhi at the completion of his studies.

Ghosh's other books were much more alive for me than this one. This was for me a bit of a plodder. I knew the story line was a good one but unlike his other books this was not one which kept me captivated till I finished (and it was a small book as well).

The story of a life of personalities starting with his grandmother and her vivid memories of her life in Dhaka before the Partition (Bangladesh) and the other women in his life his cousin Ila and May Price. 
The story lives in the present and then suddenly goes back to a vivid past for all the characters and this was what was attractive. For people who have had history woven into their lives e.g. someone who has lived through a war, displacement and then resettlement history has never been part of a dull past. It is something one has captured in one's heart and one which actually lives with you till the end. It is unlike the life of a person who has quietly been born and lived his entire life without any major outside upheaval. So many people live and work in their own little corner of the world and watch events happening from far away but when you are part of the event which is what happens in this story, the drama is very much closer at hand.

On another note, I finally sorted out my visa for Australia and hopefully can get a ticket to fly on Friday. It is going to be a busy week! Looking forward to seeing my children and now my grand daughter. Having a christening on the 2nd June and looking forward very much to that. 



6 comments:

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

I have had this book around for a decade but never read it. No particular reason. I don't mind plodding through it because there is depth to whatever Amitav Ghosh writes not to mention his style of writing. I hope you have a grand time with your children and granddaughter.

Mary (Bookfan) said...

Have a wonderful visit to Australia!

Lisa said...

Sorry to hear this one was a disappointment. Have a wonderful time in Australia - I'll bet you can't wait to get to that grandbaby!

Noelle the dreamer said...

I liked your review Mystica, particularly the latter part and might just try this one too.
Wishing you a safe trip and a wonderful time in Australia with the kiddies and your lovely grandaughter!
Might you share a photo with us?
Blessings,

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Hmmm...wondering if this has a different title in the US and I'm familiar with the author, but not the title.

Neha said...

One of the best books I ever read!
Covers so many themes, and mind blowing linkage of events over a huge time span.This book really needs attention.
Amitav Ghosh is may be most lucid story writer of today's India.