Monday, July 13, 2009

The Hungry Tide

'The Hungry Tide' is the story of two young people - a Delhi based businessman and a female cetologist (a biologist who studies marine mammals such as dolphins etc.) - who visit the Sunderbans for personal and professional reasons respectively, and how their lives become intertwined with those of a poor, illiterate fisherman and his ambitious wife.

There is a parallel story running throughout the book, of an idealist & a revolutionary who gave up his life for the idea of revolution, or possibly for love, you may argue.

I was never too keen on reading Amitav Ghosh for the simple reason that the synopsis of his books printed on the back cover never enticed me into buying the books. After reading ‘The Hungry Tide’ I am convinced that he is a seriously over-rated writer.

Well, to be fair to him the book isn’t all that bad. It just failed to interest me. It’s not a page turner either.

The only reason I persisted with it is because I’ve been to the ‘tide country’ and therefore, I could imagine the settings. Someone who hasn’t been to the Sunderbans, and does not know what the mangroves, rivers/creeks & villages there look like may not be able to enjoy the book at all.

Amitav Ghosh’s style of writing is very conventional and staid, for me at least. He writes well but there is nothing exciting about his style of writing.

'The Hungry Tide' is an old book so I’m sure many of you would have read it already. As for me, I don’t regret not having picked up ‘The Sea of Poppies’.


The knife said...

I read it while at Sunderban and it really brought Sunderban alive to me... but i did read his first big piece when i was in college and used to read heady, heavy stuff ...wasn't too impressed then

Scarlett said...

@The Knife - The only reason I completed the book was b/c I could imagine the Sunderbans, as I've been there before. Don't think will like his other work as much - he's too staid for my tastes.

Moonshine said...

Did not like his calcutta chromosome either!

The knife said...

yeah, I read that soon after i came to Bombay...attracted by the title. Don't remember liking it

Scarlett said...

@Moonshine & The Knife - I don't think I'll be reading any of his other books. 'The Glass Palace' is supposed to be a good one...have you guys read it?