Even though I might be allowed to say so, but I am a self-declared Amitav Ghosh fan. Why? Because up until now, I had only read two of Ghosh’s works – The Shadow Lines and Calcutta Chromosome; and the latter isn’t even recognized as one of his best works. But I still love him. Reading The Hungry Tide has boosted my own inferiority complex about author-ly love – because after all three is better than two.
There is a chance I may be biased to the book because of its author – but I do believe that THT is brilliant. Shadow Lines and Calcutta Chromosome were so different from each other, that I could not really pinpoint Ghosh’s writing style; but THT has given me a clearer idea. At the risk of sounding clichéd and pompous – I think Ghosh is the intelligent reader’s writer. If you’re looking for simple emotions, Ghosh might aggravate you a little. Rather, his work leaves you feeling just a little bit smarter and I always welcome that.
THT is not just about complex characters that you might identify with- it’s also about the tide country that I knew nothing about. It’s also about dolphins and tigers. Even a non-nature reader like me was sucked in – and that says a lot about the novel. Contrary to the myriad characters in his earlier works – THT has only four or five major characters who are deeply explored, and by the time you’re done reading with the novel, you know them really well. You want to know how their lives go on.
Last words? Go read it if you get a chance. If you go beyond chapter 10, it’s likely that you won’t stop.
PS: Thank you, Renny, for the suggestion 😀