The Shadow Lines
Opening in Calcutta in the 1960s, Ghosh’s radiant second novel follows two families-one English, one Bengali-as their lives intertwine in tragic and comic ways. The narrator, Indian-born and English educated, traces events back and forth in time, through years of Bengali partition and violence, observing the ways in which political events invade private lives. The Shadow L...more
The return of this asymmetrical Saturday was one of those little events, internal, local, almost civic, which, in peaceful lives and closed societies, create a sort of national bond and become the favorite theme of conversations, jokes, stories wantonly exaggerated: it would have been the ready-made nucleus for a cycle of legends, if one of us had had an epic turn of mind.
~ Marcel Proust
The Shadow Lines of History (& Geography)
It is said that childhood is the font of all stories. No stor ...more
The book collapses time and space, placing events from different times and places next to each other. The narrator goes from his experience as a little boy in India to London both through the stories of his uncle and his own experience there as a student. From this narrative structure emerges a powerful message.
For Ghosh, the wo ...more
On its surface, Shady Lines is about two families – one English and one Bengali – whose lives have been intertwined for three generations. The unnamed narrator, Indian born and English educated, has grown up with the stories of his uncle, Tridib. It is through these seemingly unrelated stories that the larger picture slowly unfold until, eventually, you realize that they are all culminating in a single, tragic event that impacts both families.
Ultimately, th ...more
There are some books that are difficult to review. Their pages open up to spill a mixed bag of emotions and self-contained little worlds onto your lap. As the pages whirl by, boundaries blur. And the worlds, with their bags of emotions, seep into your veins, absorbed into the sponge of your sub-conscious.
That's when you realize the book is now a part of you - that there was something so compatible between your mind, your feelings and the book that there are no separate entities now.
And you bec ...more
This is a book that you will want to read in one sitting. I didn't, but I wish that I had. The book follows the memories of the narrator, and like ...more
As I sit to review this book, the first thought ...more
I really wanted to like this book. There are some great observations from a child's point of view. There are also some real sentiments from the elderly grandmother teacher. But...
I easily put this book down to watch tv, talk to my cat, tweeze my eye brows or anything else. The narrator /main character tells his story in a haphazard fashion, not stream of consciousness. Either I couldn't follow him or I didn't care enough to try.
I thought it would be nice to read about a middle class Indian for ...more
It reads like a collection of snapshots from different time frames pieced together which transcends space, time, identity, culture and distance through its fluid narration. It was a journey through the unnamed narrator's mind who isn't trying to get to a truth but in that process reveals the greatest one - that there is no tr ...more
Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta in 1956. He studied in Dehra Dun, New Delhi, Alexan ...more