Frances's Reviews > The Glass Palace

The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh
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's review
Dec 26, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: novels, historical-fiction
Recommended for: anyone

The first person I recommended this book to was an English professor, who said she was immediately "transfixed." Undoubtedly Amitav Ghosh's masterpiece (his other novels do not even compare), The Glass Palace is an epic that takes place over three generations of a multi-ethnic and multi-class families in Southeast Asia. Ghosh sets the novel in the Bengal region, which straddles modern-day borders of India, Bangladesh, Burma, and Malaysia, demonstrating how the porous nature of these cultures makes a significant argument against the arbitrary boundaries drawn during the colonial eras. The Glass Palace is both a critique and celebration of modernity, wrought through dynamic characters you come to know as family, indubitable historical descriptions that you feel Ghosh knows intimately, and myriad images, smells, sounds, and feeling compiled through a kind of snapshot montage. Regardless of your personal history, reading The Glass Palace is like leafing through your own family's photo album.
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