I started with Ghosh's earlier work, _The Shadow Lines_ as one of the texts of my thesis. _The Glass Palace_ is my second Ghosh's book, and, after months with it, I can happily say it's a pleasure to read this more-matured work of his.
The intricacies between the coloniser/colonised is always the main theme of his work: _The Shadow Lines_ is, for instance, a coming-of-age story of an Indian child that traverses from pre-colonial India to post-colonial India. While the author is - just as what he has shown us in _The Glass Palace_ - sensitive on the ebbs and flows of one's quest of his/her post-colonial identity, the process of understanding and, eventually, the epiphany of what it means to be a post-colonial Indian in _The Shadow Lines_, always feels abrupt to me. Not anymore with _The Glass Palace_.
_The Glass Palace_ is a more ambitious work of Ghosh that spans across the sub-continent: Burma, India, Thailand, and the Malaya. Perhaps it is the sheer scope of this work (of course it is not just that!) allowed him to slowly disentangle the colonised subjects' battle (physical and psychological wise) against colonialism - from the germination of an awareness as a colonised subject (I am thinking of Arjun here in particular...), slowly to the cause of India's independence. Arjun's change is palpable, the wavering of his thought only adds authenticity to the work.
This is only a small portion of the work. _The Glass Palace_, of course, has much to offer. It is a well-researched historical novel that can offer its reader a glimpse of the 19-20th century SE Asia diaspora. While it's hardly flawless (it ends abruptly), it is still an immensely satisfying read. Highly Recommended....Continua
Five years to write this book have been well spent, no doubt about it. Ghosh is an amazing writer, who goes deep into historical issues and into human mind. In this novel nothing is superfluous, history is told through the characters' lives with a narration which is kept brilliantly intense by means of ellipses. There is everything a good reader may want: well depicted characters, love, war, history and its contradictions, an apparently simple style which is somehow spellbinding. Not only have I enjoyed the reading, but I have also learnt many things I ignored - before this book Burma was a huge mystery to me!
I also recommend the hungry tide!