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49 Reviews
5 star:
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4 star:
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3 star:
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2 star:
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Catapulted 2 different places, times at breath taking tempo!
"The Shadow Lines" by Amitav Ghosh was written when the homes of the Sikhs were still smoldering, some of the most important questions the novel probes are the various faces of violence and the extent to which its fiery arms reach under the guise of fighting for freedom. Ghosh's treatment of violence in Calcutta and in Dhaka is valid even today, more than ten...
Published on December 3, 2003 by filmcatqueen

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Elegant writing but somewhat disappointing
I found this book intriguing in many ways - moving between Calcutta and London. The writing is always elegant and the characters well drawn but having read the first two parts of his trilogy "Sea of poppies" and "River of smoke" I was disappointed by the more pedestrian subject matter. His main characters, Tridib, Ila and May always remained shadowy and I...
Published 3 months ago by Annette Innes


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5.0 out of 5 stars I understood it and really enjoyed it, and hate to see the book end, July 26, 2014
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I could really not understand about the first 50 pages of this book, but when I finally realized what the author was doing, I understood it and really enjoyed it, and hate to see the book end. Amitav Ghosh is a great and talented writer, and quite inventive in how he intertwines so many characters from so many unlikely places. Before reading this book, if you are a novice to India's history during and after the partition, then you might want to study some of that before reading this book since all the characters revolve around this one time in history and the affect the partition had in the lives of those characters. I love Ghosh's writing, and have ordered several of his other books to enjoy as well.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Engaging story but confusing time line and cronology, February 4, 2014
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If you don't mind being confused by the time line it is an interesting read. I just couldn't get past the fact that on the same page I am reading about the present day and without warning we are back to the grandparents time and then to the parents time. I had to keep going back to reread to find my way. If you put this book down then picking it up and making sense is difficult.

I believe if the author had followed a straight timeline this would have been a great read!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional emotional journey from Calcutta to London!, March 24, 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: The Shadow Lines (Hardcover)
The emotions of human beings placed in an unfamiliar cultural ethos are portrayed with exceptional skill and honesty. The complete gamut of human emotions from religious fanaticism to dormant sexual impulses flies across the canvas of this book against the backdrop of two families - one British, one Indian. The depths of these two cultures with their attendant dogmas and inherent beauty is thrown right into the readers face - making him smile and wince at the same time
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good, October 6, 1996
By A Customer
This review is from: The Shadow Lines (Hardcover)
It's really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really... GOOD! No, really, it was
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1.0 out of 5 stars depressing and meandering, September 13, 2014
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Very disappointed in all the flashbacks and found myself confused and bored. Only fans should read this in my opinion.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Plays out almost like tragedy., August 26, 2014
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Sandra Hutchins (Nashville, TN United States) - See all my reviews
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Made a real and imagined world that caught and held my interest. Plays out almost like tragedy.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This author is wonderful, February 3, 2013
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I've read other books by this author and I especially loved the Sea of Poppies Trilogy. I liked The Shadow Lines, but he has done something that I have never seen in another book. He goes back and forth in time - in the same paragraph, just the way a person thinks with one thought hinging on something that happened before. I'm sorry to say that I didn't figure it out for a long time and was just confused. So, this wasn't my favorite of his books, but I can't wait to read anything he writes.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting and original read, April 14, 2011
This book is very interesting and original in that it does not have a linear narrative. Rather, it is a book where the flow is almost a stream of consciousness. The narrator unpacks memory after memory as they occur to him and reveals the story in a very unusual way. At first I found this frustrating, but later I found it gave the book meaning, in explaining the power of memories to different individuals and the way in which one's perception based on their memories frames the way in which they perceive reality. This book like other Ghosh books have some basis in history covering England in the war years, Dhaka before the partition, and the Dhaka and Calcutta communal riots, but this one is less so than a couple others I've read. Like the Glass Palace, this book also involves interesting cultural interactions between East and West that always makes for an interesting read.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply outstanding, September 25, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Shadow Lines (Hardcover)
The book is an experience, absolutely amazing. Ghosh's switches the narrative in time and space with phenomenal ease.... A must read and right up there with the best in literature.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most significant English-language novel about India., June 29, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Shadow Lines (Hardcover)
It's true. Read it
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