Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Calcutta Chromosome: A Novel of Fevers, Delirium & Discovery Paperback – January 23, 2001
|New from||Used from|
LaunchPad Solo for Literature
Learn and practice close reading & critical thinking skills in an interactive environment.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Library Journal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The book has its ups and downs, and ultimately sucks you in the last 100 pages, and cruelly leaves you staring face to face with a brick wall. A main character keeps on saying "Don't you see?" and "Can't you see it?" to another character. I felt like the author was patronizing me, because I could not make the connections. I went back and reread a bit, and it turns out that seemingly trivial information stated at the beginning of the book is key to understanding the end. I agree with other reviewers about the scene at the railway station...breathtaking. Rarely have I had such a vivid picture painted in my head while reading...but frustratingly, this act does not seem to tie in to the rest of the story at all...or does it? Maybe I'm just not smart enough to make the connections. I'm not the type to go back and read entire novels again just to understand what the heck the point of the book was. If you aren't either (and if you are any less than a genius), than you may want to skip this one.
However, for all the blurb evocations, this is no Borges, nor Pynchon. I see why the comparisons were drawn, but there are some major plot and even ... call them philosophical... flaws that drag The Calcutta Chromosome back from a really good book to a fun read on the 'plane.
Basically, there is a vast and bizarre conspiracy, which, while entertaining, is founded on mushy, ill thought-out motives. There is an attempt to evoke an east/west - mysticism/logic thing, but it collapses under its own inconsistencies to reveal a balding plot device wearing a toupee of picturesque Oriental mystics.
Finally, there is quite a bit of pseudo-scientific and technological hand waving. This will bother some more than others. The point that technology can be like magic is relevant, and in places I can forgive the more nonsensical bits as contributing to a good story. There are other incidents, particularly the absurdly retrieved e-mail, which could have been tied into other themes in the story but weren't. Instead, I was left with the impression that Ghosh wrote himself into a bit of a corner and couldn't be bothered to take some more plausible method of getting himself out.
Sit back, fit together the edge pieces of the jigsaw puzzle, admire the pretty picture, and try not to be disappointed if you find a few of the middle pieces missing.
This is a novel worth reading twice.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I consider Amitav Ghosh one of the best storytellers in the world. I was surprised that this was so draggy and didn't seem to be moving along at all. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Was recommended this book by my wife, who was recommended it by a friend. As someone who lived in Calcutta, I found lots of the imagery very evocative and nostalgic. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Sujit Pal
I was curious to see how a celebrated literary fiction writer pulls off a genre fiction novel. I must say I have mixed feelings about the outcome. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Papyrus Reviews
The Calcutta Chromosome by Amitav Ghosh is easily one of the most discomforting reads I’ve ever encountered. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Melody
Great Condition. This was for my son's college course. I ended up reading the whole book. I loved it!!!!!!! Another good reading.Published on April 18, 2014 by Joanne Dalton
I loved the mix of mystery, science and science fiction. Ghosh is a master of the subcontinent's family sagas and here he extends his grasp to another genre. Read morePublished on March 20, 2014 by Helena Clift