Sunday, January 29

Book Review: Anil's Ghost

Title: Anil's Ghost

Author: Michael Ondaatje

Pages: 307

Summary: Anil's Ghost transports us to Sri Lanka, a country steeped in centuries of tradition, now ravaged in the late twentieth century by civil war. Into this maelstrom steps Anil Tissera, educated in England and America, who returns to Sri Lanka as a forensic anthropologist sent by humans rights organization to discover the source of the organized campaigns of murder engulfing the island. What follows is a story about love, family, identity, the unknown enemy and a quest to unlock the hidden past - a story propelled by a riveting mystery. Unfolding against the evocative background of Sri Lanka's landscape and ancient civilization, Anil's Ghost is a spellbinder.

My Rating: 8.75/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: This book was wonderful written with an intriguing story that as me wanting to hunt down more o the authors works.

The book had wonderful prose and I was easily lost in the passages of the book. The author was able bring to life the beauty, scenery, culture, smells combined with horrors of the civil war in Sri Lanka wonderfully. He was easily able bring to life all the horrors of the civil war, creating an excellent fictional account of the time period but tied in historical accounts nicely. The book was both beautiful and haunting at the same time, making it a very profound and enjoyable read. The story is told in an unusual way, and I'm not sure if I like it or not. It's almost disjointed in how it's told, giving pieces of information from the past, present, memories of characters, and other events all happening around the same time has the main story line. What you get in the end is a very powerful story, but I did find it to be confusing at times trying to link everything together, and to keep track all the strings in the storyline and how they linked together. In the end it works out wonderfully, but getting there was difficult.

The only other issue I had was the characters, while I loved the stories, I didn't find I cared for the characters as much as I would have liked. They were all complex characters, with difficult pasts, and had depth to them, but I didn't find them to be enjoyable as the story itself. I didn't dislike them, but compared to the story, I didn't love them - I guess they didn't balance each other.

Overall, wonderfully written, intriguing story that has me wanting me to seek out more books by the author.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, it was a wonderful read - I can see people who would have issus with how the story is told in a disjointed way, I guess you could call it, but it's so beautifully written, it's worth it.

What to read next: I've read the Cat's Table also by the author, and it was a very well done book. The English Patient is what he is known for so there's a start

Challenges: 12 in 12, 100+ Challenge, Alphabet Challenge, Canadian Award Winners Challenge, Canadian Reading Challenge V, Global Reading Challenge

10 comments:

  1. I read this years ago, I think as a freshman in college. I remember really liking it, though I haven't read anything else by Ondaatje since then!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't read much by the author, but he is a really talented one. Glad to here you enjoyed the book.

      Delete
  2. I have not heard much about this book, but your reaction to it intrigues me, and though I have had problems with Ondaatje's books in the past, this one might be worth investigating. Fantastic review today, Jules!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hopefully if you get a chance to read this book it will be a good experience for you. What about his books did you have a problem with?

      Delete
  3. I have been most interested in this book of all Ondaatje's books. I haven't read anything except the English Patient, shamefully.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never read anything by the author until a few months ago. The English Patient is suppose to be a great read. This was a great read, I enjoyed it better than The Cat's Table.

      Delete
  4. I read this a few years ago and enjoyed it, but I have to admit I hardly remember it now. I have Ondaatje's newest book out from the library at the moment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I want to read more from the author, Divisadero is on preview on my ereader, so I'll see if it catches my interest. Have you read anything else by the author?

      Delete
  5. I've never read anything by Ondaatje, but this sounds intriguing. Your description of the characters as complex, with difficult pasts and depth, attracts me to this book, in spite of your not enjoying them, lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Characters are in that line of like/dislike. But they're well done and if you enjoy books with the type of characters I mentioned, you should enjoy this, and enjoy Ondaatje, he's a fantastic story teller and writer.

      Delete