The Hungry Tide is a very contemporary story of adventure and
unlikely love, identity and history, set in one of the most
fascinating regions on the earth. Off the easternmost coast of
India, in the Bay of Bengal, lies the immense labyrinth of tiny
islands known as the Sundarbans.
For settlers here, life is
extremely precarious. Attacks by deadly tigers are common. Unrest
and eviction are constant threats. Without warning, at any time,
tidal floods rise and surge over the land, leaving devastation in
their wake. In this place of vengeful beauty, the lives of three
people from different worlds collide. Piya Roy is a young marine
biologist, of Indian descent but stubbornly American, in search of a
rare, endangered river dolphin.
Her journey begins with a disaster,
when she is thrown from a boat into crocodile-infested waters.
Rescue comes in the form of a young, illiterate fisherman, Fokir.
Although they have no language between them, Piya and Fokir are
powerfully drawn to each other, sharing an uncanny instinct for the
ways of the sea. Piya engages Fokir to help with her research and
finds a translator in Kanai Dutt, a businessman from Delhi whose
idealistic aunt and uncle are longtime settlers in the Sundarbans.
As the three of them launch into the elaborate backwaters, they are
drawn unawares into the hidden undercurrents of this isolated world,
where political turmoil exacts a personal toll that is every bit as
powerful as the ravaging tide. Already an international success, The
Hungry Tide is a prophetic novel of remarkable insight, beauty, and
...The result is a fascinating tapestry, in which idealistic motives and carefully preserved secrets alike are vulnerable to a world of various predators....A bit bumpy; still, overall, Ghosh's fifth is one of his most interesting.
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
One doesn't so much read Ghosh's masterful fifth novel as inhabit his characters and the alluring if treacherous Sundarban archipelago.
Booklist - Donna Seaman (starred review)
Through his characters' very different mind-sets, Ghosh posits urgent questions about humankind's place in nature in an atmospheric and suspenseful drama of love and survival that has particular resonance in the aftermath of the December 2004 tsunami.
The Japan Times
"The Hungry Tide" is an elegantly written and highly informative volume that beautifully evokes a little-known part of the world.
The Age (Australia)
Ghosh is a seductive writer and master, not only of realistic description but of the mot juste, a cause of endless pleasure for the reader....This is a reassuringly civilised book in which wisdom is embedded and the representation of experience is, for once, deeply satisfying.
Biblio - Supriya Choudhuri
I think one of the greatest compliments one could pay Amitav Ghosh and his novel is to say that it is true to many experiences not contained in it. It offers the sense of a place whose history, partly known, partly guessed at, can illuminate the ways in which human beings have lived on this earth and made use of its fruits.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by varsha how does the writer describe the sunderbans The narrative is a fine piece of prose with the beauty and elegance of a poem which is evocative in character. He concludes the piece with the quotes from "The Tenth Elegy of Rainer Maria Rilike". It is a elegy on the death of something precious... Read More
Rated of 5
by Yonstan A Picturesque travel The book is fascinating and picturesque. It brought alive the island of Sundarbans and I enjoyed the travel, meeting the most idealistic lovers – Piya and Fokir. The language is awesome and refreshing. It enriches the readers with delightful... Read More
Rated of 5
by pardeep the storm part I think this book is average , because of its style of narration, but the last part of the book is interesting, the storm scene is very good... the topic in this book is about the environment is interesting.....
Rated of 5
by Hungry.Tide.Hater Hungry Tide Sucks This book is the slowest, most boring book I've ever read. I read it, painfully, for school. Then I had to re-read it. I (in my mind) divided the book into thirds, reached the end of the first third, skipped the whole middle third, started at the... Read More
Rated of 5
by David Behera Genius lying in simplicity Amitav Ghosh's characters are someone that everyone can relate to; like an alter ego, every individual reader would identify him or herself with any of these simple yet hauntingly evoking people.
The narrative is tight and fluid. While the... Read More
Rated of 5
by Chitral Chatterjee You are truly an inspiring writer! I feel extremely privileged to be able to write a book review on your beautiful creation.......your book has served as a mirror for the many inhabitants of Sunderbans - The TIde Country as you would put it.....it has reflected every aspect of the... Read More
delta of the Sundarbans is a
harsh area prone to natural
disasters, such as the cyclone
in 1970 which killed 300,000
people. During 'normal' cyclones
the mangrove swamps absorb much
of the first shock which is why
the people of the area do not
build close to the sea.
Despite this a business group
have ambitious plans to build an
enormous tourism complex in the
region, with everything from
'virgin beaches' to shopping
centers, restaurants and
As Ghosh, and many others, point
out, this would not only be an
ecological disaster for the area
but also a likely financial
disaster for the group. The
river system carries 8 times as
much silt as the Amazon so there
are no pristine...
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