In an interview, Amitav Ghosh said of his work, The Glass Palace, “one can examine the truths of individuals in history definitely more completely in fiction than. 24 Jun Amitav Ghosh came to the attention of the literary world earlier this year when he refused the Best Book Prize from the Commonwealth. Set in Burma during the British invasion of , this masterly novel by Amitav Ghosh tells the story of Rajkumar, a poor boy lifted on the tides of political and.

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Throughout his exile he does not quite seem to amiav that the British will not let him return to Burma, that they will do everything in their power to make the world forget him. Lists with This Book. That is much less true here, partly because most of the younger characters are interesting in their own right, partly because the action moves into truly stirring times, and partly because it is here that Ghosh ghoah clearly comes to gosh with the major themes of his book.

One example must suffice. So here goes, and I There is a hidden pit I could fall into when writing this reaction. As much defeat as there is present in The Glass Palacethere are also extraordinary tales of survival and hope.

Ghosh also feels compelled to explain details about logging and elephant-handling and the motor-cars of the day and much else. It was twice as long to read as other books of this exact length.

Reader’s Circle | The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh

I am not going to air kiss and bestow courteous admiring comments as to how the book merges a fascinating piece of history with a gratifying story.

Certain details — a page on anthrax, for example — read as though they had been cut out of an encyclopedia and pasted in the text: Ghosh re-creates Rajkumar’s childhood in an almost fairy-tale way. Who’s to tell me you won’t do the same? And then Rajkumar’s sharp, excited voice cut through the buzz of speculation.


Eventually he will go seek out the girl he saw only briefly in Mandalay years before, the young attendant Dolly. When people asked how old he was he said fifteen, or sometimes eighteen or nineteen, for it gave him a sense of strength and power to be able to exaggerate so wildly, to pass himself off as grown and strong, in body and judgment, when he was, in fact, not much more than a child.

He resented being categorised as a Commonwealth writer, and also objected that the only works considered for the prize were those written in English. Especially during the Indian army sensibilities chapters.

Note that a mistake in the last line of the book in the British edition — a sentence which “seems to have slipped a grammatical cog somewhere” as Hugo Barnacle put it in his review in The Sunday Times — seems to have been corrected for the US edition. As looters raid the palace, Rajkumar, an Indian boy of 11, catches a glimpse of Dolly, one of the queen’s maids and “by far the most beautiful creature he had ever beheld, of a loveliness beyond imagining.

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The Glass Palace Summary

The beauty of prose comes out in those parts that explore the dichotomy of the Indian soldier in the Empire’s army. Set in Burma during the British invasion ofthis masterly novel by Amitav Ghosh tells the story of Rajkumar, a poor boy lifted on the tides of political and social chaos, who goes on to create an empire in the Burmese teak forest.

It was almost dark by the time he remembered why he’d been sent to the city. What strengths do these women express, and at what points are they identified and illuminated in the novel? View all 5 comments. In the palatial surroundings of his palace, Thebaw awaits the arrival of British troops who have moved up from the south to incorporate the kingdom as a whole in their empire.


The Glass Palace

Even purposed to all details of their eating in each and every ethnic factions’ food choices within different canteen halls. Often it feels like The Glass Palace is several novels, spliced up and edited into one.

But ghish can also see, even this is dense, how much more so the book. Or perhaps it is merely proof that too many editors spoil the soup. It’s teak forests, gold, rubber, and other natural resources formed part of the colonial land grabbing in the s, having Britain as their ruler for more than years. Nov 13, Debbie rated it it was amazing.

What does it tell us about history, and how we have always been taught to remember it? He does, however, get bogged down at times.

Sounds like something out of a bad TV commercial. Ppalace exile of King Thibaw and the aftermath of his family life in the western coastal region of India was job well done. The author manages to tell a sweeping tale with epic historical themes and yet also glaas and full of compassion for the individual struggles of the people.

But since I did, in fact, push myself all the way to the end, I’ll give myself a pass. Tue were the first to be imprisoned in the name of their progress; millions more will follow. I feel like Ghosh is a writer with flashes of a brilliance I could love who too often gets tangled up in his need to instruct, to fill in the deplorable gaps in our understanding of colonialism and Southeast Asia.