This is a really great book. However, those looking for a repeat of The English Patient may be disappointed. While the writing style is very similar (Ondaatje's poetic descriptions) the organization is much clearer and easier to follow. It isn't until 2/3 of the way into the book that he begins to mix events around. But it works! The characters are as fascinating as those we know from The English Patient, but the plot is far more interesting, and his descriptions near sublime. This book is poetic, disturbing and uplifting all at the same time. One can imagine that this is a topic that is closer to the heart of the author, but no matter what, it comes through as a thoughtful, inspired work of art.
Review by: Elise Hadden, Under the Heather Books (...)
What I Liked
Above all, Anil’s Ghost is absolutely fascinating. The forensic and archaeological elements are detailed enough to draw the reader into the majestic mystery of the story. Yet somehow it is not enough to bog readers down in an endless info dump. As I have spent some time studying the Sri Lankan civil war from other angles, the exposure to the intensity of living through this era of terror was powerful. A doctor disappears with no warning, never to be seen again. Rebels yank a man out of his car and nail his hands to the street for no apparent reason. Torn between three factions vying for power, trust is a thing of the past. The characters are beautiful and everlasting, fractured with tragedy, genius, and beauty alike to reflect the ruptured nature of their homeland.
What I Didn’t Like
As much as I loved the narrative of this story, I found the main character,...
Wonderful, beautiful story. Great mystery in tragic historical context. Alan Cummings (actor) is the narrator. Unfortunately he does a very poor job of delineating charactors and providing emotional life to the story. Switching from one character to another as a narrator is a fine rare talent, yet I have been listening to audio books for many years and the skilled narrators/actors are able to do this well. Giving a character voice, and/or giving vivid emotional description through narration allows the listener to "live" the scene and "see" the characters. Alan Cummings does not do any of this and the listener is unable to tell one character from another. His narration style is flat, unemotional, and makes the story difficult to follow as Anil's Ghost moves from one time period to another in character flashbacks.This is the first audio CD I have NOT enjoyed in a very long time because of the narrator. I am now going to read the book, which is actually a good thing!
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