Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Calcutta Chromosome

I thought I'd try something a little different from my usual book fare, so I picked up this book by Amitav Ghosh recently. It seemed promising: he's an anthropologist and the book is about malaria--all stuff I'm definitely interested in, having studied medical anthropology and loved it as an undergrad.

Unfortunately...this book did not move me. I found it somewhat impenetrable. I think the fact that an older Indian man wrote it meant that there were many, many references that this young American woman did not understand. It also seemed like it was going to be good, but I kept getting closer and closer to the end without any clearer understanding of the story--and then the ending was just one huge black hole to me.

Well, that's not really true. I sort of get it. And I sort of think the author was trying to make it a mysterious, open-ended ending...but it was not enjoyable for me. Too bad.

Also, I disliked where the author went with the premise of the story. There are so many fascinating things to write about when discussing chromosomes and diseases...but I just did not like this twist on things. Too bad.

Maybe someone who understood where this book was coming from would like it. It didn't seem *bad* exactly. I just really didn't like it. Ah well. Such is book life.

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