Short Book Review: The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh

The Glass PalaceSBR: The Glass Palace is a work of historical fiction spanning generations over a period of more than a hundred years. The book’s history is good, but the fiction is not. Often I felt like asking the author to relax and let his characters breathe. They can live their own lives and don’t have the obligation to jump from one historical event to the next so that they can tell us everything you have learned from your research. There can be no denying that Ghosh’s history research is solid. The insights into the curious relationship India and Burma had during colonial times were enlightening to me, and the subsequent disconnect between the countries disheartening. The characters of the book, however, are stiff and the story often sounds forced.
To read or not to read: Read for the history, not for the story.

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