The Hungry Tide

A Novel

The Hungry Tide (2006, Mariner Books)

Paperback, 352 pages

English language

Published June 7, 2006 by Mariner Books.

ISBN:
9780618711666

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4 stars (3 reviews)

Off the easternmost corner of India, in the Bay of Bengal, lies the immense labyrinth of tiny islands known as the Sundarbans, where settlers live in fear of drowning tides and man-eating tigers. Piya Roy, a young American marine biologist of Indian descent, arrives in this lush, treacherous landscape in search of a rare species of river dolphin and enlists the aid of a local fisherman and a translator. Together the three of them launch into the elaborate backwaters, drawn unawares into the powerful political undercurrents of this isolated corner of the world that exact a personal toll as fierce as the tides.

3 editions

Sharp climate-tinged human pain

4 stars

Riveting exploration of selfishness and idealism and loss, set deep in the strange tidal mangroves shifting landscape of rivers and migrations of people and animals.

There are a couple scenes in here that so perfectly eviscerate our character's self-conceptions as good people in just a few lines, and then let them still be complicated and interdependent as the sense of morality too ebbs and washes.

a riveting ride

5 stars

part of my seminar reading on ecocritical postcolonialism, and very well-selected i think, since Ghosh manages to deftly represent the intertwining of themes including migration, environmental preservation/degradation/balance, tensions between ways of knowing (science vs. local oral history), urban development etc.

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rated it

4 stars