Magazine article World Literature Today

Flood of Fire

Magazine article World Literature Today

Flood of Fire

Article excerpt

Amitav Ghosh. Flood of Fire. New York. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 2015. isbn 9780374174248

Throughout his work, Amitav Ghosh considers the ramifications of commercial, political, historical, and personal networks that span the globe. In the final novel of his Ibis trilogy, Ghosh interweaves the storylines of the preceding novels in a manner that underscores the plot-driven quality of these novels and Ghosh's penchant for thinking in global terms. In Flood of Fire, Ghosh reacquaints readers with several characters introduced in Sea of Poppies, including Neel Rattan Halder, Zachary Reid, Paulette Lambert, and Baboo Nob Kissin.

Amid romance plots and battle scenes on land and water, Ghosh continues to probe the historical implications of a messianic free-trade doctrine in language that applies to contemporary critiques of capitalism's excesses. As the back matter in the Ibis novels indicates, Ghosh has profound respect for archival sources. At times Ghosh's love of detail gets the better of his storytelling acumen and mundane information bogs down the narrative. Fortunately, more frequently, Ghosh imbues his descriptive passages with a brio that entertains and intrigues: "Few were the tamashas that could compare with the spectacle of the Bengal Native Infantry on the march. Every member of the paltan was aware of this-dandia-wallahs, naach-girls, bangyburdars, syces, mess-consummers, berry-wallahs, bhisties-but none more so than Havildar Kesri Singh, whose face served as the battalion's figurehead when he rode at the head of the column. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.