The Calcutta Chromosome

…by Amitav Ghosh.

The story beings with computer analyst, Antar, finding an ID card through his computer of a fellow employee who had gone missing years ago. Identifying that the card belongs to Murugan, Antar recalls the long discussion he had with Murugan before he (Murugan) left to Calcutta. Murugan, who dedicated a good amount of time learning about the life of Ronald Ross, goes to Calcutta to find the missing pieces of his theory that Ross’ Nobel fetching discovery about the role that the anopheles mosquito plays in the transmission of malaria was all presented to him by someone / some group that wanted to remain unknown and had ulterior motives.

What is Murugan’s theory? Why does he want to dig more into it? What happened to him in Calcutta? Was he able to find the missing pieces and put it all together? Who was the person or the group that guided Ross so he could make his discovery? What was the motive behind it? Does Antar succeed in finding Murugan? A gripping tale that answers all these questions.

It is a very well written book, which without a doubt had me engrossed.A fast paced story it sure was. But I could not appreciate the way it ended. I was probably anticipating something big or better to come out of all the suspense. When I was almost half way done, I had a feeling that I would like the book…but once I read it fully, I couldn’t get myself to say that. The only reason why – the way things came together. Β It all fell into place, made sense and such…but not to my liking. So, as much as I enjoyed reading this novel, I was left with a weird feeling towards the end.

What I liked, though, is the author’s writing style. Something about it kept me going…his way of building the characters, describing the scenes, developing the plot…all that was done very well. So I’m sure to pick up more of his books in the future even though this particular one didn’t work for me.

So, overall, although I enjoyed the way the story was told, I was disappointed with the way it ended. Therefore,Β I would recommend the author’s work based on this book, but not this book.

My rating: 3*.

*for the rating scale, click here.

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7 comments on “The Calcutta Chromosome

  1. Meira says:

    Well, what do you know…I bought Calcutta Chromosome, The Time Traveler’s Wife, My Sister’s Keeper, Keeper of My Heart and Mistress of Spice this month…and you guys reviewed them all. Eerie, eh?
    But yeah…I am proud that I brought the books which got good reviews πŸ˜›
    (Haven’t read Calcutta Ch. yet :D)

  2. Hmm, the only book by Amitav Ghosh I’ve read so far is ‘The Hungry Tide’. Funnily enough, that has to do with a researcher on dolphins. Wonder if all his books have to do with researchers. πŸ˜› I found that he is definitely easy to read but ‘The Hungry Tide’ too ended in a weird sort of way for me. It wasn’t out for suspense (at least I didn’t think it was) but it just sort of ended. If that makes sense. I actually would like to read his book ‘The Glass Palace’ (Or Glass House??) which I have heard a lot about…

    • Titaxy says:

      Hmmm…the story was about Ross’ malaria research but at the end it took turn from an scientific angle to a spiritual one and I didn’t really like that.

      I have the Hungry Tide, but haven’t read it yet. But after reading your comment, I’m guessing I might not favor that ending either πŸ˜› Oh well, let’s see. :D…I did like the author’s writing, so I will definitely read it.

      And yea, I’ve heard about Glass Palace too. Haven’t gotten around to getting that book yet…will do πŸ™‚

  3. viswajithkn says:

    U know what. I loved this book. For me this book was a real good way to get out of the Potter closet. πŸ˜› And also I loved the way multiple time lines were merged. Was more like a Christopher Nolan movie.

    • Titaxy says:

      Hmm…I didn’t enjoy a little bit of the story in between and then the way things ended – thought it was kind of rushed. But I guess that’s just me because a couple others who read the book loved it.

      I’m now reading another book by the author, and it’s good so far. Will wait and see how much I end up liking it. πŸ™‚

      Glad you liked it πŸ™‚ What are you reading now?

      • viswajithkn says:

        Am juggling two books now. Am reading “The Life of Gandhi” by Louis Fischer and am also reading “The girl with the dragon tattoo”. Both are good in their own way.

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