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Anil's Ghost

Average Rating 3.5
( 27 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Graceful, Concentrated

Ondaatji, the author of The English Patient, reveals key points in the worldwide search for hidden graves through a tough, dedicated and incredibly focused heroine. This struggle for human rights comes vividly alive through a lush and moving history of Sri Lanka, ever ...
Ondaatji, the author of The English Patient, reveals key points in the worldwide search for hidden graves through a tough, dedicated and incredibly focused heroine. This struggle for human rights comes vividly alive through a lush and moving history of Sri Lanka, ever a victim of arms dealers. A deeply emotional and intense tale.

posted by Anonymous on January 22, 2014

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

flat and pretentious

My first thought when finishing Anil's Ghost was 'I hated that.' But I honestly didn't hate it. I was just bored the whole time I was reading it. Ondaatje's style reminded me of Louise Erdrich 'author of Love Medicine'--by that I mean he used metaphors and 'big words...
My first thought when finishing Anil's Ghost was 'I hated that.' But I honestly didn't hate it. I was just bored the whole time I was reading it. Ondaatje's style reminded me of Louise Erdrich 'author of Love Medicine'--by that I mean he used metaphors and 'big words' almost awkwardly, as though trying to prove his prowess as a writer. I also feel the need to mention that the dialogue was not marked by any 'he said' or 'she said'. It just went on and on without any indication of who was speaking, and I found myself having to count the lines to figure out who said what. In addition, there was no change in tone. It didn't matter if someone was being sliced open by a knife, a skeleton being found, or Anil was out buying food the tone stayed exactly the same, which gave the book an extremely flat narration. This is part of the reason it failed to hold my interest. Another reason was the characters. I liked Anil, but as the book went on, the reader hears less and less about Anil, and more about characters that are less likeable. Lastly, the plot was constantly halted by episodes that, while they drew the reader's attention to certain political or personal strifes, did not, in my opinion, really enrich the plot at all. The novel stradles the line between being episodic and being a flowing story. I wanted it to pick one or the other--but it didn't. I don't want to say it was all bad, because it wasn't. Ondaatje portrayed Sri Lanka very well, and through his knowledge and description the country was illustrated very vividly. Overall, I would say if you REALLY want to read this book, don't waste your money buying it. Get it out of the library first.

posted by Anonymous on July 19, 2007

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2007

    flat and pretentious

    My first thought when finishing Anil's Ghost was 'I hated that.' But I honestly didn't hate it. I was just bored the whole time I was reading it. Ondaatje's style reminded me of Louise Erdrich 'author of Love Medicine'--by that I mean he used metaphors and 'big words' almost awkwardly, as though trying to prove his prowess as a writer. I also feel the need to mention that the dialogue was not marked by any 'he said' or 'she said'. It just went on and on without any indication of who was speaking, and I found myself having to count the lines to figure out who said what. In addition, there was no change in tone. It didn't matter if someone was being sliced open by a knife, a skeleton being found, or Anil was out buying food the tone stayed exactly the same, which gave the book an extremely flat narration. This is part of the reason it failed to hold my interest. Another reason was the characters. I liked Anil, but as the book went on, the reader hears less and less about Anil, and more about characters that are less likeable. Lastly, the plot was constantly halted by episodes that, while they drew the reader's attention to certain political or personal strifes, did not, in my opinion, really enrich the plot at all. The novel stradles the line between being episodic and being a flowing story. I wanted it to pick one or the other--but it didn't. I don't want to say it was all bad, because it wasn't. Ondaatje portrayed Sri Lanka very well, and through his knowledge and description the country was illustrated very vividly. Overall, I would say if you REALLY want to read this book, don't waste your money buying it. Get it out of the library first.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2001

    Disappointing

    As a huge fan of the author , I was thoroughly disappointed the story meanders at a snail's pace and frankly it failed to rouse any semblance of interest for any of the main characters

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2000

    Borrow this one from a friend

    I really thought this book was poorly written. The author does use some really nice poetic descriptions of things but they weren't anything memorable. The book jumps around so much going from past to present to future that it got very confusing. The book focused too much on the character's backgrounds rather than the story. The story was totally anticlimactic and parts of the story had absolutely nothing to do with anything else. Obviously a lot of people liked this novel so I would just recommend that you borrow the book from a friend rather than spend good money for it. It was a real let down.

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