Customer Reviews for

Anil's Ghost

Average Rating 3.5
( 26 )
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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 August 20, 2007

    Not the greatest with plot, but great in themes

    Anil's Ghost is a beautiful novel, but it's not the greatest novel. However, what I did enjoy about this novel is not the story itself, but the themes that is present within it. A few themes I noticed was how history has a tendency to repeat itself by the acts of human nature ('The most precisely recorded moments of history lay adjacent to the extreme actions of nature of civilization' pg 55). Another is the search for an identity because Anil coveted her brother¿s name so much and despised her own and did nothing to have his name as her own. I think that this theme is rather important because it also kind of connections with redemption and trying to find whom someone truly is. Another theme I noticed was how the government can manipulate its people into thinking one way, such as the one in AG. But unlike most nonfiction books, AG doesn't hit the reader with full on clichés, but instead makes the reader think about their perceptions on various aspects of life. What I didn't like about AG is how there truly isn¿t an ending because AG does leave the reader hanging, but in a bad way. Another thing I didn¿t like was the fact that the story seems to lose its plot line somewhere around half way through and how much of the story is told in flashbacks. Because of this, the book jumps into the past and back into the future and often times I didn't even know if I was reading a passage from the present or the past, but I think that almost because of this, Ondaatje exerts the theme of how the shadow of the past holds on the present

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2007

    A Cataclyst For Your Ideas

    This novel is rich with language so descriptive, it paints a stunning picture of the environment enveloping the characters. The author has done a spectacular job transporting the reader into the country of his origin, and the plight in their history. It is a slow page turner though, and one might need to re-read a few lines in order to understand what is going on. Nevertheless, it is still a cataclyst for ideas about beauty, love, hate, death, and family.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2004

    Good, but where is the real ending?

    This book, hwile still being a captivating read, left me confused at the end. The story seems to trail off, and the ending seems to bequite bland for a story that up until then, had been a good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2004

    Average

    Anil's Ghost was a book about the ethnic and political wars that began to fester in Sri Lanka during the 1980's. Anil is a young forensic scientist on a Human Rights investigation out to prove political murders are being committed. However interesting this book appears to be in the beginning... ultimately it lacks the powerful ending one would expect.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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