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 September 3, 2012

    A must read


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  • Posted January 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Left me curious about her future...

    I've never read any books by this author before "Anil's Ghost". I really enjoyed reading about Anil's journey through her past and present. The book left me wondering about her future and I love it when books do that. I like the style of writing as well. One loses the inner dialogue we all have with ourselves when watching a movie. I enjoyed Anil's inner dialogue and, in her own way, the character inspired me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2001

    Poisonwood Bible is a Masterpiece

    Barbara Kingsolver is my favorite author, bar none. The Poisonwood Bible is a masterpiece! My daughter is in the Peace Corps in Africa and many things are the same today as they were in the Poisowood Bible, back in the late 50's and 60's (and beyond). There are many underlying issues brought out in this book that one can ponder, if one wishes. I can't believe some people wrote reviews and didn't even finish the book! It does take awhile to get 'into' but when finished it is a phenominal read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2000

    The master of intelligent fiction has returned

    After a four year hiatus and my quick digestion of all his works, Michael Onaadtje once agin mystifies and amazes me. With Anil's Ghost, he depicts the horrible atrocities which seem so commonplace on the evening news, yet here he shows how this maddening world is so routine to the citizens of his tortured homeland. He through Anil shows the evil that humanity is capable of and all in the name of government or more specifically the lust for power. I also loved how throughout the novel he weaves in the interesting ancient history of the people and the places while showing a stark contrast to the present problems of the modern action in the book. The characters and the challenges that they must grapple with are reminiscent of those in his other works but these are much more viable and yet you feel no compassion for none until the very last page. I loved this book and hungrily wait for his next foray into the magical realm of literature.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2000

    A fascinating novel

    In this novel, Ondaatje takes us back to his country of origin ¿Sri Lanka. In this journey, Ondaatje develops one of the most creative and original stories of this century. The protagonist, Anil Tissera, a native Sri Lankan returns to her country of origin after 15 years not to find her roots but as a part of an international human rights fact-finding mission. With the help of her colleague Sarath Diyasena, a Sri Lankan archaeologist, Anil discovers the evidence of government-sponsored brutalities. The story begins to unravel events after they discover skeletons in an ancient scared land only access to government officials. With flash-backs and several narratives Ondaatje guides us through the history, archaeology and folklore of an island which is now engulfed in a bloody civil war. Ondaatje tells us a fascinating story intertwined with past and present of this island where..¿ the darkest Greek tragedies ..[are] innocent compared with what is happening...¿ there.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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