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The Calcutta Chromosome: A Novel of Fevers, Delirium and Discovery

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Calcutta Chromosome: A Novel of Fevers, Delirium and Discovery.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Amitav Ghosh(Author)

    Book details


Antar, a computer-bound Egyptian clerk in New York City, investigates the strange truth of what happened in a tropical laboratory in the 1890s. Offers a cast of extraordinary characters, advanced computer science, religious cults, and portraits of 20th-century India and America.

"A novelist of dazzling ingenuity, Ghosh presents an engrossing tale that is at once a work of science fiction, a medical mystery, and a fascinating history of malaria research.... The plot unfolds like the involution of a hypertext, and the novel's clever subtext, which pits India's age-old wisdom and faith against Western science and England's colonial arrogance, is scintillating." --"San Francisco Chronicle"Ghosh unseams both chronology and distance with a Borgesian flair."--"The New Yorker"A rollicking ride between the past and the future, real and imagined history, science and counterscience."--"Los Angeles Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

4.2 (5746)
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Book details

  • PDF | 264 pages
  • Amitav Ghosh(Author)
  • Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd (30 Jan. 2008)
  • English
  • 2
  • Other books

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Review Text

  • By Florabunda on 5 June 2017

    Interesting, exciting

  • By Miketang on 22 February 2017

    Extremely difficult to rate this book. The constituent parts of the story were gripping and well written. The ideas and background were interesting and well-integrated with the narrative. I did not expect it, but it was a page-turner which I finished very quickly. This was helped because the author split it into manageable chunks, unlike the unwieldy closely-written print of so many impenetrable novels these days. And yet…..to me his overriding idea somewhere got lost and the constituent parts ultimately failed to cohere. The ending was consequently a let down. I count myself a reasonably bright reader. However I could only half fathom out the end by going back to consult the beginning. If the novel was properly realised then what came between the start and finish should have made that unnecessary. The "big idea" was evidently chromosomal transfer - inserting chromosomes into another person and gradually taking him over - as a means of attaining immortality and/or consciousness overriding the normal limits of space-time. This is related in the novel to Ross's work on malaria and the pre-antibiotic technique of treating tertiary syphilis by infecting sufferers with the malaria bug. Presumably the cure points to some element in the bug (chromosome?) taking over constituents of the recipient's brain and thereby halting the syphilitic paresis. Transfer of chromosomes into another person parallels the transfer of the malaria bug. The idea of a mystical group guiding Ross to his discoveries in the hope of refining their own chromosomal transfer techniques is fair enough. Ditto the use of time shifts to point to survival of consciousness outside localised space-time. The elements are in place for a fascinating sci-fi treatment. Where the whole thing (for me at least) breaks down is in the idea that at the moment Ross discovers something the nature of the parasite changes, providing a new malaria variant and this would somehow help the mystical group advance their chromosomal transfer technique. Why? And isn't it a rather convoluted process? If the author has attempted to explain this, I'm afraid he lost me. For me the story-telling is excellent but the sci-fi theme ultimately remains unrealised and so the novel can only be regarded as partially successful.

  • By CMA on 31 March 2016

    Arrived as expected

  • By april on 4 November 2016

    left me cold...good craftmanship, good firm, but dull content

  • By Abhy Sen on 8 October 2015

    Good read, delivered as expected, pages are in good condition

  • By Coleridgegill on 11 February 2017

    Disappointing mix of quasi science, magic realism and time travelling. Not quite sure what he was trying to do.


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