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Gun Island by Amitav Ghosh
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Gun Island

$37.58 USD

Get for $14.99 with membership
Narrator Sagar Arya
Length 10 hours 20 minutes
Language English
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From the award-winning author of the bestselling epic Ibis trilogy comes a globetrotting, folkloric adventure novel about family and heritage.


“With sweeping exuberant style and extraordinary linguistic facility, Ghosh takes us into a world where desperate refugees trickle through borders like water from melting ice, but where massing animals find no escapes. Old legends and ancient myths take on new meaning. The difficulties of characters in the Sundarbans begin to appear the world over as the climate becomes a forcing element. Our ordinary lives with air travel, cell phones, friends in distant places, smart-mouth teenagers, life insurance, money and investment concerns intersect with forest fire, flooding, storms. This important novel is an account of our current world, the one few writers have had the courage to face.” ―Annie Proulx, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction


Bundook. Gun. A common word, but one which turns Deen Datta's world upside down.

A dealer of rare books, Deen is used to a quiet life spent indoors, but as his once-solid beliefs begin to shift, he is forced to set out on an extraordinary journey; one that takes him from India to Los Angeles and Venice via a tangled route through the memories and experiences of those he meets along the way. There is Piya, a fellow Bengali-American who sets his journey in motion; Tipu, an entrepreneurial young man who opens Deen's eyes to the realities of growing up in today's world; Rafi, with his desperate attempt to help someone in need; and Cinta, an old friend who provides the missing link in the story they are all a part of. It is a journey which will upend everything he thought he knew about himself, about the Bengali legends of his childhood, and about the world around him.

Gun Island is a beautifully realised novel which effortlessly spans space and time. It is the story of a world on the brink, of increasing displacement and unstoppable transition. But it is also a story of hope, of a man whose faith in the world and the future is restored by two remarkable women.

Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta and spent his childhood in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and northern India. He studied in Delhi and Egypt and at Oxford and taught at various Indian and American universities. The author of five non-fiction books and eight acclaimed novels, Ghosh has also written for Granta, The New Yorker, The New York Times, and The Observer. He lives in New York City with his wife and two children. His titles Sea of Poppies, River of Smoke, and Flood of Fire received critical acclaim.

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Reviews

LONGLISTED for the 2021 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

Praise for Gun Island:


"Gun Island demonstrates Ghosh’s belief that the improbable has a place in serious literary fiction. And in teaming this with the subject of climate change, he has not held back . . . Ghosh challenges the writers among us to remember that throughout history we have dealt with crises by telling ourselves stories.”
The New York Times Book Review

“With Gun Island, Amitav Ghosh turns global crises into engaging fiction . . . Escapism has its virtues, but a book unafraid of ideas can be bracing . . . Ghosh is a practiced and capable writer; by the seventh page, we’re deep into Bengali folklore, and willing to accept this as a novelistic subject. That Ghosh is able to sustain the book’s momentum when its primary inquiry is so cerebral is no mean feat. The novel made me think of A.S. Byatt’s Possession, or Tom Stoppard’s best plays, texts that treat academic pursuit as something thrilling . . . Gun Island is a novel for our times.”
The Washington Post

“With sweeping exuberant style and extraordinary linguistic facility, Ghosh takes us into a world where desperate refugees trickle through borders like water from melting ice, but where massing animals find no escapes. Old legends and ancient myths take on new meaning. The difficulties of characters in the Sundarbans begin to appear the world over as the climate becomes a forcing element. Our ordinary lives with air travel, cell phones, friends in distant places, smart-mouth teenagers, life insurance, money and investment concerns intersect with forest fire, flooding, storms. This important novel is an account of our current world, the one few writers have had the courage to face.”
―Annie Proulx, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction

“Amitav Ghosh has successfully intertwined stark facts—such as boats of desperate migrants refused harbour by Mediterranean countries—with imaginative fantasy.”
The Globe and Mail
    “Ghosh’s story, involving and intricate, speaks urgently to a time growing ever more perilous.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    "Ghosh seductively combines old-fashioned storytelling with keen research and a socially conscious sensibility to enthralling and piquantly enlightening affect."
    Booklist

    “Amid the freak cyclones and oxygen-starved waters comes the story – or stories – of migration across the ages; tales of escapology, of deprivation and persecution, of impossible yearnings for a new world that bring us, inexorably, to the terrified refugees on the Mediterranean. Which is, perhaps, Ghosh’s essential point; a shaggy dog story can take a very roundabout path towards reality, but it will get there in the end. It has to, or we’re all doomed.”
    The Guardian (Book of the Day)

    Gun Island is an affirmation of stories, of their continuous reclamation and renewal.”
    —The Economic Times

     
    “Ghosh's real achievement in this book is to make the reality of migration, climate and technology seem inescapable from one another.”
    The National

    “A rich and rewarding novel that reaffirms the transformative power of topographical and human connection, and registers the rhythms of the quiet and the unquiet life.”
    The Spectator

    “Amitav Ghosh's Gun Island is an extraordinary reading experience from one of our greatest living storytellers. Ghosh masterfully collocates disparate worlds to create a story of family, self, history, and destiny.”
    —Neel Mukherjee, author of The Lives of Others

    “A book of reckless and persuasive scope, a huge, rambunctious reckoning with our environmental declension.”
    Sunday Times

    “[Gun Island] demonstrates how the particular genius of the novel can be deployed to examine the subject of climate change in ways beyond the scope of journalism, history or documentary. [It] shows us how the psychological compulsions for order and security that drive our unwillingness to confront climate change are about to be first unsettled and then destroyed.”
    Literary Review

    “A compelling book—a sinuous and often gripping piece of storytelling, satisfyingly shaped and beautifully written.”
    Prospect

    Gun Island is also a story of hope, of a man whose faith in the world and the future is restored by two remarkable women.”
    The Times of India

    "Flitting across continents, Ghosh deftly summons up a pungent sense of place, whether in the mangrove swamps of Bengal or the misty, cobbled streets of Venice. The past lurks convincingly in the present."
    The Times (London)

    "Taut and gripping, Gun Island is a parable for our times."
    Hindustan Times

    “[Gun Island] reveals the devastating effects of climate change on animal behavior, and also the trauma of human migration. Blending a mystery-novel plot with something more folkloric, Ghosh surveys an increasingly ravaged world.”
    The New Yorker
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