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The Calcutta Chromosome is a thrilling novel that is loosely based on the life of Sir Ronald Ross, who won the Nobel Prize for his discoveries on malaria.
Summary Of The Book
When L. Murugan requests to be transferred to Calcutta, he intends on studying the discoveries and the life of renowned scientist Sir Ronald Ross. However, the story takes an unexpected turn with the sudden disappearance of Murugan and a series of seemingly disconnected events.
Sir Ronald Ross had made a series of path-breaking discoveries on malaria, which had eventually caused him to receive the Nobel Prize. These discoveries were made in Calcutta in the year 1898. A character named Antar is introduced at the start of the novel and this person recounts his meeting with L. Murugan. The sudden disappearance of Murugan is explained to some extent and bears a distinct connection with the mysterious Calcutta Chromosome.
The Calcutta Chromosome is said to be an elixir that grants eternal life by the transference of chromosomes. The author also gives details about the discoveries made by Sir Ronald Ross but the timelines of all these events are disconnected to a great extent.
The striking aspect of this novel is the fact that the settings and timelines rarely overlap and this tends to complicate the plot. The novel has earned a great degree of fame for the author.
About Amitav Ghosh
The author of this book, Amitav Ghosh, is well-known for his contributions to English Literature.
Some of the books published by the author include In an Antique Land, The Glass Palace, and The Circle of Reason. The books written by the author have won him several awards, most notably the Prix Medicis etranger, which is one of the most highly esteemed awards for literature in France.
The author hails from Calcutta, India, and has completed his doctor of Philosophy degree from St Edmund Hall, Oxford. He was studying Social Anthropology. In the year 2007, he was given the Padma Shri award by the Government of India. He currently resides in New York along with his spouse and two children. Apart from being an author, the author has also held the position of a lecturer at Queens College, City University of New York, where he has taught comparative literature. Apart from that, he has also been teaching literature at Harvard University, from time to time.
|Awards||Arthur C Clarke|
The story definitiely begins as a Science fiction and Ghosh's Ava (Antar's super intelligent computer) is something very gruelling in today's scenario. This book feeds some good nutrient on Microbiology and British effort of developing Indian camps (Calcutta, Secunderabad etc)
Ghosh also narrated old Calcutta well with budding real estate giants, bengali food, calcutta streets, age old craftsmen making idols, PG hospital and Sealdah station back then and many more scenes where Calcutta remains special to any Bengali
But the denouement was expected to be more elaborative. At least I would have liked the last few chapters extended and was eager to know what happened when Murugan, Sonal and Urmila were out to catch hold of Mrs Araoutnian at Sealdah station.
A good read, better investment compared to contemporary romantic thrillers
It cannot be really clubbed as a sci-fi thriller. It is mixed with supernatural elements, suspense, horror, medical research and science fiction. But from an Indian author, this is a very impressive work, when we consider that most of the other 'real' sci-fi thrillers written by Indians are mediocre. And I think, he has done a wonderful job in taking us through the streets of Calcutta and its lifestyle. The ending is a bit confusing and sudden, but it makes sense in the end.
The story started really beautifully and kept me engrossed till the end (almost). Every story needs to have answers at the end but this one didn't. Disappointed!!! as the author left me seeking answers which he too did not have an answer to or even if he has them they were so complicated that it wasn't meant for a general understanding. The City of Joy has been painted beautifully thou. But to be honest I am disappointed.
A novel which begins as a science fiction, shifts gears as a thriller, has elements of supernatural, written in the background of medical research to find a cure of malaria and has an ending which isn't an end at all.. unputdownable from page one..
good read, an enjoyable mix of ghost story, medical thriller and science fiction..leads us through the streets of calcutta , through different time zones..its been quite long since i last enjoyed a book written by an Indian author..