I feel a strange kind of connection to this book. My dad is originally from Burma and his father, though Irish worked in the timber trade in the jungles with all the elephants. He died in 1934 so he'd have been around in the early 19th C.
I like Ghosh's style of writing - I find it compelling somehow. This is the second book of his that I've read and although I can't say he's my favourite author, there is something I like about him though I can't say what.
This book belongs to my dad and we'd had it in the house for ages - but it never appealed to me until I read The Hungry Tide (without realising it was the same author).
Ghosh feels a bit like a teacher - you come away with a bit of a history/cultural lesson which I think on reflection - is perhaps the appeal. The story is still good, the characters are wel rounded but you come away feeling as if you know something more then when you first started.
There is one thing in this book that really dug its way deep into me. The description of the effects of Anthrax on elephants. It's horrible and Ghosh goes into rather a lot of detail.