Book review the living mountain bookspoetryandmore

Why I Picked This Book?

I have recently read “The Nutmeg’s Curse” by Amitav Ghosh and quite liked the book. His writing style, storytelling, and the subject of the book something which make it a relevant read for everyone. So, I came across the book “The Living Mountain” by Amitav Ghosh I added it to my reading list and finally finished reading it.

The Book

“The Living Mountain” is the shortest of the book I have read in the recent times. It has only thirty fives pages and one can read it one sitting. The message it conveys however is deep and need of the hour. The Living Mountain as I see it is a metaphor for our mother nature, which has everything we need but it will always fall short of what all we want. It has ample resources to fulfil our needs but not our desires.

There are many ways one can understand what the author wants to convey. The indigenous people were happy with the mountain as it used to fulfil all their needs, their life was tough, but they were happy in their own world. Then came people from outside who told them about all the treasures hidden in the mountain, there was a conflict but the outsiders with modern and superior arms and ammunition defeated the indigenous people.

The outsiders wanted the riches of the mountain, the indigenous people tried to stop them from doing so but to no avail. They warned the outsiders about ruining the mountain for their profit. No one listened to the indigenous people and in fact more and more people came and tried to ascent the mountain to exploit it for riches. In the end when there were too many people on the mountain and the ice started to melt threatening the people and villages at the bottom of the mountain. The outsiders realized that the indigenous people were right and asked for their advice on how to proceed further but it was too late now.

One need to read it diligently and may be re-read to understand the metaphor and have our own understanding and interpretation. It is like we are running after mindless development at the cost of our environment, convincing everyone that the development is good for all but at the end realising that it did not serve the purpose and it even did not benefit all but a select few and what we lost in the process is gone forever.

A thoughtful and insightful read.

About The Author

Amitav Ghosh is an Indian writer, best known for his English language historical fiction. He won the 54th Jnanpith award in 2018, India’s highest literary honor. Ghosh’s ambitious novels use complex narrative strategies to probe the nature of national and personal identity, particularly of the people of India and Southeast Asia. He has also written non-fiction works discussing topics such as colonialism and climate change.

Our Verdict

The Living Mountain is short, crisp, and thought-provoking read.

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