Tomb of Sand

by Chandra Sundeep
Cover picture of Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree

Booker Prize winners and me… we share a strange relationship. The world loves them. I can barely tolerate them. The only exception to this rule has been The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka. I adored it to bits! Sadly, Tomb of Sand was a major disappointment! I can’t believe I wasted my free Audible trial on this, sigh!

I am not sure if it is due to the translation, but the clunky writing and disjointed narration drove me crazy. The story was going nowhere, and yet, it was all over the place.

The story of a Ma, a Beti, A Bade, a Bahu, Rosy, and a handful of other characters was nothing short of a never-ending incoherent ramble. It went on and on… Gosh, the 18 hours actually lasted for more than 24 because I had to rewind and relisten every time I started listening to it after a pause. I couldn’t recollect what had happened in the earlier bits.

There is no plot, no storyline, no memorable characters. Despite serious themes of the painful partition of India, lost love, depression, and familial discord, the story failed to stir any emotions in me. I was disinterested and disconnected from the characters the entire time. There are so many heartbreaking stories on the partition of India, but here it was just ‘touch and go.’

If the story wasn’t enjoyable, the narration by Deepti Gupta was equally bad. The screechy voice and whining tone… Gosh, I was as depressed, or probably even more than the 80-year-old Ma by the end of the book.

The characters and the varied storylines don’t tie together. Half the time I was wondering if it’s a crow’s story, a transgender’s story, an old woman’s, or her children’s!

Tomb of Sand is a disappointing mix of characters, situations, and themes. Not my kind of book!

Wordsopedia Rating 1.75/5


Title: Tomb of Sand Author: Geetanjali Shree
Publisher: Random House Audio Publication date: 07 June 2023
Genre: Fiction—Literary Format: Audio Book
ISBN: 9780063299405 No. of Hours: 18 hrs and 21 mins

Buy your copy here on Amazon

About the author

Geetanjali Shree गीताजंली क्ष्री (She was known as Geentanjali Pandey, and she took her mother’s first name Shree as her last name) (born 1957) is a Hindi novelist and short story writer based in New Delhi, India. She is the author of several short stories and three novels. Mai was short listed for the Crossword Book Award in 2001. She has also written a critical work on Premchand..

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Matheikal November 6, 2023 - 2:32 pm

I couldn’t read beyond 100-odd pages of this massive book. Now I’m beginning to be scared of Booker books. I read Quarterlife and am left rather puzzled.

Chandra Sundeep November 7, 2023 - 2:26 pm

Glad you found it terrible too :)
I’ve grown wary of these Booker prize books. Btw, good decision that you decided to not read further. Life’s short and there are too many books to be explored!

Ambica November 6, 2023 - 4:29 pm

I left reading it to complete it though. I think for Indians the situations are banal and seem boring.

Chandra Sundeep November 7, 2023 - 2:23 pm

Boring… that’s a mild way of putting it :)

Sangeetha November 8, 2023 - 12:42 pm

I couldn’t go beyond 10 pages.


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