Book Review: The Poison Tree by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay

 photo The Poison Tree by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay.jpg Title: The Poison Tree
By: Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay
Categories / Themes: love, death, revenge, social standing, spiritual.
Read: 05th October, 2012 – 12th October, 2012
Rating: 4 / 5
Obtained: Project Gutenberg
Crossposted Review to: Goodreads

The Poison Tree is a story which is many themes are combined into an incredible tale. The book begins during the travels of Nagendra Natha Datta. He is a wealthy man and he is trapped in a storm. He seeks shelter and finds himself in the house of Kunda Nandini, now an orphan due to her father’s passing during this very storm. Throughout the book, we witness the many aspects of love and devotions that the characters might have to one another. We get to go through the highs and lows of the relationships of these people, their social standings and even their business problems. It’s a lovely tale of various souls. Through the many characters, we are introduced to many points of view and each reader will likely find a person they will find relatable.

My original review to Goodreads is quite lacking in details, but I think the important point to note from it is that not everyone will like this book. It’s a tangled web of plot and character development rather than action-packed. Due to the author’s use of language, and perhaps also due to the translation, the text does seem to drone on and it’s not as succinct as one might be used to. However, I do appreciate the varying translation points which explain certain aspects. In portions, it’s a bit difficult to understand due to the amount of information, plus it’s just a complex story in general.

Thinking back on the book, I appreciate how complex it was and that the plot was quite intricate. It’s quite unlike other books that I’ve read. I like many of the spiritual aspects and think they provide an interesting view to a different culture.

I obtained a free copy of this book from Project Gutenberg, a website dedicated to providing people with books that have gone out of copyright. They provide the books for free in several different formats, with the idea of sustaining the world’s literary history.


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