I agree with the second review, I'm afraid. 'A New World' is well written, but it is still the most boring book I have ever read. I ploughed on, thinking 'Surely this can't be all there is - there must be some great revelation near the end', but there isn't; nothing happens in it. Rather like a still life painting which is technically excellent, but the subject matter is so dull that only an art student would want to spend more than a passing glance on it. The book is like the diary of someone who *could* be having an exciting life - hey, he's a divorcee, a striking and intelligent man - a university lecturer - and he's returning from America to India to visit his parents, taking his son with him. Plenty of potential for adventure there. But no. He just seems to have an average time in Calcutta, and the most exciting thing he does is go to the bank and speculate whether the cashier is married or not. On the positive side, the author certainly observes small details which make the narrator seem like a real person, and after reading it I feel that I can imagine aspects of middle-class life in Calcutta, of which I, as a white Englishwoman, knew nothing before. It was humbling to realise that this book was written in Chaudhuri's second language. I did feel that I was learning while I read it, and it was relaxing to read - but there was no plot, no story, no excitement. Perhaps this sort of book appeals to students of literature who aren't swayed by the lure of a good story. Whether that is the case or not, in future I shall be very wary of any novel with publisher's reviews saying it is 'delicately observed'!