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River of Smoke (Ibis Trilogy 2)
 
 

River of Smoke (Ibis Trilogy 2) [Kindle Edition]

Amitav Ghosh
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Product Description

Review

Praise for Sea of Poppies

(--- )

Sea of Poppies boasts a varied collection of characters to love and hate, and provides wonderfully detailed descriptions of opium production ... utterly involving and piles on tension until the very last page’

(Peter Parker, Sunday Times )

‘Ripping post-colonial yarn ... Ghosh spins a fine story with a quite irresistible flow, breathing exuberant life ... an absorbing vision’

(Guardian )

‘Ghosh’s narrative is enriched with a wealth of historical detail ... as well as intricate characterisation that makes interaction among the diverse group truly absorbing’

(The Times )

‘There can be fewer more exciting settings for a novel than a sea-tossed sailing ship ... Ghosh piles detail upon detail in a rumbustical adventure’

(The Times )

‘The fantastic Anglo-Asian language they speak is infectious, and the sombre yet uncertain conclusion leaves one eager for the second novel in the trilogy’

(Daily Telegraph )

‘An utterly involving book’ (Sunday Times )

‘This is a panoramic adventure story, with a Dickensian energy and scope’

(Sunday Telegraph )

‘A richly drawn cast of characters ... gilded with expertly-mined historical detail’

(Sunday Business Post )

‘A captivating cast ... Ghosh’s saga is enriched with a blizzard of Laskari- and Hindi-derived words that add irrepressible energy to the narrative’

(Metro )

‘Beautifully written, this totally absorbing novel will leave you eagerly awaiting a second  instalment’

(She Magazine )

Review

Praise for River of Smoke -- --- 'Ghosh's novel is a tense, compelling account... The accumulation of minutiae puts the reader so firmly in the time and place that the whole thing becomes as hypnotic as an opium dream and pretty unputdownable' -- Daily Mail 'For those who like to see history bought alive through the deployment of wave upon wave of plausible detail, River of Smoke should prove a marvellous read' -- Literary Review 'The novel's strength lies in how thoroughly Ghosh fills out his research with his novelistic fantasy, seduced by each new situation that presents itself and each new character, so that the scenes read with a sensual freshness as if they were happening now' -- Guardian Praise for Sea of Poppies -- --- 'Sea of Poppies boasts a varied collection of characters to love and hate, and provides wonderfully detailed descriptions of opium production ... utterly involving and piles on tension until the very last page' -- Peter Parker, Sunday Times 'Ripping post-colonial yarn ... Ghosh spins a fine story with a quite irresistible flow, breathing exuberant life ... an absorbing vision' -- Guardian 'Ghosh's narrative is enriched with a wealth of historical detail ... as well as intricate characterisation that makes interaction among the diverse group truly absorbing' -- The Times 'There can be fewer more exciting settings for a novel than a sea-tossed sailing ship ... Ghosh piles detail upon detail in a rumbustical adventure' -- The Times 'The fantastic Anglo-Asian language they speak is infectious, and the sombre yet uncertain conclusion leaves one eager for the second novel in the trilogy' -- Daily Telegraph 'An utterly involving book' -- Sunday Times 'This is a panoramic adventure story, with a Dickensian energy and scope' -- Sunday Telegraph

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1034 KB
  • Print Length: 528 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray (9 Jun 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0052KLIYU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #45,713 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
78 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, rewarding book! 7 May 2011
By Penny Waugh TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I confess I was swithering whether to award 4 or 5 stars for this book, but had to come down in favour of 5. I loved Sea of Poppies and this book is even more densely told, packed with detail, and both the devil and the angel here are in the detail. The story is sprawling, and covers in detail the year or so following the events of Sea of Poppies (and I'm very glad I still had my copy of Sea of Poppies to refer to, especially at the beginning).
Not all the characters in the first book are followed in detail, some of the most important are hardly mentioned, though the first part involves Deeti and her family on the island of Mauritius. Instead we concentrate mainly on Neel, Paulette and her childhood playmate Edward (Robin) Chinnery, whose character comes alive in his letters to Paulette; the opium smuggling in Canton, the search for exotic plants, especially the golden camellia, largely in the nearly empty wastes of the island of Hong Kong and the fortunes of the Fami on the lush island of Mauritius.
Packed with detail, as I have said. I knew very little of the Opium trade and the fat cat British, American and assorted merchants of the Fanqui-town district of Canton who put profit before all else (so what else is new?), and I found it all fascinating, together with the intertwined story of the plants. The book exposes the hypocrisy of the times mercilessly, and does noone any favours.
The language is a rich mix of pidgin and the current venacular, and I found it easy and rewarding to follow. I had a slight quibble with names: as in Russian literature all the Asian characters answer to several names each and it isn't always easy to work out who is who, but that is a minor point and all becomes clear eventually.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First rate continuation of the Ibis trilogy 18 May 2011
By J. Aitken VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Part two of the Ibis trilogy following Sea of Poppies is densely plotted and, although it is not strictly necessary, I would advise reading "Poppies" first. Ghosh sets his tale in the events leading up to the first Opium war of 1839. His characters are expertly drawn and his depiction of the effect of colonialism in the East is brilliantly captured showing the arrogance and bigotry that prevailed in rich colours.

The story itself has a real underlying drive and is immensely satisfying but where Ghosh really scores is in his magical use of language. Words flow pell mell in a mixture of pidgin, hindustani, gujarati and others and, while you don't need to know the exact meaning of everyword, they appear on the page rich in imagery. Budmashing and Cumshaw being two examples.

This was a hugely enjoyable read and I hope the long hiatus between the appearance of parts one and two is not repeated as we eagerly await the final instalment. very highly recommended.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich, thick and full of clots 2 July 2011
By MisterHobgoblin TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The River of Smoke was a pleasant surprise. Amitav Ghosh's previous novel, Sea of Poppies, was rather unbalanced. It sold itself as a story of a sea crossing when the life on the ship took only the last third of the book and was left incomplete. The ending was unsatisfactory and the text was overladen with long lists of foreign words, presumably in an effort to create an atmosphere.

River of Smoke is a case of same-same but different. It is just as laden with meandering backstory; has similar lists of foreign words and the plot can become confusing - not least because so many characters operate under so many aliases. Somehow, though, the evocation of Fanqui Town (Canton) is much more vivid than the evocation of Calcutta in Sea of Poppies. The foreign words are set into a context that allows their meanings to be clearer; the links to the outside world offer a release from what could have become claustrophobic. Crucially the characters seem much more interesting - the contrast between the botanists, the opium traders and the delightfully camp Robin Chinnery works well. The mix of races and nationalities - the Chinese, the Indians, the British, the Americans and a cameo from Napoleon himself create a really vibrant feel. Most of all, Ghosh's characters are very OTT - brash, arrogant, greedy and mostly very, very stupid.

River of Smoke is long and after about two thirds there is a wish that it would end quickly. But the ending is satisfying; it doesn't feel like a hook for a further novel. This may be the second book in a trilogy but it doesn't show. It is a class act; rich in language and texture, satisfying in story.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A worthy sequel 25 May 2011
By LittleMoon TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Readers coming here by chance should know that this is the second instalment of The Ibis Trilogy, and are advised to check out Sea of Poppies (SoP) first. To readers looking to find out if this is a worthy sequel to SoP, my answer is yes, but not unreservedly. Those expecting the continuing story of our friends from the first part, will be disappointed that whilst some of them figure prominently, most are awarded only cameo roles in the ongoing saga. Inevitably this means a new cast of characters to assimilate, and yet another journey with multiple names through alternating narratives.

River of Smoke (RoS) conjures up Canton, around 1838/9, particularly the foreign merchants' enclave and the Pearl River: both inextricably linked to the opium trade. Aboard the Anahita, Bahram Modi is in danger of losing his biggest shipment of opium yet, whilst on the Redruth, Paulette and Mr Penrose are plant hunting for a very special Camellia. Paulette and Penrose are aided in Canton by Paulette's childhood friend and artist Robin Chinnery. Their disparate stories are drawn tighter and tighter as the Chinese Emperor, desperate to face his ancestors with a clean conscience when he dies, seeks to banish forever a drug that has enslaved his people.

Deeti's shrine in Mauritius opens the novel, and its portraits, drawn on the walls by visitors, and introduced to curious children, draw the reader neatly in. It's a fine device, allowing for a brief recap and a filling-in of sorts, from when we left the storm-stricken Ibis at the end of SoP. The novel is subdivided into 3 sections: Islands, Canton and Commissioner Lin, and further subdivided into two main threads: the opium traders and the plant hunters.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars I'm quite disappointed. After reading Sea of Poppies
Just not enjoying it as much as Sea of Poppies. In fact, I'm quite disappointed. After reading Sea of Poppies, I really anticipated this sequel. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Fran
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Not as good as the first book but good nevertheless.
Published 12 days ago by John Arnell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Superb
Published 1 month ago by Waasley
4.0 out of 5 stars good reead
great follow on from the first in the series. I was left wondering where some of the characters went to so I will read the book for a second time to see if I missed something. Read more
Published 2 months ago by yogamichele
4.0 out of 5 stars RICH AND REWARDING
This 2nd novel in Amitav Ghosh's trilogy, like the first, Sea of Poppies, leaves one wanting more. A gloriously rich assembly of characters, nationalities and world-views jostle... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Ralph of Cornwall
3.0 out of 5 stars River of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh
River of Smoke

By

Amitav Ghosh

In the words of the blurb on the back cover River of Smoke takes the reader from “…the lush island of Mauritius to... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Rosemary Morris
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Terrific follow up to "Sea of Poppies." I would highly recommend it especially to anyone interested in British or Oriental history.
Published 5 months ago by Mr. M. R. L.
4.0 out of 5 stars A good second book. A story well told which stands alone if you...
A good second book. A story well told which stands alone if you missed the first book of the trilogy. Now I must read the third one.
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
This is a great book, a really enjoyable read even more so if you have an interest in the Indian diaspora. Read more
Published 6 months ago by V. Zala
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
River of Smike is the 2nd in the Ibis Trilogy. I first read Sea of Poppies (in paperback) and was so enthralled that I ordered River of Smoke the same day that I finished Sea of... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Diana at The Saker
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