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River of Smoke: Ibis Trilogy Book 2 by [Ghosh, Amitav]
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River of Smoke: Ibis Trilogy Book 2 Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 119 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in Ibis Trilogy (3 Book Series)

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Length: 528 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

'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)

'Any good historical novel should teach the reader some history as well as sweeping him or her along with an unfolding narrative. Few do this as well as Amitav Ghosh. A book whose conclusion again left me panting for the next volume in this trilogy' (Financial Times)

'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)

Best of all, Ghosh, through the depth of his research, lightly worn, has captured the many cross-currents of a fascinating historical period (Seven)

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: 1745 KB
  • Print Length: 528 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray; 01 edition (9 Jun. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0052KLIYU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 119 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,661 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
there is a good story hidden in obscuring, foggy veils here...the basic plot is interrupted by travel writer information, interesting, of course, but simply facts, history and gloss, as well as by a sweet, funny and charming correspondence between artists and botanists...each one of these strands could have become its own text...now they wrap around the central story, interrupting, obscuring, stopping the pacing, and jarring the tempo to a full stop, each time...very annoying...printing each on different colored paper would have helped...one could have stuck with one strand at a time...i got bored, and skipped to the end...too bad...sorry...talented author needs a cruel, tough and cold editor...
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Tedious and long-winded and, at times, overly complicated. I persevered with this book because I don't like giving up on a read and it's something I rarely do - but one this occasion it crossed my mind on a few occasions. There's very little in the way of a story to warrant the length of this book - sure, the insight into the whole opium trade was interesting but again, way too long for almost no story. I had high expectations as I like historical fiction but this didn't cut it for me.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Book arrived in very good time looking forward to reading it then an interesting discussion at book club
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A good that is with persevering with as it ramblings on at times.
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Second time of reading this novel,1st time Flood of fire not published,will start part 3 (flood of fire)tomorrow ,can't wait!
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All Good Thankx
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I enjoyed " Sea of Poppies" but really struggled with "River of Smoke". Parts of the book were fascinating and it was interesting to be given an insight into this remarkable world but there was so much of it that was too detailed and overburdened with unfamiliar terms. It felt like reading a text book in a desperate search to keep track of the characters, some of whom lacked the appeal to make the effort worthwhile. This is one of the few books I didn't finish. I'd like to see it made into a film.
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