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User Review  - oparaxenos - LibraryThing

This book started slowly, but then really engaged me. The dialogue, with all of its archaic English and Indian vocabulary was difficult at first, but gradually I realised it added a certain flavour to the story. This was a real yarn, and I very much look forward to the second novel in the trilogy. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - libbromus - LibraryThing

This is my third reading of this novel. I read it over every time the next in the trilogy comes out. I absolutely LOVE this novel. The language is so complex, richly layered, and dizzyingly delightful ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - twopairsofglasses - LibraryThing

A marvelous, joyous explosion of language, of beautiful prose mixed with an inventive mix of the distinctive English/Indian mix spoken in Calcutta in 1800s. A vast Dickensian scope, loads of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bookwoman247 - LibraryThing

The Ibis is a former slave ship that is being prepared to embark on the opium trade between Calcutta and Canton. However, the Chinese have suddenly enacted laws forbidding the West to trade in opium ... Read full review

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User Review  - Samchan - LibraryThing

I love this book, and long after having finished reading it, the characters and their stories have stayed with me. The novel transfers you to the Bay of Bengal and India, in the period right before ... Read full review

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User Review  - fuzzy_patters - LibraryThing

This book centers on a large group of characters from India in the nineteenth century involved in the opium trade and the trade of indentured coolie labor. There are a wide variety of characters from ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - FionaWh - LibraryThing

Loved it, can't wait to read the next book in the trilogy. The attitudes of the time made me cringe but it is important we remember these details in history. The characters are great, really want to know how they all get on in the next book. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Citizenjoyce - LibraryThing

Usually I hate a book that seems to have been written only as a set up for another book. It just seems commercial and dishonest. Sea of Poppies, however, far before it is over shows itself to be one ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ChelleBearss - LibraryThing

Set on the eve of the opium wars the story revolves around a former slave ship The Ibis and it's motley cast of characters that are traveling to Mauritius; coolies, convicts, and stowaways and the ... Read full review

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Sea Of Poppies is a master piece by a master storyteller , a cliche I dare say.But, Amitava Ghosh is brilliant storyteller and his story of myriad characters aboard a slave ship carrying indentured laborers from north India (south west Bihar and eastern U.P.), prisoners etc. with a Mulatto as its head and an Opium Trader as the owner brings before before us an era which we feel so far away as to be irrelevant and better be forgotten about. Indeed we had forgotten about them all but the Author brings all the characters alive and makes us relate to them.
As an Indian, this brought before me a forgotten chapter of my History (colonial India) which hitherto had been appluaded for all the British brought to us (English language included) . This book and its characters brought to life the fact how British colonised India and enslave China by supplying Opium (growm in India ) to it. Infact, the novel hints at the buliding up of the First Opium War with China.It might sound anachronistic in present era with freedom as theme but brings forth the fact that economic enslavement can be much more or equally devastating as conquering land.
Besides, the characters are well etched out. Their motives, changes in rhe Indian social system(a Rajah being convicted, a Rajput woman Deeti fleeing with a low-caste Bheema , taboo even in present day India), ruination of local economy (symbolized by the Opium Factory), new opportunities (Gumashta), the prejudices of the era (Mullatto vs. the White ), are well illustrated . The language is fluid and contains enough local dialect words without diluting the fact that narration is in English. English language is being wielded by a magician of words to provide a lyrical picture, a song sung by our ancestors which was lost somewhere in the ether.
The words paint pictures and the novel is graphic enough without descending into a landscape . Rather, the harmony of landscape and players on it is a beautifully done mosaic which covers a huge canvas but is coherent enough to present a vast picture of amazing clarity.
The way the story threads and charaters intertwine makes us feel a part of the voyage. I for one, am definitely looking forward to going forrader on the Voyage and waiting eagerly for the sequel. Cruise along this voyage , not as a pleasure ride but as a ride with history and to experience past so as to have a better perspective on the present and future, to be one with tradition and yet lok at it with all new eyes.
 


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5 stars - 39
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