At the heart of this epic saga, set just before the Opium Wars, is an old slaving-ship, The Ibis. Its destiny is a tumultuous voyage across the Indian Ocean, its crew a motley array of sailors and stowaways, coolies and convicts.
In a time of colonial upheaval, fate has thrown together a truly diverse cast of Indians and Westerners, from a bankrupt Raja to a widowed villager, from an evangelical English opium trader to a mulatto American freedman. As their old family ties are washed away they, like their historical counterparts, come to view themselves as jahaj-bhais or ship-brothers. An unlikely dynasty is born, which will span continents, races and generations.
The vast sweep of this historical adventure spans the lush poppy fields of the Ganges, the rolling high seas, and the exotic backstreets of China. But it is the panorama of characters, whose diaspora encapsulates the vexed colonial history of the East itself, which makes Sea of Poppies so breathtakingly alive - a masterpiece from one of the world's finest novelists.
©2008 Amitav Ghosh (P)2009 Isis Publishing Ltd
Haven't read the print
The flow and the life-like description of the characters
The characters' accents
Kish at times read too fast to follow.
Well it's not clear if the recording process was faulty or whether the story actually concludes with the lifeboat leaving in a storm with several main characters on board while several other main characters remain on the ship in various states of unresolved dubious action, but it could have got to maybe 2.5 stars if all this was concluded in some way.
Make the author sit down and do a serious self critique of his work, modify his objectives in favour of producing a cohesive plausible narrative with consistent characterization, and give it more time, more thought and much hard work rewriting and condensing.
Yes the narration was very good considering the overblown nonsense that the book gradually decended to, and the narrator probably can't be blamed for overdoing it somewhat.
The commencement of the book was excellent The early development of the characters and their origins and the narrative was fine up to maybe one third of the way through. The ingredients were there for a great novel, if only it had continued in that way. Unfortunately the author became overwhelmed by his own characters and quite literally lost the plot.
Please convey my comments for what they are worth to the author because in my opinion the author does have talent - currently wasting it.
"Loved the book"
I never listen to a book twice.
I loved this book, but I wonder if the narrator got a bonus for reading at twice the normal rate. I am glad to see that the second part of the trilogy is narrated by a different narrator.
"Lovely reading voice, compelling story"
I wish Kish had narrated the next 2 in the trilogy, having a disconnect with River of Smoke now and his pronunciation was really good.
Great story well read. Is the next book available? I would like the same narrator.
"Sound is poor and narration is mediocre"
The sound is recorded way too low. I have the volume set to max on my phone and can barely hear it - and it is particularly jarring when I switch over to music which, at the same volume setting, is almost deafening.
Not the audible version. Poor sound
Flat delivery. Most of the characters hardly sound different from the narration.
Good story. Good ideas. But also too much narration and not enough well written dialogue.
I really enjoyed this book! The reader is amazing! Pity the quality of the sound of the recording was muffled at times!
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