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Sea of Poppies | [Amitav Ghosh]

Sea of Poppies

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.5 (17 )
5 star
 (4)
4 star
 (6)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (2)
Overall
3.7 (15 )
5 star
 (4)
4 star
 (6)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (1)
Story
3.9 (14 )
5 star
 (4)
4 star
 (7)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
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  •  
    Nicolette Santiago, Chad 12-02-12
    Nicolette Santiago, Chad 12-02-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful listen 4 a fast ear"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Sea of Poppies to be better than the print version?

    Haven't read the print


    What did you like best about this story?

    The flow and the life-like description of the characters


    What about Kish Sharma’s performance did you like?

    The characters' accents


    Any additional comments?

    Kish at times read too fast to follow.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T KELVIN GROVE, Australia 05-10-12
    T KELVIN GROVE, Australia 05-10-12 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "good beginning gradually decays to nonsense"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    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.


    What could Amitav Ghosh have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    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.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Kish Sharma?

    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.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    Please convey my comments for what they are worth to the author because in my opinion the author does have talent - currently wasting it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Barbara
    Leixlip, Co. KildareIreland
    6/18/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved the book"
    Would you listen to Sea of Poppies again? Why?

    I never listen to a book twice.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    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.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • lizzie
    6/22/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lovely reading voice, compelling story"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Anonymous
    5/21/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good read"

    Great story well read. Is the next book available? I would like the same narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ron
    London, United Kingdom
    4/29/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sound is poor and narration is mediocre"
    What disappointed you about Sea of Poppies?

    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.


    Would you recommend Sea of Poppies to your friends? Why or why not?

    Not the audible version. Poor sound


    What didn’t you like about Kish Sharma’s performance?

    Flat delivery. Most of the characters hardly sound different from the narration.


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Good story. Good ideas. But also too much narration and not enough well written dialogue.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Doriana B.
    3/30/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent!"

    I really enjoyed this book! The reader is amazing! Pity the quality of the sound of the recording was muffled at times!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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