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Sea of Poppies Audiobook

Sea of Poppies

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Publisher's Summary

At the heart of this vibrant saga is an immense ship, the Ibis. Its destiny is a tumultuous voyage across the Indian Ocean, its purpose to fight China's vicious 19th-century Opium Wars. As for the crew, they are a motley array of sailors and stowaways, coolies and convicts.

In a time of colonial upheaval, fate has thrown together a diverse cast of Indians and Westerners, from a bankrupt Raja to a widowed tribeswoman, from a mulatto American freedman to a free-spirited French orphan. 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 embraces the lush poppy fields of the Ganges, the rolling high seas, and the crowded backstreets of Canton. But it is the panorama of characters, whose diaspora encapsulates the vexed colonial history of the East itself, that makes Sea of Poppies so breathtakingly alive - a masterpiece from one of the world's finest novelists.

©2008 Amitav Ghosh; (P)2008 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Such is the power of Ghosh's precise, understated prose that one occasionally wishes to turn the pages three at a time, eager to find out where Ghosh's tale is headed." (The Boston Globe)
"A writer of supreme skill and intelligence. " (The Atlantic Monthly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (525 )
5 star
 (214)
4 star
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3 star
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Overall
4.1 (320 )
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Story
4.2 (317 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (12)
Performance
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  •  
    Harpreet 11-24-08
    Harpreet 11-24-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Stick it through - its well worth the listen!"

    I really enjoyed Ghosh's other book Hungry Tide, so I was looking forward to this one. I must admit, it took me a while to get into this book. I found the various accents of the characters difficult to understand and I felt that I was being introduced to a lot of different characters really quickly without enough context...however, as I listened further all this changed. All of a sudden I was immersed in the rich world that Ghosh created and I was loath to stop listening. By the time this book ended, I wanted more and was sad that the book had ended. This book will likely be a 2nd listen for me in the future.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura 12-02-16
    Laura 12-02-16 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic story, poor narration"

    Novel:
    I'll definitely read more by Amitav Ghosh. His ability to tell an emotionally engaging, richly detailed story is fantastic. This novel does a beautiful job of introducing characters and then weaving their stories together in a captivating way. I also enjoyed his depiction of the period just before the opium wars in India, and his way of depicting the reasons behind the challenges of life for the Indian people in a very honest, frank manner. I would urge writers who are setting stories in colonial British India to educate their readers about the life of the Indian people under British rule as honestly as Amitav Ghosh does. I learn new things every time I read one of his books, but in ways that are human and relatable.

    Narration:
    I dislike this narration intensely. Phil Gigante's pacing is plodding and makes it difficult to get into the rhythm of the story. Additionally, he does a terrible job voicing the Indian characters. They either use horribly mispronounced Hindi/Bengali words, or have spoken English accents reminiscent of stereotypical Chinamen in 1950s Orientalist films. I am hoping the remainder of the recordings of the books in this series have a different narrator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Goldstein 09-03-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful book. Horrible narration"
    What did you like best about Sea of Poppies? What did you like least?

    The narrator's accent was all wrong - he made the Indians sound like Jamaicans, and it made me cringe. He also spoke too fast, not resting sufficiently between sentences. I ultimately gave up on the audio version and bought the kindle version instead. I'm enjoying the book thoroughly having done that.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Phil Gigante’s performances?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    Good writing. There are so many Indian actors to choose from - why not pick one of them to narrate this story?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeannerox 02-12-16
    Jeannerox 02-12-16
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    "Confusing & Boring!"

    it must be necessary to read entire trilogy. Difficult to keep track of many ethnic names. Narrator hard to understand with certain accents.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gadget Wallah 09-04-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hilariously bad pronunciation and bizarre accents"

    As other reviewers note - this book has a ton of Indic and other non English names and words that the reader pronounces like a very British pukka sahib. Most English folk I know can pronounce Indian words a bit better than this. Moreover the accents range from the indescribable to the unpronounceable! Indian women are rendered as falsetto men with what appears to be a Caribbean accent! Some Indian men appear to have Chinese accents. All very unintentionally funny, but this does take away from the story. The Indian words are so badly pronounced (at one point the Brahmaputra is called the baramputra, singhs become seenghs, ...)

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Ann Madison, GA, USA 12-03-09
    Jean Ann Madison, GA, USA 12-03-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic!"

    This book is just so good, on so many levels. The narrator is the best I've heard, he really nails all the accents and it's wonderful to hear the correct pronunciation of the mix of languages used in the book. You won't be sorry if you listen to this one.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tobias philadelphia, PA, USA 12-27-08
    Tobias philadelphia, PA, USA 12-27-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    "Historical Fiction"

    I usually avoid historical fiction at all costs, but decided to give this book a chance.
    Unfortunately, it suffered from the same flaws as many of its ilk, in my opinion:
    The history and the characters are depicted equally, which detracts from both, making them light and dull, respectively.
    Also, the characters are either innocent pure angels, or the most dastardly heartless villains, which in both cases makes them generally annoying and predictable.
    So, while it wasn't a badly written book, I got fed up about 2/3 through and gave up.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harold Minneapolis, MN, USA 11-24-08
    Harold Minneapolis, MN, USA 11-24-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Where is the story?"

    Having suffered through most of "Sea Of Poppies" I suggest the title should be "Sea Of Indian Words Whose Only Purpose Is To Prove The Narrator Can Pronounce Them". The story, if there is one, could easily told in an hour. This is the first audiobook I have erased from my library. Terrible!

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terri 05-23-17
    Terri 05-23-17 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    55
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    Story
    "Hard to follow."

    There were many details given, tho at time it was difficult to keep them straight with the multiple storylines traveling ultimately to a commonality.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy 03-24-17
    Amy 03-24-17
    ratings
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    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Outstanding"

    This book is so colorful and stimulating in its descriptions it may just be one of my favorite books ever. The narrator is smashing. He was so many people with so many voices -- but each distinct. I am the captive of the characters, the story, and the storytelling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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