adminComment(0) River of Smoke: A Novel (The Ibis Trilogy Book 2) eBook: Amitav Ghosh: site Store. Editorial Reviews. Review. Praise for River of Smoke “No writer in modern India has held a site Store · site eBooks · Literature & Fiction. As hypnotic as an opium dream and pretty unputdownable Daily Mail In September a storm blows up on the Indian Ocean and the Ibis, a ship carrying a.

Amitav Ghosh River Of Smoke Ebook

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Main Author: Ghosh, Amitav, Corporate Author: OverDrive Inc. Published: Toronto: Penguin Canada, Series: Ghosh, Amitav, Ibis trilogy ; bk. Sea of poppies [electronic resource (EPUB eBook)] / Amitav Ghosh. At the heart of this vibrant saga is an immense ship, the Ibis. Its destiny is a tumultuous. River Of Smoke (). Topics amitav ghosh. Collectionopensource_media. LanguageEnglish. Amitava Ghosh. vinttililmelu.gafSmoke

His grasp of the detail of the period is exhaustive — he is so thoroughly submerged in it — that readers can't possibly remember all the things he shows them, or hold on to all the life-stories of all the characters he introduces. Both novels are cabinets of curiosities, crowded with items that hold a story of their own.

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We get a moment's glimpse in River of Smoke, for example, inside a ship's cabin — and Ghosh can't resist explaining how a copper tub is "attached ingeniously to the ceiling, with removable trivets". Bahram, the Parsi opium trader from Bombay, whose story is the primary focus of the novel, likes to eat "a Xinjiang specialty called a samsa…": "these were small triangles of pastry, stuffed usually with minced meat: baked in portable Uighur tandoors they were sold hot in the Maidan.

Every element, no matter how small, in the novel's world opens up to reveal the further worlds stacked up behind it.

The sheer accumulation of material ought to burst the seams of fictional form — and on occasion in River of Smoke, it does. The thread of the story can get lost amid the overwhelming interest of its context.

In Sea of Poppies, the density of the novel's past-world was counterpointed by several strong and converging storylines: a young Hindu widow escaping from being incinerated with her husband's body, a black American sailor passing as white, a Raja degraded as a common prisoner, and so on. Bahram's story in River of Smoke doesn't have the same dynamism, although some strands of plot left over from the first book are picked up. The Raja, for example, escaped and, while in disguise, finds work as Bahram's munshi or secretary — but these strands never quite recover the verve of their first outing.

But perhaps it's fitting that the story should feel somewhat stalled, as the Canton opium traders, prevented from disposing of their cargo, await developments in the stand-off between the Chinese authorities and the forces of Free Trade. Bahram's fate is his helplessness. He's intelligent, capable, resilient, a gifted entrepreneur — yet he's also a mere atom, at the mercy of the forces of politics and history.

River of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh – review

And a disadvantaged atom, at that — both in terms of the rigid hierarchies of the Parsi community at home, where he's a lowly son-in-law in a superior family; and in his relations with the Canton foreign traders. The novel renders with subtlety just how the nuances of condescension and exclusion work in the peculiar world of the foreign trading enclave, and in this pre-Indian Rebellion period of race relations.

There's an eloquent scene when Bahram is invited to join the Canton Chamber of Commerce "it was the custom. Other details from the life of the all-male Canton trading enclave are fascinating, too: the men dance with each other at parties, and love affairs flourish between some of them, all but openly acknowledged.

Jardine of Jardine, Matheson leaves Mr Wetmore reluctantly to go home to marry in England Mr Wetmore is soon consoling himself with someone new. Nearly all of them are multilingual — because they have to be, in a multilingual environment that is as natural to them as the variety of cuisines they enjoy.

Tragically, to convey the importance of their plea and the dignity of their position, they communicate in formal written Chinese which must be translated, and perhaps this formalism contributes to the betrayal of what they thought was friendship. Everybody needs to get ahead in River of Smoke.

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Bahram has other flaws too. Worst of all, he risks the security of those who are dependant on him, in the service of the ambition that drives him to get ahead and achieve the luxurious lifestyle a successful businessman can enjoy.

And yet there is something very engaging about this man and we follow his fortunes with great interest. At crucial moments, he makes decisions that are disastrous for his peace of mind.

He is a superb creation. For years India under British control has been supplying opium to China in order to balance the terms of trade. But this crackdown is not like all the others.

The Ibis Trilogy

The Chinese are fed up. In accordance with longheld tradition which renders foreigners immune to prosecution, the authorities arrest not James Innes, the dealer, but Punhyqua, a Hongist, i.

As it happens Mr Innes is not even a member of this body…it must be noted that the Chamber has no jurisdiction over him.

Mr Innes protests his innocence of the charges levelled against him. As a British subject he enjoys certain freedoms and we cannot make him leave the city against his will.

Bahram smiled to himself as he listened: the arguments were marvellously simple yet irrefutable. Really, there was no language like English for turning lies into legalisms.Ghosh makes clear how despicable the English were - and the East Indian Co. Where he falls a little short, however, is in the sheer scope of his novel.

At first we follow the travels of some of the main characters from Sea of Poppies , and to me frankly, this is where the book is at its strongest. And when the Chinese authorities finally put their feet down and tried to ban this, the British government went to war in the name of Free Trade, and won. Amitav Ghosh is one of my favourite authors, and I remember really enjoying 1 of the Ibis trilogy when I read it years ago.

It might Maybe negate a portable amitav ghosh river of smoke for some buffer.

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