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It is 1839 and China has embargoed the trade of opium, yet too much is at stake in the lucrative business and the British Foreign Secretary has ordered the colonial government in India to assemble an expeditionary force for an attack to reinstate the trade. Among those consigned is Kesri Singh, a soldier in the army of the East India Company. He makes his way eastward on the Hind, a transport ship that will carry him from Bengal to Hong Kong.
Along the way, many characters from the Ibis Trilogy come aboard, including Zachary Reid, a young American speculator in opium futures, and Shireen, the widow of an opium merchant whose mysterious death in China has compelled her to seek out his lost son. The Hind docks in Hong Kong just as war breaks out and opium "pours into the market like monsoon flood." From Bombay to Calcutta, from naval engagements to the decks of a hospital ship, among embezzlement, profiteering, and espionage, Amitav Ghosh charts a breathless course through the culminating moment of the British opium trade and vexed colonial history.
With all the verve of the first two novels in the trilogy, Flood of Fire completes Ghosh's unprecedented reenvisioning of the nineteenth-century war on drugs. With remarkable historic vision and a vibrant cast of characters, Ghosh brings the Opium Wars to bear on the contemporary moment with the storytelling that has charmed readers around the world.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Preethy on 11-11-15
Good novel, would be better read by a different performer
This is a beautiful novel. Sea of Poppies still remains my favourite out of this trilogy but this was wonderfully writing too with a lot of historical and political depth. People with interests in well-researched historical fiction from a postcolonial perspective would enjoy the Ibis trilogy. I gave three stars for the performance because I'm not in favour of the various, cringeworthy "ethnic" accents the voice artist does. Ghatak's flat rendering of Freddie/Ah Fatt's lilt and accent was so bad and distracting. I'd prefer less dramatized and stereotypical accents when listening to audiobooks in general. He managed the other accents but his inaccurate pronunciation of several hindusthani words was also distracting and misleading at several points.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
By Patricia on 11-08-15
Ibis Trilogy III-great read - not so good 'listen'
If you could sum up Flood of Fire in three words, what would they be?
Book 1 narration was best for this "listener."
What was one of the most memorable moments of Flood of Fire?
I couldn't finish "listening." I so missed Phil Gigante's narration. The Book 3 narrator was just painful to my ears and heart. I mean no ill will toward the narrator. No doubt, his narration of a book other than this one would be very good.
How did the narrator detract from the book?
Phil Gigante took a lot of flak for his narration of Book 1 - Sea of Poppies. Having no knowledge of Hindi or Bengali, the complaints against his pronunciation meant nothing to this "listener." I especially liked his narration of all the the characters - it came across as sincere/authentic. I can't say the same for the narrator of Book 3, whose narration of Zachary, especially, was painful to this "listener." I had to put it down. If I finish it, I will buy the book. The trilogy is a good "read."
Any additional comments?
Amitav Ghosh is a wonderful historical story teller. His books are well researched and well-informed. He writes my kind of book. I wish Audible would sometimes take greater care in the choice of narrators. When listening to a book, the narration is as important as the book itself.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful