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Publisher's Summary

In September 1838 a storm blows up on the Indian Ocean and the Ibis, a ship carrying a consignment of convicts and indentured laborers from Calcutta to Mauritius, is caught up in the whirlwind. When the seas settle, five men have disappeared - two lascars, two convicts and one of the passengers. Did the same storm upend the fortunes of those aboard the Anahita, an opium carrier heading towards Canton? And what fate befell those aboard the Redruth, a sturdy two-masted brig heading East out of Cornwall? Was it the storm that altered their course or were the destinies of these passengers at the mercy of even more powerful forces?
On the grand scale of an historical epic, River of Smoke follows its storm-tossed characters to the crowded harbors of China. There, despite efforts of the emperor to stop them, ships from Europe and India exchange their cargoes of opium for boxes of tea, silk, porcelain and silver. Among them are Bahram Modi, a wealthy Parsi opium merchant out of Bombay, his estranged half-Chinese son Ah Fatt, the orphaned Paulette and a motley collection of others whose pursuit of romance, riches and a legendary rare flower have thrown together.
All struggle to cope with their losses - and for some, unimaginable freedoms - in the alleys and crowded waterways of 19th century Canton. As transporting and mesmerizing as an opiate induced dream, River of Smoke will soon be heralded as a masterpiece of twenty-first century literature.
©2011 Amitav Ghosh (P)2011 John Murray
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Alan on 09-29-11

excellent narrator/ wonderful novel/

now we must await the final volume in this wonderful panorama of a novel by Amitav Ghosh/

can be read without having read the "sea of poppies' but best to read that one first/

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By alan on 09-29-11

excellent narrator/ wonderful novel/

now we must await the final volume in this wonderful panorama of a novel by Amitav Ghosh/

can be read without having read the "sea of poppies' but best to read that one first/

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Janice on 03-13-12

Accents and style

The story is huge and detailed and I found it quite difficult to maintain the flow unless I listened to large swathes and even then I got a little confused by the many characters. Excellent research but a little too much of the verbatim arguments in the council. The reader was excellent with all the different accents and languages and mostly managed to maintain characteristic voices for the characters, but oh, that irritating, patronising reading style, strange hesitations and inflections, I found it very irritating and had to consciously listen past it.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful


By 72trails of smoke on 10-17-16

What were they thinking?

Have just finished the wonderful first volume (superb in every respect) And have tried to dive right into this volume but oh dear! Whoever picked Mr Gregory as narrator for volume 2 needs to have a rethink. He is simply awful - lumbering, patronizing and sounding like he thinks he is reading a book for young children. Simply the worst experience I have had with any Audible title so far. Right I'm off to buy the kindle edition before returning for volume 3

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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