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One of the obvious downsides is that there is no glossary ( apparently the print edition has one). So, even though I knew it must be something else (Fanqui Town as it turns out) I couldn't help hearing it as Funky town and imagining an appropriate Sino-GeorgeClinton beat. In any case, I LIKED the narration and thought Robin was hardly over the top in his Gayness. From the text alone, without Mr. Jhaveri's hilarious rendition, it is obvious that the 20th century has no monopoly on flamers.
I quickly got used to not understanding certain words and one can understand them adequately in context. I enjoyed that Ghosh pauses in his description of scenes to list things (I guess generally in Bengali or Hindi): "the alley was crowded with pudongs, khalisha, mradupamen, lascars, sepoys and phonkas." Particularly good are the lists when there are descriptions of food. It is easy (and a good exercise) to be drawn into contemplating the deep immorality of the opium trade and realize how recently this history was brushed aside since it was Heathen Chinee. This, of course, is why WE are now addicted to plastic crap. The Celestial Ones are having the last laugh.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
What would have made River of Smoke better?
The cast of characters from the last book.
You have a few new characters with interesting storyline, but overall the story is loaded so much with irrelevant information that it becomes tedious.
What do you think your next listen will be?
The next book of course. Hoping that's better.
How could the performance have been better?
Robin's accent is jarring and over the top. And most of his story is through letters he writes. Hard to picture such an accent for a letter.
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
Disappointment. Specially since the first part of the trilogy was so good.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful