River of Smoke

A Novel
CD - unabridged
Audio (19 discs)
Product Number: BN2124
Released: Oct 02, 2012
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781469205663
Narrator/s: Sanjiv Jhaveri
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
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The Ibis, loaded to its gunwales with a cargo of indentured servants, is in the grip of a cyclone in the Bay of Bengal; among the dozens flailing for survival are Neel, the pampered raja who has been convicted of embezzlement; Paulette, the French orphan masquerading as a deck-hand; and Deeti, the widowed poppy grower fleeing her homeland with her lover, Kalua. The storm also threatens the clipper ship Anahita, groaning with the largest consignment of opium ever to leave India for Canton. And the Redruth, a nursery ship, carries Frederick "Fitcher" Penrose, a horticulturist determined to track down the priceless treasures of China that are hidden in plain sight: its plants that have the power to heal, or beautify, or intoxicate. All will converge in Canton's Fanqui-town, or Foreign Enclave: a tumultuous world unto itself where civilizations clash and sometimes fuse. It is a powder keg awaiting a spark to ignite the Opium Wars. Spectacular coincidences, startling reversals of fortune, and tender love stories abound. But this is much more than an irresistible page-turner. The blind quest for money, the primacy of the drug trade, the concealment of base impulses behind the rhetoric of freedom: in River of Smoke the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries converge, and the result is a consuming historical novel with powerful contemporary resonance. Critics praised Sea of Poppies for its vibrant storytelling, antic humor, and rich narrative scope; now Amitav Ghosh continues the epic that has charmed and compelled readers all over the globe. Praise for River of Smoke: "On one level, [River of Smoke] is a remarkable feat of research, bringing alive the hybrid customs of food and dress and the competing philosophies of the period with intimate precision; on another it is a subversive act of empathy, viewing a whole panorama of world history from the 'wrong' end of the telescope. The real trick, though, is that it is also fabulously entertaining." -Tim Adams, The Observer (London) "Eloquent . . . Fascinating . . . [River of Smoke's] strength lies in how thoroughly Ghosh fills out his research with his novelistic fantasy, seduced by each new situation that presents itself and each new character, so that at their best the scenes read with a sensual freshness as if they were happening now." -Tessa Hadley, The Guardian "[This] vast book has a Dickensian sweep of characters, high- and low-life intermingling . . . Ghosh conjures up a thrilling sense of place." -The Economist

Author(s): Amitav Ghosh
Series: Ibis Series No: 2
Genre: Sci Fi

All formats/editions

Author(s): Amitav Ghosh
Product Number EB00102884
Released: Oct 28, 2013
Business Term: 52 Circ / 730 Day
ISBN: #9781429969178

Professional reviews

"Narrator Sanjiv Jhaveri keeps up with the myriad historical details of the shipping industry in nineteenth-century India that are a part of this story. While he dusn't convincingly portray female characters, he capably manages the rest of the novel's massive cast. He also excels in his delivery of the rich description that permeates the author's style. At times, his cadence is reminiscent of a more staid volume--nonfiction perhaps. But Ghosh's rambling epic needs the determined and purposeful pace this narrator provides. However, some elements of the production come off as a mishmash, particularly as unimaginative storytelling combines with affected Indian accents and a flat American accent. The large gap between these elements may compromise this title for some listeners. M.R. (c) AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine"

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