River of Smoke : Ibis Trilogy

  • by Amitav Ghosh
  • Narrated by Lyndam Gregory
  • Series: Ibis Trilogy
  • 22 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

River of Smoke.

A far too drawn out, confusing and rambling book, Too many characters who come and go without much significance. Too much detail and the reading style did not help. I had to listen to parts of the book time and time again to try and gather and then regather my understanding and search for a storyline.... which in the end, I simply gave up trying to find but only after several hours. A very frustrating listen.... and the first time I have had to ditch a book from Audible.
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- Jeremy

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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- Janice

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-08-2011
  • Publisher: Hodder Headline Limited