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In September 1838 a storm blows up on the Indian Ocean and the Ibis, a ship carrying a consignment of convicts and indentured labourers 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 harbours 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 amateur botanist Paulette and a motley collection of others in pursuit of romance, riches and a legendary rare flower. All struggle to cope with their losses—and, for some, unimaginable freedoms—in the alleys and crowded waterways of nineteenth-century Canton. As transporting and mesmerizing as an opiate induced dream, River of Smoke, book two in Amitav Ghosh’s Ibis trilogy, will soon be heralded as a masterpiece of twenty-first century literature. Printed pages: 568. Size: 16 x 24 Cm. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 036608
Inhaltsangabe: 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 nar¬rative 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
About the Author: Amitav Ghosh is the internationally bestselling author of many works of fiction and non-fiction, including the novel The Glass Palace, and the recipient of numerous prizes and awards. He divides his time between Kolkata and Goa, India, and Brooklyn, New York.
Titel: River of Smoke
Buchbeschreibung Hodder & Stoughton Mai 2012, 2012. Taschenbuch. Buchzustand: Neu. Neuware - The sequel to the Man Booker shortlisted 'Sea Of Poppies', opening a fascinating historical window on the opium wars and the shocking colonial exploits in the East. 'Any good historical novel should teach the reader some history as well as sweeping him or her along with the unfolding narrative. Few do this as well as Amitav Ghosh. A book whose conclusion again left me panting for the next volume in this trilogy' 'Financial Times' Englisch. Artikel-Nr. 9780719568893