Fiona's Reviews > River of Smoke

River of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh
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F 50x66
's review
Jun 13, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, historical-fiction
Read from June 13 to August 19, 2011 — I own a copy

Fantastic. I have not been disappointed by an Amitav Ghosh novel so far and this certainly wasn't the one to do it.

If you're like me and have spent the last couple of years wanting to know what happened to Deeti, Paulette, Neel, etc. after the lifeboat left the Ibis, be warned, you will be frustrated as that story is told only in tiny dribs and drabs spaced throughout the book. The majority of the book is told through the story of Ah-Fatt's Zoroastrian father and is the story of the beginning of the opium wars from the viewpoint of someone who is very much between worlds and heavily invested in the opium trade.

It does get a little slow and dull at one point during the book, but I'm glad I persisted with it as it picks up again and ended up being an incredibly satisfying read. Full of the great characterisation you expect from a Ghosh novel and well researched.

We also find out part of what happens to the majority of the Ibis gang through the course of the book and meet a few new characters to love and worry about. Only another 3 years to wait until the next installment...

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