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River of Smoke Audiobook

River of Smoke

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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.

©2011 Amitav Ghosh (P)2011 John Murray

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (8 )
5 star
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4.0 (8 )
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4.0 (8 )
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Performance


There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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  • Alan
    Petaluma, CA, United States
    29/09/11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "excellent narrator/ wonderful novel/"

    now we must await the final volume in this wonderful panorama of a novel by Amitav Ghosh/

    can be read without having read the "sea of poppies' but best to read that one first/

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • alan
    Petaluma, CA, United States
    29/09/11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "excellent narrator/ wonderful novel/"

    now we must await the final volume in this wonderful panorama of a novel by Amitav Ghosh/

    can be read without having read the "sea of poppies' but best to read that one first/

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Jeremy
    Abbots Leigh, United Kingdom
    29/04/12
    Overall
    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Janice
    Cape Town, South Africa
    13/03/12
    Overall
    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Christine
    Coromandel Valley, Australia
    5/01/12
    Overall
    "Different"

    This is a very finely crafted and interesting account of the opium trade in China. While some people have complained about this particular narrator, once I got used to his idiosyncratic cadences I found his reading quite musical, and found his grasp of the dialects to be excellent.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • yvonne tomlin
    24/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The narration spoiled the book for me"

    I found the story very fragmented and most unlike the first book. The narrator read as if reading to a child with exaggerated interpretation of the dialogue.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • heidi
    paris, France
    11/08/11
    Overall
    "Why?"

    The book seems amazing just like the publisher promises in their own rave review. There is, however, a very unfortunate issue with the audiobook: the narrator, while undoubtedly a skilled reader with a good voice, stresses the wrong words (in, of... ) and makes weird breaks in sentences (maybe in an effort to make the reading more interesting/unusual?) and thereby succeeds to make listening to this book highly annoying while making the text seem ridiculous when it is clearly not.
    WHY?

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • 72trails of smoke
    Birmingham, UK
    17/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What were they thinking?"

    Have just finished the wonderful first volume (superb in every respect) And have tried to dive right into this volume but oh dear! Whoever picked Mr Gregory as narrator for volume 2 needs to have a rethink. He is simply awful - lumbering, patronizing and sounding like he thinks he is reading a book for young children. Simply the worst experience I have had with any Audible title so far. Right I'm off to buy the kindle edition before returning for volume 3

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • John
    6/10/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story"

    2nd part of a trilogy and really does need reading in conjunction with Sea of Poppies and Flood of Fire. So many wonderful stories woven together. I had previously read both of the first two books in the series but lived Flood of Fire so much that I wanted to hear the audible versions. The narrator on this was not as good (for me) as the others and I much preferred the narration of Flood of Fire by Raj Ghatak. I'm glad though that I didn't let the reviews of River of Smoke put me off buying it as I still enjoyed it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Josephine Goudge-Riley
    12/09/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointed"

    A long and drawn out account of British imperialism,and the total disregard for anything other than money

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • alli
    5/09/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Love the story, not enjoying change of narrator"

    I loved the first book, and I loved Kish Sharma's narration and character interpretation. I was disappointed to note that the narrators are different for each book in the trilogy. opinions may differ, but I feel Lyndam Gregory's narration style would be more suited to childrens books, as he has an unusual style, with pauses and emphasis in strange places, and for me, too much accentuation and intensity at times. It makes me feel slightly patronised. The story itself is still fascinating and I am persevering despite not enjoying the new narration style. Sorry Lyndam!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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