Saturday, July 25, 2009

Guest Book Review: Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh

My guest reviewer Jen is back! I'm really excited to read this one too, especially because it was shortlisted for the 2008 Booker Prize and since I enjoyed Ghosh's THE GLASS PALACE so much.

Here's Jen:

The first in a trilogy of novels, SEA OF POPPIES is an epic tale that revolves around a ship, the Ibis, which makes an unforgettable journey from India to the Mauritius Islands. The historical adventures touch upon colonial upheaval, the Opium Wars and a slave-free America. After all, which other span of time could allow a bankrupt Raja, widowed village woman, mulatto American freeman and a European orphan to all cross paths?

Rarely have I read a book where I could relate to so many characters. I continue to ask myself how Amitav Ghosh made this kaleidoscope of individuals so sympathetic in such a despicable time (in terms of humanitarian relevance), such as the mid-nineteenth century. It’s a history lesson that reaches around the world, yet eerily parallels social issues of today. It is also a story which makes me grateful to be a woman today instead of back then. Sea of Poppies is destined for the silver screen, but I pity the day in which a single paragraph would be scrapped. (Subtitles would bring some clarity to the extremely difficult sailor lingo though.) The storytelling is masterful, allowing me to actually feel the rise and fall of the waves, feel the warmth of fires and blood and see the brilliant colours of life.

SEA OF POPPIES is available in hardcover now, but comes out in paperback in the US on September 29th. I anxiously await the next saga of the trilogy.
Find out more about the book at www.amitavghosh.com

8 comments:

Myckyee said...

I reviewed this book too - I loved it! I can't wait for the second book to come out. Great review!

Staci said...

Excellent review! I want to read this one for sure now!!

susan said...

Sounds like a wonderfully complex story and well written. Something you want to relish. Great review. Thanks.

H said...

Good review! It has such a pretty title but I'm not sold on the cover.

Beth F said...

I've been curious about this book since I first started hearing about it. I'll have to look for it in September.

Margarita said...

I loved this book too and reviewed it on my blog. It is full of human relevance, I totally loved the language part too - it has a life of its own!

Zibilee said...

I have been wanting to buy this book for what seems to me to be a long time. That was a great review, and gave me just the push I need. I will let you know what I think. Thanks!

Zibilee said...

This sounds really weird, but wonderfully interesting. Another one for the ever growing wish list. Thanks for the great review, I will definitely be picking this one up.